Editor’s Note: The “Why We Support” series features The Pillar Network. Merchant Match Charity that has partnered with The Pillar Network create a new revenue stream through Impact Partners that donate a portion of their monthly credit card transaction fees to a nonprofit of their choice.
When Zach Nelson, executive director of The Pillar Network first heard about credit card processor, Merchant Match Charity (MMC) donating 50 percent of its gross profits from a business to a charity of that business’s choice – he found it a little hard to believe.
“I did think it was too good to be true, and I had a number of questions on the front end,” says Nelson. “The more I got to know Kevin Todd, founder of Merchant Match Charity and the staff, it became clear this was a company we wanted to partner with.”
After checking with other nonprofits who currently are partnering with MMC and hearing positive feedback, Nelson decided The Pillar Network, a 501C3 that cooperates with local churches, individuals, and businesses to promote church planting and church revitalization in North America could benefit from a new source of income. “The nonprofits I spoke to had been searching for an opportunity like what MMC provides and when it came along they jumped on it and it’s been fruitful for us as well,” he says.
Since the beginning of signing up, MMC has donated more than $7,000 to help support The Pillar Network’s mission, which includes more than 60 churches across North America. “This money helps defray out startup costs with helping new leaders or pastors relocate from one area to another,” he says. “It also helps build our regional strategy and provides opportunities to attend conferences, additional training and soul care for pastors and spouses. It’s been a great benefit.”
Every month, Nelson receives a check courtesy of USA Flooring and the four other companies or Impact Partners that have designated The Pillar Network as their charity of choice. “MMC has provided a beneficial way for business owners to get actively engaged in supporting our church planting efforts without costing the business owner any extra money,” says Nelson. “They are providing a tangible way for them to allocate money that normally would be going to a bank’s bottom line to help support a local charity.”
Asking donors to consider switching credit card processors
While MMC has tried to make switching credit card processors as painless and streamlined as possible, Nelson recognizes that any changes can be temporarily stressful for a business owner. Nelson, who has been with The Pillar Network for more than five years, has personal relationships with several donors, which facilitated several of them switching over to MMC and becoming Impact Partners.
“Business owners receive calls all the time about credit card processing and I’ve found that including Kevin early on in the discussion has helped clarify MMC’s mission and what it offers,” says Nelson. “I provide the statistics financially on how it’s benefited our nonprofit and give examples of business owners that use the service and recommend it.”
Nelson has found that it can take between five to seven conversations on how MMC is helping grow The Pillar Network before some donors are ready to start the process to see if they could meet or beat their current credit card processing rates.
“MMC offers stewardship for business owners who desire to use their money to help further a mission and reinvest in their community,” he says. “It’s been a great partnership and one I hope will continue for years to come.”
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