There has been an increase in data breaches among large and small corporations, and nonprofit organizations are not immune to the trend. Fortunately, ministry nonprofits prevent hackers from stealing donors’ credit card and debit card information by complying with data security standards. Known as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, PCI helps protect donors’ sensitive payment card information.
If donors contribute by using a credit or debit card, nonprofit organizations must comply by the PCI standard, according to the PCI Compliance Guide. One of the requirements includes using antivirus software and testing it regularly, according to The Nonprofit Times. Another condition of compliance includes completing and submitting a self-assessment questionnaire, which evaluates your organization’s current security status. Nonprofit organizations can learn the specifics of these requirements by visiting the PCI Compliance Guide.
It may sound complex and confusing, but PCI is essentially a payment security tool. For nonprofit organizations that need more clarity, feel free to reach out to the PCI Security Standards Council. The PCI SSC is made up of all major credit card brands, and provides training to organizations so they fully understand how to comply with PCI stipulations.
Compliancy builds trust among supporters
When ministry nonprofits comply with the PCI standard, they enjoy several rewards. Donors can sleep at night knowing their credit card information is secure. This builds trust among your organization and its donors. Confident supporters are more likely to become consistent donors who fully connect with your organization’s mission. A compliant organization presents a positive image. It takes a while to build your standing among constituents, but it only takes one slip-up to tarnish your reputation.
According to the PCI Security Standards, if you aren’t compliant, the consequences can be devastating. For example, data breaches can lead to lost contributions and donor trust. Other negative effects include lawsuits, insurance claims and government fines.
“The world is different and it’s risky and it’s dangerous,” said Conway. “And if you want to take plastic, you’re going to play by the rules.”