Concerns have been raised in Austria that changes to donation forms to comply with Single European Payment Area (SEPA) regulations may put off older donors.
For payments to be compliant with SEPA regulations, all national bank transactions in the euro-region must include the 20-character IBAN and BIC numbers by February 2014 at the latest.
To prepare for this shift, the Austrian banking sector plans to replace the current payment forms with new SEPA-compliant forms from January 2013. However, no public awareness campaigns are planned to alert Austrian citizens to this change.
Approximately 30% of all donations to nonprofits are made via payment forms in Austria. Tests show that the new payment forms were not accepted by older donor groups and the response rate decreased by up to 30%. This is a great concern to the Austrian Fundraising Association, that fears a significance reduction in donations, and to the many nonprofits that rely on donations from the elderly.
The Austrian Fundraising Association is campaigning for a longer transition period to the new donation forms and an awareness campaign to educate the public about these changes.