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Mastercard Requirements

Last Updated: September 2022

Important Update: Good news! Nonprofits that maintain low chargeback rates are not required to comply with the new recurring payment rules.

Mastercard is modifying the requirements that apply to merchants that use a subscription/recurring billing model. All the standards are recommended as a best practice for all not-for-profit or charity merchants that utilize a recurring payment plan. However, these Standards will become a requirement if a not-for-profit or charity merchant that utilizes a recurring payment plan is identified by MasterCard as having excessive chargeback rates for at least four months.

Read Mastercard’s Revised Standards here.

History of this issue:

On September 22, 2022, Mastercard’s new requirements for recurring transactions went into effect. The language in the regulations as they were written, specifically the definition of subscriptions resulting in “delivery of physical products or digital goods” appeared not to include nonprofit recurring donations. However, in August, Mastercard confirmed that they intended for these new rules to apply to nonprofit sustainer donor programs.

On September 2, after actively working on behalf of nonprofits to clarify the new recurring transaction requirements from Mastercard ahead of the September 22 effective date, TNPA had very good news to share, that Mastercard “will be extending the effective date of these requirements for nonprofits until March 21, 2023.” This extension is an acknowledgement that the new requirements as written caused considerable confusion among nonprofits and their processing platform partners, delaying steps toward compliance.  While TNPA recognized this as a significant step in the right direction, we continued our work building a coalition of US and international umbrella groups to clarify with Mastercard the details of compliance, and assess the impact of the new processes on nonprofit organizations.

Now, we are very happy to learn that Mastercard is exempting nonprofits and charities from this rule, and will follow up only with those who have excessive chargebacks for 4 consecutive months. You can read the new regulations here.

Thank you to everyone who has participated with us in this process, providing data, making connections, and signing onto the letter to Mastercard (below). Together, with our members, our allies, and our coalition partners, we made the voice of nonprofit sector clear, and Mastercard listened. Thank you to all.

Community Letter to Mastercard

Thank you to the 215 nonprofit organizations that signed onto this letter to Mastercard, helping to ensure that nonprofit voices were heard.

To whom it may concern:

We write to you today to express concern about the new Mastercard regulations related to recurring transactions. We would like to meet with you to discuss in detail the impact these regulations would have on the work of nonprofit organizations across the United States if applied to our recurring charitable donations.

It is nonprofit organizations that the world relies on to feed the hungry, house the homeless, care for the sick, save animals both domestic and wild, support communities in crisis, protect the environment, promote human rights, and lead the charge on achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion across our society.

We rely on donations from generous individuals to make our work possible. Recurring donations are a crucial part of that support. Required compliance with Mastercard’s new recurring transaction regulations would create an undeserved operational and financial impact on our work.

We understand Mastercard’s intention with the new regulations is to mitigate negative practices associated with the utilization of a subscription billing model and/or a negative billing option. Our research across a broad swath of nonprofit organizations shows that nonprofit donations do not result in substantial chargebacks. These regulations, if applicable, could put an undue burden on nonprofits and would not move the needle on Mastercard’s goal of reducing chargebacks.

Right now, after two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, increased calls for racial and social equity, and an unusual number of natural disasters wreaking havoc in our country, nonprofit organizations are facing pressure to not only maintain, but also to increase, our missions’ reach and impact.

At the same time, we are facing daunting external pressures that make it ever more challenging to achieve our missions. Facing staffing shortages, supply chain issues, a looming recession that will impact financial support from donors, and the current financial and socioeconomic climate, our industry is already under programmatic and operational pressure.

We hope that you will agree to meet with a representative group of us to better understand how nonprofits use recurring donations in our fundraising, our commitments to ethical fundraising, the impact these regulations would have on nonprofits, and the research that we have gathered.

Together, we can forge a path forward that supports Mastercard’s intention to protect the consumer and reduce chargebacks AND avoid additional undue stress on our charitable organizations.


Advocate Charitable Foundation
American Cancer Society
American Children’s Home
American Federation for Aging Research
American Lung Association
American Red Cross
Animal Humane Society
Animal Outreach of Shelby County
Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Inc.
Animals Asia Foundation USA
Arizona’s Children Association
Arkansas PBS Foundation
Avinity Foundation
Beaver County Humane Society
Berea College
Best Friends Animal Society
B’nai Shalom Synagogue dba B’nai Shalom Day School
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake
Boys & Girls Clubs of South Alabama
Boys & Girls Clubs of Wichita Falls
Brooks School
Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch
Calumet College of St. Joseph
Canal Alliance
Champion Ministries dba Groundwire
Chattanooga Area Food Bank
Chautauqua County Humane Society
Cherokee Home for Children
Children’s Hospital Foundation
Church of Our Saviour
Cleveland Zoological Society
Coal Creek Meals on Wheels
Coastal Arts League
Community College System of NH
Community Link
Community Volunteers in Medicine
Conservation Voters New Mexico
Cooperative for Education
Creation Ministries International
Cristo Rey San Jose
Cure Alzheimer’s Fund
Dakin Humane Society
Defenders of Wildlife
Diocese of Charleston-Stewardship office
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières
Dogs for Better Lives
Dorchester Paws
Dysautonomia International
Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund
Esquires Music Foundation
Experience Camps
Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin
Feeding America Riverside and San Bernardino Count
First Step, Inc.
Florida Springs Council
Fontbonne University
Food Finders Food Bank Inc.
Food Gatherers
Fort Bend Seniors Meals on Wheels
Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo
Friends of the Public Garden
Georgia Public Broadcasting
Glen Ellyn Children’s Resource Center
Global Neighborhood
Global Outreach International
Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
Gospel for Asia
Guardian Angel Basset Rescue, Inc
Habitat for Humanity International
Hepatitis B Foundation, Baruch S. Blumberg Institu
High Country News
Holbrook Indian School
Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center
Horses for a Change
Humane Society of Charlotte
Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region
InstaBeacon Arts & Consulting
Interaction International
International Crane Foundation, Inc.
Iowa FFA Foundation
Iowa Humane Alliance
KENW PBS New Mexico
KNOX, Inc.
Landmark School
LeSEA Global Feed The Hungry
Lindsay Family Foundation
Lubbock Meals on Wheels
Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin
Meals For The Elderly
Meals on Wheels Association of Texas
Meals on Wheels Central Texas
Meals on Wheels Metro Boise
Meals on Wheels Metro Tulsa
Meals on Wheels of Alameda County (MOWAC)
Meals on Wheels of Albuquerque
Meals on Wheels of Boulder
Meals on Wheels of Syracuse
Meals on Wheels of Syracuse, NY Inc.
Meals on Wheels of Texoma
Meals on Wheels of Wake County
Meals on Wheels Spokane
Meals on Wheels West
Meals on Wheels Western South Dakota
Mennonite Central Committee
Mercy Ships
Metro Meals on Wheels
Miami Valley Women’s Center
Milwaukee PBS
Mishkan Hatorah
Mission of Mercy Arizona
Molly’s Angels
Mother Jones
Mount Carmel High School
Napa Valley Child Advocacy Network Inc aka Parents
National Association to Prevent Blindness
National Shrine of St. Jude
New Moms
NewView Oklahoma
Northeast Animal Shelter
NYS Council of Trout Unlimited
One Hope United
Options Pregnancy Resource Center
Oshman Family JCC
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Pink Ribbon Girls Inc
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Population Balance
Pride Center San Antonio
Radio Training Network
Rappahannock Area YMCA, INC.
Reading Is Fundamental, Inc.
Regions Hospital Foundation
Rescue Ministries of Mid-Michigan
Safe Passage
Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation
Save the Children
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
Second Chance Pet Adoptions
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz County
Semper Fi & America’s Fund
Senior Citizens Activity Center of BUrkburnett
Shady Hill School
Share Our Strength
Sheboygan County Interfaith Organization
Sierra Club
Sisters of Charity of New York
Sisters of Providence
SLO Food Bank
Smile Train
Smithsonian Institution, NMAI
Social Advocates for Youth
SOS Children’s Villages USA
South Dakota Public Broadcasting
Southeast Missouri Food Bank
Southside Girls Club of Wichita Falls Texas
Special Olympics
SSND Educational Center
St Labre Indian School
St. Gabriel Catholic Radio
St. Gabriel Radio, Inc.
St. John’s Preparatory School
St. Louis University High School
State University of NY College at Brockport, Inc.
Support Our Aging Religious, Inc.
Tails Humane Society
Temple of Joy SOPPFM
Texas Tech Public Media
The ALS Association
The Arc – Jefferson, Clear Creek & Gilpin Counties
The Arrow Fund
The Health Trust
The Nature Conservancy
The Public’s Radio
ThinkTV and CET Public Television Stations
Trinity Missions
Tupelo Children’s Mansion
Unitarian Universalist Association
United Way of Pierce County
United Way Quad Cities
University of New Haven
University of Northwestern – St. Paul
UTS Sydney
Vermont Law School
Washington Trafficking Prevention
Water For People
WFUV Public Radio
Wichita Adult Literacy Council
Wildlife Conservation Network
Wisconsin Council of Churches
Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts
Women’s Lunch Place
World Animal Protection
World Evangelical Alliance
WVPE Public Radio
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