Best Practices for using ACHs


Our foundation is thinking of moving away from checks and utilizing ACHs to make our grant payments. I was wondering how other organizations that are using ACHs get the banking information from the recipients.

Thank you for your input.

Linda Cleveland



  • We are in the same boat, so following along to responses:)

  • Thanks. This is very insightful!

  • On the flip side of this conversation, I work for the foundation of a large hospital system. I recently requested that a community foundation do an ACH transfer instead of writing a check. We are requesting this of all of our major donors. It means we have to have less staff in the office processing checks during this pandemic. I expect one of the outcomes is more wire transfers in the future as opposed to checks.

    I applaud those who are being proactive in this regards!

    Kent C. Weimer, Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy®

    Director of Trusts, Estates and Gift Planning, Parkland Foundation

  • Following along as well as our bank is not helpful at all with us trying to do this, so we are "at sea" trying to figure out the most secure way to do this.

  • All this information is very helpful. I have a question that I'm wondering if other foundations have, and if so, how have you been dealt with it? For slight background, we are a small-staffed family foundation. As with others on this thread, we are considering moving toward wire transfers (ACH's).

    Our internal rules and regulations require two signatures on checks over $2,000. Do any of you have this requirement and if so, is there a workaround for the two signature rule? What are best practices? We absolutely want everything to be squared away for our annual audit.

    I appreciate in advance any and all suggestions/ideas.

    Thank you,

    Susan Haley, Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation

  • Great question! We also require two signatures on checks. I am guessing that, once we figure out how to set up the ACH transfers, we would create an internal procedure that requires two officers to sign off on the transfer. We do that now with all banking transactions so I don't foresee that being a huge hurdle to accomplish.

  • We are just starting this process, so I don't know how it will shake out, but we are using a DocuSign form to collect the account and routing information.

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