Today, it’s common to go on any social media platform and see people soliciting funds or requesting donations for a good cause and seeking investments. These can be for personal, health, education, business, or for an event. With the recent popularity of platforms like Kickstarter and GoFundMe, the giving culture is thriving more than ever. People are using tools as simple as a donation form or donation page on their websites to raise funds. These forms are most popular with non-profit organizations, but lately, businesses and individuals are making use of them too.
Depending on why you are raising funds, you might need to raise money urgently, or you may have a longer-term goal. Regardless, the online donation form you use matters and may encourage or deter people from making a donation.
A donation form is a popular tool used to collect key information and process general donations. The form can be digital or a hard copy. However, digital forms on websites are more popular, and many individuals, businesses, and organizations use them to collect online donations. The forms help build relationships, encouraging recurring donations from people who want to support you and your cause. Donation forms can be used to collect money or other goods. You can have people send used clothing, furniture, or old books to support you or your charity. The possibilities are seemingly endless with this tool that digitalizes the process of collecting donations from your volunteers.
Donation forms are a critical part of your fundraising journey if you choose to use them. They streamline the donation process and help you get some information on your donors. The latter can help with personalizing the giving experience for your donors by allowing you to send them “thank you” notes by email. The way your donation form is crafted can make a substantial difference in the amount of the funds you manage to raise. If your form is appealing and easy to fill out and submit, it is likely to get you more volunteers and help you reach your goal faster. They are a norm, and even people without websites can create donation pages on various platforms.
You cannot assume that the person you’re appealing to has heard of your cause or will give just because you’ve asked. It is important to begin with a few sentences that will communicate the importance and impact of their gift, a sales pitch of sorts. This can be paired with some appropriate visuals that can evoke emotion in your donors or stir their interest in your business and encourage them to donate to your cause. Few people will give to a cause they do not understand. Your mission statement is important and will help your volunteer donors to grasp the full impact of what their donation will achieve. It is great if you can communicate to them that every little bit counts!
You can include a blank field but also suggest an amount. This will provide your donors with an idea of what is appropriate, but make sure the amount is not so high that it deters them. It should be a plausible amount for everybody. Some people may also want to donate a fixed amount, and they should have the option to do so. You can also allow an option for a recurring donation. The donation culture is currently thriving, and you’ll be surprised how many generous donors are willing to give yearly, quarterly, or even monthly.
You’re going to want to collect some key information from your donors so that you can thank them and ultimately communicate more with them. It will add an extra nice touch and will make them likely to donate again sooner. Understanding who donates to you and why is important. Similarly, it is important for your volunteers to understand why it is important to give to your cause. Collecting donor data allows you to send them emails and newsletters providing them with more information about what you do. If you are soliciting the funds for a one-time project or a personal reason, you can stick to your thank-yous and be sure your volunteers will appreciate your gratitude.
What you include in your form depends on the reason you are raising funds. It needs to be easy to navigate and to finish quickly. If you are a non-profit organization, you should make your form simple and short. Pay attention to features such as payment methods. You should be able to accept payment by as many methods as possible. Do not limit it to only one or two, unintentionally cutting out some of your donors. Remember that this is a non-exhaustive list with only a few main components this act-of-donation form should have.
As an organization, business, or individual, it is necessary that you identify why you are fundraising and how you are going to go about it. You do not want your form to look scattered or cumbersome to donors. Having a clear goal makes it easier to craft a form that is likely to appeal to your donors.
Download a donation form example, and explore what you might want to keep or exclude from your form. It is important to carefully draft the form to appeal to your target audience and motivate them to donate.
Remember to craft and edit the form to suit your specific fundraising goals. You should edit terms such as the minimum donation amount, as this may vary from what is on the template you download, depending on your goal.
Download and check out this donation form template PDF and Word document to get you started! You will need to change some of the content to suit your needs.
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Frequently Asked Questions
No. You may include the option if you think it may appeal to your donors. However, most non-profits will simply send an email thanking their donors or a newsletter update with what their donation has been used for. You can send a digital receipt to the donor's email if you would like to. Your donors are more likely to want a receipt if they made a donation to your business. This will serve as confirmation that the donation is actually going toward what you advertised.
You can make sure that the fields asking for personal information are optional. Some people will not want to get emails from you or may be worried about putting their information on a site. However, they will need to enter their payment information for billing. You can ask them to opt-out of their information being saved. In the current climate where so many sites and platforms sell information, it is natural for your donors to be wary, and you should try to provide them with reassurance that their personal information is safe with you and will not be shared with any third party sites.
No. However, it is worth noting that it is one of the quickest ways available to get donations on your site if crafted properly. Other methods may not as effective. A donation form is certainly one of the best tools to get key donor information and process your donations. Having one on your site will help you collect money more quickly as site links are easily shared and may even go viral.