Imagine trying to raise funds the way many enthusiastic kids do: Door to door.
Unless you're just looking for a few donors, hitting your target would certainly be time-consuming. It’s just not a very effective method.
Thanks to the internet, fundraising can be a lot easier. It starts by creating a nice donation page with a donation form to collect donor information and process contributions. Let's review some donation form templates and tools to inform your next cause.
How to Create a Donation Page
Ask page visitors to donate.
Inform visitors about your fundraiser.
Collect donations through a payment gateway.
Collect donor information.
Measure and share your fundraiser progress.
Some fundraisers keep it simple by just adding a PayPal link to their website. But they're unfortunately misguided in thinking website visitors will respond to a call for donations based on one link.
A donation page is the perfect place for your sales pitch. This is where you guide all potential donors (found both on and offline) and sell them on your organization or project.
1. Ask page visitors to donate.
Address the cause and ask page visitors to donate. Your donation page should do all the talking — explicitly asking your visitors to contribute to your cause.
Asking people to donate to your cause is like trying to make a sale. Therefore, you need to treat the process like a sales pitch.
While research shows people feel good when donating, the quality of this feeling is directly related to how they feel about the cause. The more highly regarded it is, the better they feel about contributing.
2. Inform visitors about your fundraiser.
Provide sufficient information about the nature of the fundraising. Be transparent so donors can be more confident about contributing. Be sure to incorporate your branding to make your page feel trustworthy.
3. Collect donations through a payment gateway.
Collect donations through a secure payment gateway. Make sure donors can easily find where to send the donations, whether through PayPal, Stripe, or direct deposit to your bank.
4. Collect donor information.
Collect your donor information and create a database of donors. The donation form should allow you to capture relevant information about your donors. This will make it easier to reach them during your next round of fundraising.
Studies have shown that more than 30% of new donors donate again. This database is also good for following up and updating the donors regarding how their contribution is being used.
5. Measure and share your fundraiser progress.
Track your fundraiser goal. Your donation page should tell you how far you are from reaching your goal — and don’t hesitate to share that information with current and future donors.
When designing your donation page, make sure the layout reflects similar branding as other pages on your website. This consistency improves your trustworthiness.
Printable Donation Form Templates
It’s likely that not everyone who may want to give to your cause is computer savvy. As such, it makes sense to adapt your approach to be a little more analog.
The following represent a few resources for finding printable donation form templates:
Vertex42: Download and customize your donation form in Microsoft Word.
PDFfiller: Access a collection of donation form templates sorted by category, including a generic donation form, donation form letter, and donation form receipt.
Template.net: Access a collection of easily downloadable and printable donation form templates.
Docs Pile: Access more than 14 donation form templates available for download.
Donation Form Building Tools
Your donation form is a critical factor in the success of your fundraiser and organization. Filling it out will be the last step donors take before they give.
If you choose the wrong tool for the task, you could see your efforts in other areas undermined, thwarting your cause. Depending on what you want to accomplish, here are some established donation form building tools to consider.
HubSpot's WordPress Plugin
HubSpot's suite of WordPress marketing tools includes a form builder that you can use to set up a donation form.
It has an intuitive drag-and-drop editor, which allows you to build and publish your form in minutes. The form is directly linked with your HubSpot CRM account. Every user that fills out the form is routed into the plugin’s customer relationship manager (CRM), where you can efficiently manage ongoing communications.
Once created, the form can be incorporated with an existing page or published as a standalone page.
No technical expertise is needed to set up and customize your form. You can refine the information you receive by adding up to 1,000 form fields, spread over 12 field types.
Notifications are another basic feature for form builders. HubSpot lets you set up automatic notifications based on specific criteria so that relevant people can be notified about an interesting entry or form submission.
Gravity Forms may be the most popular plugin out there. It has long held a position as the most powerful form building plugin for WordPress. The longevity of its reputation isn’t based on nothing. The latest version of Gravity Forms is so robust, any would-be competitors have much to contend with.
The most outstanding feature of Gravity Forms is conditional logic, which can be used to segment users. You can use conditional logic to display form fields based on what the user filled in on previous fields.
This functionality is incredibly important if you're targeting a diverse population. For instance, you can have students see one form, homeowners see another variation, small businesses a third, large organizations a fourth, and so on.
Generally, you get a great deal of customization options from the Gravity Forms team. Apart from conditional logic, the tool allows you to share entries with specific people, depending on what the user has filled in for a particular field. You can also control a form’s availability by determined criteria, as well as set up form entry notifications.
Forminator is another WordPress plugin that offers so much functionality, it's hard to believe it's free.
This builder has an intuitive drag-and-drop editor, which is extremely easy to use. A minor limitation is the lack of a visual preview but that's easy to ignore when you consider the other features.
It's flexibility has made Forminator one of the most popular form builders. It’s set up to integrate with a number of useful third party tools, including email marketing service providers like MailChimp and AWeber, payment gateways such as PayPal and Stripe, and collaboration tools like Trello and Slack. It also integrates with HubSpot CRM for easy management of customer data.
Other third-party integrations with Forminator include Zapier, Google Sheets, Campaign Monitor, and ActiveCampaign.
Conditional logic is another important feature and its ability to customize email notifications affirms its position at the top with other winning form builders.
Donation Form Examples
Here are some donation form examples to inspire your next great project:
Big Cat Rescue has garnered quite a bit of infamy since it was featured heavily in the Netflix series, Tiger King. Regardless of how you feel about their founder, Carol Baskin, their donation form is nothing to scoff at.
This charity makes it clear they are ready to accept your donation any way you could possibly want to give it — including Bitcoin! The amount of options can feel a little overwhelming, but they’ve also gone to great lengths to assure donors of their credibility.
The mission statement is right at the top of the page, along with multiple awards which establish their charitable record of excellence. Donors want to know their money is going to the cause they are choosing to support.
ProPublica’s donation form is much simpler than Big Cat Rescue, but it’s very effective. It’s visually appealing, including an eye-catching animated graphic. The form looks professional and clean, and they further establish their credibility with a donation-specific FAQ section in the sidebar ready to go.
Their call to action is bold and appeals to the donor’s emotion and personal investment in ProPublica’s cause. They simultaneously create a sense of ownership and membership by dubbing their donors “ProPublicans.” The hyperlink leads to a more in-depth explanation of their mission and how donations are used.
This donation form is bare bones, but completely appropriate to GiveDirectly’s no-nonsense mission. This charity does exactly what their name says: they take the money you donate and give it directly to the people who need it.
There are a few hyperlinks in the footer if a donor wants more information about donating or to get in contact. Additionally, they have a link that lets donors update an existing donation, which is unique. It makes the process of giving straightforward and accessible, no matter if it is a one-time or recurring donation.
Create a Donation Form To Start Fundraising Today
Getting donors to give is simply a matter of asking. If you ask properly, you increase your chances of success. On the contrary, a poor ask doubles your work: You might not reach your target donors and if you do, they may not be willing to support your cause.
Make sure you have the right tools in place to make the jobs of both asking and giving an easy one.
Originally published Apr 1, 2020 10:01:35 AM, updated April 29 2020