Online Donation Forms

We’ve all gotten letters in the mail asking for donations from various organizations, and think “I’ll send money in as soon as I can!” But things get in the way, as they tend to do, and you realize you’re out of stamps and have to make a trip to the post office, or you’re having a hard time locating your checkbook…and so on. Ultimately when there’s a great business or organization we want to support, we think “It would be so much easier if we could pay online.”

If you’ve ever thought this, chances are your own donors or customers have too. How much money have you left on the table by not having a way online for people to support your business or non-profit?

When we first began offering donation forms in 2014, $24 billion dollars had been donated online to charitable organizations (most of which was donated during the holiday months). This number, and the number of people who donate overall, has been increasing every year since (and it is projected to continue doing so in years to come).

We’ve come up with a system to handle online donations for organizations that not only considers potential donors, but also considers you, the organization:

safadonationform

  • No, you don’t need to change your website software.
  • No, you don’t have to redesign your whole website.
  • No, you don’t have to move web hosting companies.
  • No, you don’t have to open a new bank account.

Meet some people who have taken advantage of this so far:

Schoodic Arts For All

Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance

Jesup Library

Artsworth

Special Childrens’ Friends

Our Town Belfast

Bar Harbor Historical Society

Summer Festival of the Arts (SFOA)

MDIYWCA

Our cost to do this? $1000. What does $1000 get you?

  • Responsive form (meaning it looks good and works on smartphones, tablets, and computers alike)
  • Accepts all major credit cards
  • Links directly to your existing website
  • Sends payments directly to your organization’s bank account
  • E-mails receipt to donor
  • Displays customized “Thank You” page for donors.

Don’t miss out on getting donations! If people want to give you money, why not make it easy for them?

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What can you do with your brand new online donation form once created?

1) Run a campaign to run a well loved program with your Facebook page and other social media, linking back to the form.

2) Allow people to give ‘in memory’ of someone else which you can publicize.

3) Link it in your next email newsletter and see what percentage of email subscribers participate.

4) Show goal progress on your website (with a thermometer or otherwise) to convince those on the sidelines to join in.

5) Participate in #givingtuesday and other online efforts.

6) Allow people to subscribe to your email newsletter from the donation form so you can keep in touch.*

7) Accept donations for an entire calendar year, not just during the holidays.**

8) Make your yearly donor report look super impressive with your new donor numbers you present to the board.

9) Use this same technology to create other payment forms in the future. (Buying your calendars, event tickets, etc.)

10) Keep more of your money. Some platforms like this charge 4% or more and charge monthly fees. This gateway charges 2.9% per transaction with no monthly fees.

*Depends on email program you use, but this is completely possible!
**To continue accepting donations after one year, the secure certificate needs to be updated ($12/year).

And that’s just getting started. Think of all the things that are now possible with an online donation form on your own domain!

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You can also check out one of our older Tech Thursday videos where we discuss the importance of having an online donation form:

And also check out this blog: Why No One Is Giving You Money Online

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Why $1000?

You may wonder, why would you pay $1000 to put this on your website? What are you paying Breaking Even to do?

1) Buying and installing a SSL certificate to encrypt payment information. We do this in your name with your email so the renewal each year goes to you- because this deserves to be under your control.

2) Building a custom form the collects the information you want from donors. Ex: Adding to email newsletter list or allowing donors to support a specific program.

3) Creating custom thank you page and receipt.

4) Testing forms on mobile and desktop platforms.

5) Linking the form software to your website as a button, menu item, etc.

6) Buying software licenses required. (Yup, this is not free software.)

In other words, we do the technical heavy lifting while you create the campaigns, cultivate donors, communicate incentives and all the fun stuff. Because that’s what your organization needs you for, not learning to code something you only ever need to make once.

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Are you a business who thinks payment forms are something you don’t need?

Think again. Have you thought of selling:

  • Physical products (your homemade jams, etc.)
  • Workshop or seminar spaces
  • Ebooks or other online products
  • Gift certificates
  • Merchandise (t-shirts, mugs, etc.)
  • A self published book
  • Anything else someone has ever wanted to buy from you?

anchorspaceconferenceroombookingIf you just want to sell one or a few things, sometimes payment forms are more effective than shopping carts.

So far check out examples of payment forms we have set up for businesses:

Anchorspace’s Booking Forms

FishMaine Gift Certificates

Artwaves Membership Form

We can certainly do more payment forms for businesses than we have been because, honestly, lots of people don’t need full on shopping carts so much as a way for people to pay online for something, whether that’s a good or service, a physical product or a digital product.

Think about it, so long as you make $1000, you’ve paid for your form. Everything else is GRAVY!

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