How to Collect and Use the Data In Your Donation Form

Whether it’s a physical sheet of paper or a page on your organization’s website, a donation form is a crucial component of any nonprofit’s giving process.

A donation form not only allows you to accept and record donations, but when created correctly, a donation form can unlock powerful data to track fundraising trends, make informed decisions, and strategize future fundraising efforts. Moreover, donation forms can reveal valuable insights into how supporters give to your organization and how best to communicate with them in the future.

With this in mind, in this guide, we’ll answer the following frequently asked donation form-related questions:

Before diving into building a data-driven donation form to boost giving to your organization, let’s first review its core components.

What is a nonprofit donation form? 

A donation form is a key tool used by nonprofits to collect information and process contributions. Donation forms can exist both as physical forms that supporters can fill out by hand and as digital forms that supporters can fill out on your online donation page.

 

At its core, your donation form should include fields for basic contact information, gift amount, and payment details. However, many donation forms include additional fields that help nonprofits better understand, thank, and retain their donors. Below, we’ve cataloged the most essential fields to consider including in your donation forms.

What should be included in a donation form? 

  • Contact information. Ask for donors’ names, emails, phone numbers, and physical addresses to follow up with thank-yous and personalized appeals in the future.
  • Donation amount. This is a necessary field to complete a donation, but it’s also important to understanding giving trends and knowing how close you are to reaching your fundraising goal.
  • Payment information. In order for a donation to be processed, you’ll need to collect information about how a donor plans to pay. 
  • Matching gift search. Including a matching gift tool on your donation form allows donors to determine if their employer has a corporate giving program that will amplify the impact of their donation.
  • Campaign-specific survey questions. Depending on the fundraising campaign, you might ask additional questions about how donors learned about your nonprofit and why they’re donating. To make your form as streamlined as possible, consider making these questions optional.
  • Thank-you landing page. Once donors submit their donation, automatically direct them to a thank-you page that suggests other ways for them to get involved in your cause.

Using these fields to collect donor information not only helps build out your donor database but also provides vital data and insights that can improve supporter engagements and further develop relationships. 

What data should you collect from a donation form? 

Each field in your form can translate into impactful giving data. As a result, you can learn more about your donors:

    • Personal information. When someone makes their first donation, the most basic information you’ll receive is their name and contact information. As a result, your nonprofit can use this data to address donors by their preferred name and title in your future solicitations to improve your chances of receiving a response.
    • Engagement history. Assess the frequency of a donor’s contributions and their average gift amount alongside other ways (volunteering, attending events, serving on your board) that they’re involved in your organization. With this information, you can predict the timing and amount of future donations you will receive from a given group of donors. 
  • Demographic information. Information about your donors’ educational background, age, location, hobbies, interests, and reasons for giving all serve to help you better understand and connect with supporters.
    • Employment info and matching gift eligibility. An individual’s business affiliations can give you an idea of their net worth and potential connections. Plus, if they work for a company with a matching gift program, you can reach out to begin the gift match process.
    • Payment preferences. People can make donations with cash, credit, debit, online payment systems, and checks. Tracking how donors give will help you tailor your future asks and the payment options you give your donors.
  • Communication preferences. Similar to payment preferences, knowing how your donors want to receive communications from your organization allows you to target your giving requests more effectively.

Even if you’re not able to collect all of this information in your donation form, that doesn’t mean those data points are lost forever. With just a core set of basic donor data collected in your form, a third-party provider can append additional data to enhance the information in your database.

How do nonprofits collect donation form data? 

While you can certainly collect donation data with hard-copy donation forms—and some donors will prefer that!—integrated online forms and fundraising tools make it vastly more manageable for you to organize, update, and analyze your fundraising data. As a result, your team can spend less time trying to catalog data and more time responding to trends and implementing your insights.

For the most effective data-driven donation forms, your nonprofit should plan to invest in:

  • A payment processor that helps you securely collect billing information, prevent fraud, export data, and avoid hidden fees.
  • A constituent relationship management (CRM) system to ensure your donor data is centralized and accessible for both future outreach and strategic planning.
  • An online fundraising platform, such as one of these solutions recommended by Re:Charity, to easily and automatically track donor data as supporters fill out your online donation form to make their gift.

When choosing solutions to create and process your donation forms, look for those that can be integrated into your existing systems. Always customize your tools and donation forms to fit the unique needs of your organization, collect the most impactful data, and streamline the giving process. 

Once you begin collecting donation form data, you can take the next steps to use this data to optimize your form and your requests for donations. iATS’s guide to accepting donations online recommends: 

  • Removing excessive and redundant fields that can slow down the donation process and lead to form abandonment.
  • Branding your form to align with your organization’s logo, colors, images, tone, and fonts.
  • Adding suggested giving amounts and recurring gift options to encourage donors to increase support for your organization.
  • Optimizing your form to automatically adapt to be accessible across different screen sizes.
  • Automating receipts and thank-you letters to send to donors immediately after the gift is processed.

As you collect more data, continue to refine your donation form to drive more conversions and maximize gifts. Good luck!


About the Author:

This is a guest post from Peggah Azarvash at iATS Payments. Peggah is a passionate iATS Payments’ Sales Executive with 10 years of experience, providing payment solution support and guidance to nonprofits.

Understand Your Data | Charitable Giving Statistics for 2022

Understand Your Data | Charitable Giving Statistics for 2022

Throughout the year, your organization collects data related to your donors, marketing campaigns, volunteers, and more. This information can help you decide how your organization should operate in the future. However, only examining your nonprofit’s own data is like attempting to solve a puzzle by only looking at the edges of a single piece. 

Instead, you have to benchmark and compare your performance to get the bigger picture of where your strategies are working and where they could go further.

Charitable giving statistics help organizations, from nonprofits and higher education institutions to health care organizations and associations, gain a better understanding of larger industry trends. These statistics can help organizations put their own data into a greater context, providing a benchmark for their overall performance and giving insights into how they may want to proceed moving forward. 

This report will explore a range of recent charitable giving statistics for four types of mission-driven organizations:

  1. Nonprofits
  2. Associations
  3. Higher Education
  4. Healthcare

Each section will provide a key takeaway to offer additional context for each set of statistics. Use this information to determine what the data means and how it relates to your organization. Let’s get started. 

Interested in expanding your nonprofit's data? Learn how NPOInfo's data append services can help. Learn more.

Explore these ten charitable giving statistics for nonprofits.

Nonprofit Charitable Giving Statistics 

In 2022, many nonprofits are still recovering from the setbacks of COVID-19 in 2020. Charitable giving statistics can give us a glimpse into how well nonprofits have responded to these challenges as well as how they intend to move forward. 

Learn more about nonprofit charitable giving statistics.

  1. December is still an important month for giving, but not as much as in previous years. Reports indicate that nonprofits receive 17-22% of their total annual fundraising in December, and giving levels depend heavily on organization type. Arts, animal rights groups, and higher education institutions have a steady flow of donations throughout December, while health, human service, and international organizations receive most of their donations on Giving Tuesday and December 31st
  2. 61% of donors claim that they choose which nonprofits to give to based on how well the organization uses their money. 
  3. Donors care about stories. 42% claimed that personal stories from a nonprofit’s beneficiaries influenced their decision to give. 
  4. Nonprofits should educate donors about different ways to give. For example, studies conducted on planned giving found that over 40% of the donors surveyed learned about planned giving from a nonprofit organization. Studies also emphasize the importance of having conversations about planned giving early, when donors are in their 50s and 60s, rather than waiting until later in life to build long-term relationships prior to the bequeathment. 
  5. The golden rule of donating continues to hold strong: only 20% of donors give after their first gift, but donors are 60% more likely to become recurring donors after their second gift. 
  6. Despite the challenges of 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the total giving rate is predicted to continue rising in 2022, increasing by 5.7%.
  7. For affluent donors, a nonprofit’s mission and their history with an organization almost equally influence their decisions to donate. According to recent surveys, 44% of affluent donors stated the issues a nonprofit addressed were the most important factor in their decision, while 44.5% claimed it was due to the organization. 
  8. Donors often don’t give simply because they’re not asked. A survey of wealthy donors found that about 20% of participants did not give due to not being asked, while 22% didn’t give due to not having a connection with a charitable organization. 
  9. Donors who give to one organization are likely to give to several others, as studies have found that 43.3% of wealthy donors give to five or more nonprofits. 
  10. Ultimately, different nonprofits have had different experiences with the pandemic. While 45% of nonprofit leaders reported decreases in fundraising revenue, 31% reported increases in donations.  

Takeaway

While COVID-19 has impacted charitable giving for nonprofits, many well known beliefs about nonprofit fundraising, such as the golden rule and the importance of year-end fundraising, continue to remain true. Overall, statistics show that nonprofits can benefit most from creating connections with supporters to encourage increased and more frequent donations. 

Explore these 10 association charitable giving statistics.

Association Charitable Giving Statistics

Economic instability can result in multiple changes for associations. During these times, some individuals will flock to associations to improve their skills and connections in hopes of re-entering the job market with better prospects. By contrast, others will lack the funds to continue renewing their annual memberships, resulting in a decrease in overall association revenue. 

Learn more about associations with these charitable giving statistics.

  1. Due to COVID-19, 50% of associations have reported having trouble reaching their fundraising targets.
  2. Membership fees are an important source of revenue for associations, making up approximately 46% of their total revenue. Plus, another 29% of revenue comes from fundraising events. 
  3. Only 1 in 3 associations feel their association software helps them achieve their fundraising goals. 
  4. However, despite this focus on decreased revenue, less than 50% percent of associations track their eCommerce transactions. 
  5. Associations are seeing new highs in membership decreases with 47% of survey organizations reporting a decrease in members. Overall, smaller associations with limited budgets tend to experience decreases in membership more often than their larger counterparts. 
  6. Despite these challenges, the average renewal rate for new members has remained relatively stable at 72%.
  7. While some may assume that young professionals looking to improve their skills would make up the bulk of association members, reports show that Baby Boomers actually participate the most in associations, making up 34% of association members. By contrast, Millennials make up 21% and Generation Z makes up just 8%. 
  8. In terms of attracting support, word-of-mouth continues to be the most successful method with 57% of associations reporting it as one of their top three methods for attracting new members. This is followed by email (50%) and sponsored events (40%). 
  9. Half of associations believe their members stop renewing their membership due to lack of engagement with their association. And 38% of associations believe that they have trouble communicating their beliefs and values to members. 
  10. With these challenges, 62% of associations have considered adopting or have already adopted new membership models. Among new types of models, tiered is the most popular with 43% of associations changing their structure adopting it. 

Takeaway

Associations are aware of the challenges their industry faces and are actively considering how to improve their marketing, organization structure, and offerings. However, the negative trends in these statistics seem to primarily impact smaller associations, while larger organizations have the resources to continually reach new audiences despite current challenges. 

Explore these 10 higher education charitable giving statistics

Higher Education Charitable Giving Statistics 

Higher education as a whole has had to overcome the challenge of transitioning to remote and hybrid education. For many institutions, this change has resulted in reduced funding from previously reliable revenue sources, such as accommodation fees for student room and board. 

Subsequently, many institutions have become increasingly invested in relevant charitable giving statistics as they strive to stay connected with donors to continue supporting their programs while managing the long-term impacts of COVID-19. 

Check out these top charitable giving statistics for higher education institutions.

  1. Adjusted for inflation, education organizations saw an increase in total giving of 7.7% to reach an estimated total of $71.34 billion. 
  2. Approximately 3 out of 4 affluent donors gave unrestricted gifts to higher education institutions in response to COVID-19. 
  3. Online giving has become more important for higher education organizations, as reports show a 10.4% year-over-year increase in online giving. 
  4. Higher education institutions continue to rely on a diverse set of fundraising revenue streams, with approximately 9.85% coming from individual donors, 7.74% from government grants, and 3.41% from fundraising events.
  5. Higher education organizations receive the highest average individual donation of any nonprofit sector at $1,671. 
  6. Alumni are a major giving audience for higher education institutions, contributing approximately 26% of all higher education gifts. 
  7. More than 1 in 5 donors claim that supporting education-related causes is important to them.
  8. 33.4% of women claim education is one of the causes that matters most to them, compared to 25.4% of men. 
  9. Higher education has faced obstacles with online learning, and nearly 75% of university students report being unsatisfied with remote learning, which university leaders fear could lead to a generation of unengaged alumni and lower donations. 
  10. Funding sources typically categorized as “others,” specifically donor-advised funds, have significantly increased their contributions to higher education institutions as compared to other types of donors, contributing approximately 11% of total gifts. 

Takeaway

The statistics show an overall leveling off of funds with support primarily coming from alumni and family foundations with connections to specific universities. Professionals in higher education advise other leaders to be vigilant of long-term statistical trends, particularly warning universities that lack major endowments and high-level brand recognition about the potential loss of future major donors due to a lack of engagement caused by remote learning. 

Explore these 10 healthcare charitable giving statistics.

Healthcare Charitable Giving Statistics

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a resurgence of interest in supporting health-related organizations. But has this interest translated to donations? The answer has also only become more complicated as the pandemic has stretched over multiple years, as these giving statistics show. 

Explore these healthcare charitable giving statistics

  1. Most individuals prefer to give to local healthcare and basic needs organizations, as 90% of wealthy donors gave to community organizations in response to the pandemic, while only 35.4% gave to national organizations. 
  2. Contrary to assumptions, healthcare organizations as a whole actually saw a 3% decline in giving due to the pandemic. However, 42% of health service organizations saw an increase in donations. This is likely due to reduced participation in fundraising efforts for disease-specific organizations with objectives other than fighting COVID-19.
  3. In response to the pandemic, 49% of wealthy donors who gave to healthcare organizations did so to help hospitals and healthcare organizations obtain needed supplies.
  4. Wealthy donors also primarily gave unrestricted donations (74.8%).
  5. Health-related causes are the third most popular cause affluent donors give to with nearly a third of donors contributing to these organizations. This puts health-related causes behind only basic needs causes (57.1%) and religious organizations (46.9%). 
  6. Donations from individuals are an important revenue stream for health-related organizations, making up 22% of their total funding. 
  7. Healthcare-related organizations received the largest percentage of corporate gifts of any industry type at 35.3%. 
  8. Healthcare organizations have seen a reduction in donors but an increase in gift sizes for years now, with 75% seeing fewer total donations but 46% earning more in dollars raised. 
  9. Healthcare organizations tend to have lower than average donor retention rates when compared to other nonprofit sectors. However, the retention rate has been increasing in recent years. While there is only a 25% retention rate for first-time donors, this rises to a 66% retention rate for online multi-year donors. 
  10. In-kind donations are also on the rise for health-related organizations, increasing by 61% with an estimated $170 million in value. 

Takeaway 

While there is a global interest in helping healthcare organizations, these charitable giving statistics show that individuals are primarily interested in supporting local organizations they have a relationship with first. This means health-related causes can most benefit from continuing to steward their donors to improve retention rates and gift sizes. 

Resources

Wrapping Up 

Charitable giving statistics help paint a wider picture of the overall giving landscape. Leaders at a variety of organizations can use them to put their own data into context, helping them make informed decisions about their future fundraising plans. Of course, this data is only useful if you understand how it relates to your organization’s specific situation. 

Collecting, storing, and maintaining data are all continuous tasks that can take up a considerable amount of a nonprofit’s time. You can ensure your organization is maximizing its efficiency and putting its data to the best use possible with the right strategies. Here are a few resources to help your organization learn more about managing your data:

Improve your fundraising strategy by enhancing your data today.