Donation Designations – Giving Donors The Freedom to Choose

Empowering your donors to choose their donation designation can result in more gifts for your organization – and it can seriously streamline your workflow. It's easy to add donation designations in a dropdown on your Donorbox form. Read on to learn how!

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Donation Designations – Giving Donors The Freedom to Choose

It’s true – one of the top reasons donors choose to support a nonprofit organization is knowing the difference their gift will make in the lives of others.

What if there was a way for donors to choose the specific impact of their gift?

Good news – there is! Designated gifts make it possible for donors to not only select the nonprofit they would like to support but which element of that nonprofit they’d most like to make an impact on.

Offering donation designations is an easy way to allow donors to specify the mark they’d like to leave on your organization.

What are Donation Designations?

Donation designations enable your donors to tell you how they want their gifts to be used by your organization.

Designated gifts are typically directed to one area of the organization, like a specific service, emergency response situation, or capital campaign. When donors designate a gift, nonprofits must use it for the program or fundraiser selected by the donor.

For example, a humanitarian organization may offer three programs that donors may designate their gifts for – their homeless shelter, their food pantry, and their rehab services. And a zoo may encourage donors to give to specific animals and exhibits.

See how Nova Ukraine is using a customized donation form created on Donorbox to help donors direct their donations to one of the four areas of impact.

donation designations - Donorbox

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Why Should Nonprofits Offer Designated Donation Options?

While offering designated donation options may feel like you are placing limitations on gifts, it can be very beneficial to do so.

For one, enabling donors to choose the program or fundraiser empowers them to feel even more invested in their impact. And, when a donor feels invested, they are more likely to donate again.

It’s also easier to show specific impact for a donor’s designated gift, as well as to segment donors for future appeals based on their giving history. For example, if a supporter donates to your summer camp program, you know to send them stories and photos from the camp as a thank you. And you can target them with appeals for the continued support of that program.

In addition, personal connections drive donations. And donors are more likely to connect with a specific service, such as a program that helped a loved one. A grandparent of a child who received medical care may give to help another in the same situation. And a volunteer who cared for adoptable dogs may donate to provide shelter for those animals.

UWC Adriatic promotes multiple scholarship fundraising campaigns within one donation form. Details about each option are there on the giving page. Along with the donation designations option, they have also added suggested donation amounts to help donors make informed decisions.

donation designations - Donorbox

Create a Customized Donation Form

Pro tip: It’s always best to offer a ‘Where the need is greatest’ option so that donors can still opt to give unrestricted funds to your organization.

How Do Donation Designations Work on Donorbox?

It’s easy to implement designated gift options with Donorbox’s innovative fundraising form! Simply follow the steps below to add them to your form and find designations on the dashboard.

Adding Donation Designations to the Donorbox Form

1. Sign up for a Donorbox account

If you haven’t already, you’ll first need to sign up for a free Donorbox account here.

Donorbox doesn’t charge any set-up or monthly fees. You just pay a low platform fee (which starts at 1.75% for the Standard plan and is even lower at a flat 1.5% when you upgrade to higher plans) and payment processing fees per transaction.

Already registered with Donorbox? Click here to log in to your dashboard!

2. Create a fundraising campaign

Click “Campaigns” as shown below.

Donorbox donation designations

Next, click the “+New Campaign” button to start creating your fundraising campaign.

Donorbox donation designations

We have a guide to help you get started in 4 simple steps with Donorbox. Follow the instructions in the article to create a donation form, connect your payment processor, and start using the campaign.

We have another article here to help you edit your fundraising page on Donorbox once you’ve created the campaign.

3. Turn on & edit donation designations

After you’ve created a campaign, select the “Edit” icon for that specific campaign to enter the campaign editor.

Donorbox donation designations

From here, you’ll select “Donation Designation/Reason”.

Donorbox donation designations

In the left-hand toolbar, find “Ask for donation designation (dropdown)” and toggle it on.

Donorbox donation designations

When the options appear, you’ll need to add a “Designation label” – this will show as the title of this section on your form. Now, add your “Designation values”. Adding at least one is mandatory.

designated donation options

4. Save & share your new form

Once you’re happy with your choices, hit “Update” and your form will automatically populate with your new donation designation field and options.

Be sure to share your new options with your donors through email, social media, and on your blog!

Finding the Designated Gift on a Donation Record on Donorbox

To find a designated gift on a donation record, first, go to the “Donations” tab in the left-hand navigation of your Donorbox dashboard. Here, you’ll be able to see all donations.

If a donation designation has been made for a gift, you will find it in the “Campaign & Designation” column. The campaign is listed first in blue, and the designation (if there is one) is listed second in black.

designated donation options

Final Thoughts

Providing your donors with the option to make designated gifts can lead to increased donations for your nonprofit. With donation designations, donors feel they have a more direct impact in an area of your organization to which they feel connected.

It also provides you with a detailed giving history that enables you to better target thank yous as well as future appeals.

Plus, it’s easy to add donation designations to your giving form with Donorbox. Simply sign up for a free Donorbox account and follow the steps above to start accepting designated gifts today!

Donorbox is an all-in-one fundraising solution for nonprofits, offering donor management, event-ticketing as well as membership campaign options in addition to fundraising features. Our features are simple to use and affordable, and you can start fundraising in just about 15 minutes! Join 80,000+ other organizations across 96 countries on this journey of growth and success.

For those willing to take their fundraising and donor management efforts to the next level, we have a success package called Donorbox Premium. Get access to the knowledge and expertise of industry experts (coaches and technical team) as well as a dynamic set of high-powered tools. Pricing is personalized for each nonprofit!

Read insightful blogs and guides on the Donorbox Nonprofit Blog. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive a hand-picked collection of our best resources in your inbox every month.

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Kara has several years of experience in communications and marketing for nonprofit organizations, with knowledge in social media, email, public relations, event promotion, appeal writing, and more. She specializes in writing and enjoys sharing her expertise and advice with others.

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