Create a Donation Request Form that Works (+ Free Templates)
Adding a donation request form to your donation appeal letter or email will significantly increase your chances of receiving a donation as it makes it easy for donors to take action right away. Read this guide to get started now!
Nonprofits have many choices when sending donation appeals. Popular fundraising requests can come by mail, email, social media, and in person. Regardless of the type of appeal you send, donors react best when organizations make it easy to give.
A donation request form is the best way to simplify giving for individuals and companies. In this article, we’ll explain what a donation request form is, when nonprofits need them, and provide two templates to give you a head start.
A donation request form is a written or online document attached to your nonprofit’s donation appeal that simplifies giving for donors. Donation request forms collect donor and donation information and can provide supporters with details and additional reasons to give.
Because of this vital information, nonprofits should add a donation request form to all gift appeals.
Donation request forms can be very similar to pledge forms but these are only used with immediate donations. These forms should include cash, check, credit card, or bank account numbers so the nonprofit can process the donation successfully.
When Do Nonprofits Need Them?
Nonprofits can use donation request forms with any donation type, but the forms should differ with each.
1. General donations
General donations are important throughout the year. Many organizations run fundraising campaigns to raise money and send mail, email, and social media appeals to all donors.
Organizations that have done their due diligence and segmented donors in a database can create donation request forms that include donation descriptions and amounts that best fit the donor. A personalized donation request form can help nonprofits convince donors to give.
Donation request forms also make it easy for nonprofits to include different ways to give, including recurring donations and matching gifts.
2. Corporate donations
Soliciting corporations for donations can be more complicated than general donation requests. That is why a donation request form is necessary.
When requesting a donation from a company, you’re often speaking to more than one individual and will run across a few legal stipulations. Corporations often need your organization’s Employer Identification Number (EIN) and other financial details. Nonprofits can easily provide this information on a request form for all corporate donation requests.
Nonprofits should use customized donation request forms when soliciting corporations to benefit from more significant gifts. If your organization sends the same request form to all companies, you can miss out on substantial corporate gifts.
Most corporations have a budget for charity gifts and they can give thousands of dollars to organizations they support. If you’ve spent time forming relationships with specific corporations, you should have a better understanding of how much they can and will give.
3. Event sponsorships
One of the most popular corporate donation types is event sponsorship. Donation request forms for sponsorships are significantly different from other forms.
Event sponsorship request forms include various sponsorship-level titles, amounts, and descriptions. Nonprofits should incorporate sponsorship benefits like tickets to an event and advertising in these request forms.
4. Peer-to-peer fundraising
A popular donation request form nonprofits have begun to use is for peer-to-peer fundraisers. Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns are an excellent way for nonprofits to reach a larger audience of new donors. However, fundraisers are often volunteers with little fundraising experience. Providing them with a donation request form can be helpful.
Nonprofits can create forms that volunteers can use to spread awareness and collect gifts from their community. Peer-to-peer donation forms can share donation descriptions that help to educate individuals about the organization’s programs and beneficiaries. They can also share the nonprofit’s mission and overall purpose with these new donors.
Since volunteers use donation request forms to solicit new donors, nonprofits must make these forms visually appealing and easy to understand.
Donorbox helps organizations create online peer-to-peer fundraising pages that make it easy to invite supporters. Invitees can easily create their own fundraising page on the tool to raise money. This removes the need for offline donation request forms and highly automates the process. Your fundraisers will just share the URL of their pages and the embedded form will let people give to your organization – it’s that simple!
Donation request forms can simplify the giving process for donors and nonprofits. Therefore, nonprofits must include a few things in their request forms to get the best response.
1. Include your mission statement
A nonprofit mission statement is a powerful marketing tool, but organizations often ignore it. One of the last things organizations think to include on their request form is a mission statement.
If written well, your nonprofit’s mission statement can quickly educate donors on why your organization exists and how donations can make a difference. Donors have a better chance of giving when they know where their gift goes.
2. Donation amounts
Donors that click on a donation request form are interested in giving, but that doesn’t mean they know how much. Adding donation amounts to your request form can encourage donors to give more than they expected.
Nonprofits can segment donors by past gift amounts and create customized donation forms with average and larger gift sizes to entice more significant donations. With Donorbox Donor Management, you can easily segment your donor records by applying filters like donation amounts, giving frequency, campaign preferences, and more.
3. Donation descriptions
Donation descriptions provide donors with examples of where their gift goes. This way, donors see more than a number. They can feel a connection with the organization’s beneficiaries and understand the real difference their gifts make.
For example, if you’ve included a donation amount of $50 in your request form, tell people how this amount will help your beneficiaries. Will it help them buy a day’s meal? Or will it give a kid essential stationery items for school?
4. Encourage recurring gifts
Many donors don’t consider giving monthly or quarterly gifts to a nonprofit. By adding a recurring gift option, nonprofits can turn one-time donors into long-term supporters and even encourage them to give more yearly.
After all, just because a donor doesn’t have $1,000 now doesn’t mean they can’t give that amount or more by the end of the year. If you’re using Donorbox recurring donation forms, you can easily add weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly intervals to your form. When you attach the link to this form to your online appeals, donors find reasons to become recurring donors. Watch this video for more information –
Would your donors like to double their donations? Matching gifts are another thing that donors don’t consider when giving to a charity, but many can give twice as much – thanks to their employer!
Adding a matching gift option to your nonprofit’s donation request form reminds donors about this option. They can check with their employer to see if they’d match the donation up to a certain percentage and help you get more from their donation.
An easier way to make this happen is to use an online donation form where you can directly add the matching gift widget. This widget enables donors to search for their employers to see if they’d match the donation. Donorbox partners with Double the Donation to make it easy for you. It becomes a completely stress-free process for your organization!
This example of an online donation form with the matching gift widget can be a great inspiration.
6. Donor-covered fees
Donors want nonprofits to use their gifts to help beneficiaries. Those that give online don’t want their donations decreased because of credit card fees. However, it may be a little difficult for you to include this option in your offline request form.
That’s why many companies like Donorbox let donors cover processing fees on their online donation forms. These fees are necessary, but by being transparent, nonprofits can encourage donors to give more and help cover all the organization’s financial needs.
Donors are no longer limited to cash or check donations. In fact, younger donors would love the convenience of digital wallets like Venmo, Apple Pay, etc. You can add these details to your donation request form. Alternatively, you can use an online fundraising solution that automatically includes digital wallets as well as credit/debit cards and bank transfer options.
Donorbox donation forms include all these options and help donors make a super-fast donation. This also ensures reduced donor drop-off rates.
8. Collect donor information
Donation request forms allow donors to fill in basic contact and demographic information. Nonprofits can require donors to fill in their address, phone, and email and include additional details like their employer name, the reason they gave, and connection to others in the organization.
Nonprofits can use this information to segment donors in their database and strengthen donor communication and relationships.
It is advisable to use an online system that automatically collects this data through an online donation form and stores donor and donation information in the database. For example, Donorbox – it will collect and store donor information and also help you integrate with leading CRMs for better utilization of that data.
9. Add your form to remittance envelopes
Most nonprofits send beautifully designed mailed appeals during their end-of-year campaigns. They can add a donation request form as a separate sheet with these appeals or, better yet, add it to the side of their donation remittance envelope.
Nonprofits make giving easier with this addition and see an increase in gift numbers and amounts.
2 Downloadable Donation Request Form Templates
Here are 2 different donation request form templates that you can use to design your offline donation request forms to be attached to appeal letters. These can also be excellent references for designing your online donation forms.
Donation request forms make giving more manageable and can encourage donors to give more. Nonprofits can add these forms to mail, email, and social media appeals and customize them for corporations, event sponsors, peer-to-peer fundraisers, and all donor types.
With online giving replacing offline methods, offline donation request forms can seem outdated. Instead, online donation forms will be more effective in enticing donors to make donations quickly and easily.
And Donorbox can effectively help with that – our forms are customizable and easy to set up! You can sign up for free and leverage all our simple features at affordable pricing. Learn more on the website. For expert coaching, technical help, and priority support at personalized pricing, explore Donorbox Premium.
We have hundreds of helpful articles to make fundraising and donor management easy for you. Check out the Donorbox Nonprofit Blog. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the best resources in your inbox every month.
Kristine Ensor is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience working with local and international nonprofits. As a nonprofit professional she has specialized in fundraising, marketing, event planning, volunteer management, and board development.