6 tips to get your donation form in front of donors during COVID-19

Everyone needs a helping hand sometimes.

And for millions of people across the globe, the COVID-19 pandemic has been one of those times.

Over the past few months, businesses have shuttered and billions of people have stayed at home to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

As the demand for critical support services rose along with infection rates, nonprofits and other organizations around the world stepped up to help. Everyday heroes, meanwhile, mobilized their time, money, and resources to not only lift up their communities but also bring neighbors closer together in the era of social distancing.

Although the pandemic will likely go down in history as a time of tumult, it should also be remembered as a time when nonprofits, NGOs, and grassroots organizations served as a critical lifeline for millions of people. 

JotForm can help your organization keep up the great work by making it easy for you to build a customizable online donation form and integrate it into your existing workflow.

You can leverage JotForm’s data-collection capabilities to create fundraising opportunities that reach community members, supporters, volunteers, existing donors, and even more people who want to help.

JotForm’s integrations with more than 30 payment processors, including PayPal, Square, Stripe, and Authorize.Net, can collect payments directly through your form so donors aren’t redirected elsewhere to make a payment.

You can also do more with the information you collect by connecting your donation form to JotForm integrations with a number of other software tools, including communication, video conferencing, and email marketing automation platforms. This seamless transfer of information eliminates the need to manually enter submitted form information into other software tools that you’re already using.

But getting your donation form in front of the right people can be difficult, especially if existing or prospective donors access information and spend their free time online in different ways.   

Direct mail and email marketing tactics alone may not always convince community members, existing donors, or prospective ones to give.

We’ll offer a few tips that will give your donation form a little more exposure and hopefully encourage people to show you some love. 

Did you know?

JotForm offers a 50-percent discount on all paid plans for qualified nonprofit organizations. JotForm has also rolled out a Coronavirus Responder Program, which waives monthly fees for paid plans, lifts all restrictions that are typically tied to them, and includes HIPAA compliance. This special plan is open to individuals, nonprofits, businesses, and government agencies that are actively helping their communities during the COVID-19 crisis.

Creating an effective online donation form that actually motivates people to open their wallets can be a task in and of itself, but trying to convert it into a variety of shareable formats is quite an undertaking.

Once you create a professional-looking donation form and connect it to a payment processor that meets your needs, JotForm offers a number of ways to seamlessly share your form with volunteers, community members, supporters, and donors. 

1. Share a link to your donation form in a variety of communication channels

Form-sharing options are all conveniently located under the Publish tab toward the top of JotForm’s Form Builder.

Sharing a direct link is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to get your form in front of customers, clients, and donors. This option gives you the flexibility to share a direct link to your donation form in a social media post or email blast, just to name a few.

JotForm also provides the unique embed code needed to seamlessly integrate an online donation form with your website.  

JotForm’s Form Builder also lets you send a customized email that includes a dedicated link to your online donation form. You can control what the email looks like and craft a special message that’s tailored to a group of existing or potential donors.

You can even schedule a series of reminder emails to reinforce your call to action. 

2. Include a link to a donation form in an autoresponder for another form

When it comes to securing loyal volunteers, donors, and supporters for your organization, the proof is in the pudding.

People are often more willing to make a monetary donation once they see how your organization works, who your clients are, how you use your existing resources, and what your needs look like.

Those who volunteer for an event, participate in outreach efforts, or avail themselves of your services can see firsthand how your organization carries out its mission. 

It makes sense, then, to subtly ask for donations when people are filling out survey forms, volunteer forms, event registration forms, or signup forms. You can do this tastefully through JotForm by inserting a dedicated link to your donation form in an autoresponder for another form. 

Autoresponders, located under the Settings tab in the Form Builder, send people an automated email response once they fill out and submit your form. 

Since you can customize the automated email, JotForm enables you to thank people for their support, reiterate your organization’s mission, highlight your accomplishments, and underscore your future ambitions before asking for help. 

You can even personalize your automated email by including the recipient’s responses to specific form fields, links to your organization’s resources, and images. 

JotForm also lets you manage key details in your automated email, including who should respond to inquiries and how they can contact your organization. More important, you can set up the autoresponder to automatically send your message to the email address provided by form respondents.

After you’ve created a professional-looking autoresponder, you can send a test email to the email address associated with your JotForm account. This way, you can ensure your message is on point, free of errors, and formatted correctly. 

3. Include a link to a donation form in a thank-you page for another form

Expressing gratitude at every opportunity shows volunteers, stakeholders, staff members, supporters, and donors how much your organization values their efforts.

This enables them to feel good about what they’re doing and reaffirm their commitment to your organization’s mission. 

JotForm can help you show your appreciation. In the Form Builder, you can create a customizable thank-you page that automatically appears when someone fills out and submits a form.   

Since these people are familiar with your organization, you can also use this opportunity to subtly ask for donations and insert a link to your donation form. All you have to do is click on the Settings tab in the Form Builder and change the default text on your thank-you page.  

4. Add a link to a donation form in a YouTube video

Getting an online video to go viral isn’t easy, even for veteran marketers and well-known YouTube influencers who’ve amassed millions of views.

Still, YouTube is a great way to get your message in front of a broad audience that may not even be aware of the good work you do. YouTube also serves as an effective way to archive helpful content, repurpose it, and generate overall awareness of your organization long after something is posted on the video-sharing platform. 

Including a link to your online donation form in the description of any uploaded YouTube video, such as webinars or case studies, lets volunteers, supporters, and community members know that their contributions are being put to good use. 

If people want to learn more about your organization or happen to stumble across your YouTube channel, the videos and descriptions you provide can help them answer important questions. They may, for instance, want to get a better sense of what you do, why you’re doing it, who you’re trying to help, and what they can do to be part of the solution. 

5. Redirect people to a donation form after a Zoom webinar

People may be more willing to get behind your cause — and provide some form of support — when you can provide a resource that’s in line with their values, close to their heart, and something they can use. 

Webinars provide an opportunity to reach people who could benefit from what you offer, establish experts within your organization as trustworthy thought leaders, and get your message in front of potential donors. 

If you’re hosting a webinar, there’s nothing wrong with contacting attendees after the virtual event is over. But typing out individual emails can take time away from more meaningful work.

Zoom offers a time-saving alternative by automatically sending customized follow-up emails to webinar attendees after the online event.

This useful option provides the perfect opportunity for you to thank people for their time, gather feedback, and highlight your organization’s mission before asking them for their financial support.

Before the webinar begins, simply click on the Webinars option in the Personal section of your Zoom web portal and select the scheduled webinar that you want to edit under the Upcoming Webinars tab.

Scroll past the webinar details to the bottom of the page and click on the Email Settings tab. 

In the list of email settings, click the Edit option beside the No follow-up email to Attendees status. 

Use the popup menu that appears to change the subject line and add text to the email.

6. Include links to a donation form in a newsletter

No news is not always good news, especially since people who donate their time, resources, and money typically want to know whether their efforts or investments are paying off. Community members, volunteers, donors, and supporters may also like to hear about what your organization plans or wants to do over time. 

A regularly scheduled newsletter is a great way to ensure that everyone is in the know. 

It’s also an opportune moment to highlight challenges, acknowledge gaps in services, make a plea for more donations, and spotlight the good work that your staff and volunteers are doing each day. 

Placing a link to an online donation form in your newsletter ensures that people with a stake in your organization can take action immediately and share it with other people who can help. 

What’s more, JotForm’s integrations with email marketing platforms make it easy for you to build your email list by turning submitted form information into new contacts in Mailchimp, Constant Contact, ActiveCampaign, AWeber, Campaign Monitor, and more. 

These integrations automatically capture certain information from submitted forms, such as names and email addresses, and use the data to create new contacts in the corresponding email marketing platform.   

Check it out…

Want to make the most of your fundraising campaigns or find more creative ways to reach potential donors? Check out our comprehensive guide that covers everything you need to know about maximizing donations for nonprofits.

Conclusion

There’s no doubt that we’re living in unprecedented times, but there are some signs that life is slowly returning to a new sense of normal.

After a two-month long hiatus, businesses around the world are just starting to reopen with strict guidelines in place to limit crowds. Some workers donning masks, gloves, and/or face shields are slowly returning to their jobs. 

Many businesses, however, remain closed and even more have been forced to curtail operations or cut staff to survive. 

That means your organization and the people it serves will likely need some extra help in the months to come. 

As a robust online data-collection tool, JotForm can help you bring in the extra support and help you need without having to break a sweat or the bank. 

Try out one of the tips that we’ve outlined today, and see how we’re working around the clock to help organizations just like yours stay up and running.

This article is originally published on Jun 08, 2020 , and updated on Jul 22, 2020
Darin is a content writer at JotForm. He is passionate about disrupting perceptions, solving problems, and helping people be more productive with the easiest online form builder. Outside of the office, he is a rush-hour straphanger, adventure seeker, coffee drinker, and frequent traveler. You can contact Darin through his contact form.

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