This is a known fact of fundraising: When a donor wants to make a donation, we want to make it easy for them. No roadblocks, no extra steps, no confusion—just a straightforward, smooth-as-silk donation experience. And a stellar donation form template can help get you there.
Your donation form is a key part of your fundraising strategy. Too complicated and a well-intentioned donor might flee; too simple and you might miss out on a much-needed matching gift. But that’s why we’re here: to show you exactly what your donation form needs to include in a variety of situations. So, let’s kick back, look at some templates, and create an exceptional donation experience.
Charitable donation form template
Your donation form is the gateway to your giving experience. It’s your first impression, your welcome mat, your maître d'—so you want it to be clean, clear, and welcoming. And while every nonprofit organization is unique, there are a number of items that most donation forms should include. If you’re just getting started, check out the sample charitable donation form template below. And remember, this is just a jumping-off point: Funraise lets you customize your form to fit your brand and reflect your individual preferences.
Charity donation form sample
When to use the charitable donation form template
If you’re at the beginning of your epic donation form journey, DIGDEEP’s charitable contribution form template is an ideal starting point. It’s a robust-yet-standard template that works for individuals or companies and includes options that allow your donors to personalize the donation experience to fit their needs. Make it a monthly donation? Sure thing. Make that gift in honor or Sir Fluffington the pygmy goat? One click and it's done.
What’s included in a charitable donation request form
A great charitable donation form should include many of the elements below. Of course, you should always customize it to fit your unique organizational needs. Speaking of fitting... this is a long list! Thank goodness Funraise's donation forms aren't one biglonghuge mess of scrolling—the fields are on successive screens that make completion manageable.
- (Very brief) mission statement. Lead with one or two sentences (max) that highlight the importance and impact of this gift. Anyone viewing your donation form already wants to give, so don’t overdo it—just a succinct, powerful reminder of why their donation matters. This is why we have copywriters!
- Appropriate visuals. Solidify that emotional connection by including a (real-life) photo with your donation form.
- Gift amount: blank field and preset amounts. Maybe your donors want to fill in a specific donation amount—after all, Susan’s lucky number is 269.32! So give them the option with a blank gift field. But you should also include suggested donation amounts. These provide donors with a better idea of an “appropriate” amount to give and also speed things along if they’re dragging their feet, debating how much to donate. Be sure to include one amount that’s doable for everyone as well as one that’s more aspirational. We like 3-5 gift options for most donation forms, and you get bonus points if you relate the amounts to the services your organization provides: “$45 = 1 hour of therapy.”
- Recurring gift option. In the fast-changing world of nonprofits, the reliability of recurring donations is priceless. (For us, $25 a month is priceless. We love a steady source of revenue; what can we say?) Make it easy for donors to make their gift a monthly one.
- Donor information. You want all those juicy donor details so that you can thank them for their gift and keep them updated and invested in your cause going forward. Email address, phone number, and physical address, please and thank you.
- Payment method. You can’t accept donations if you don’t know your donors' payment information! Make it easy to select a preferred payment method, be it credit card, PayPal, cryptocurrency, or eCheck. It’s also a best practice to include security information, assuring your supporters that their gift won’t come with a side of identity theft.
- Donor-covered fees option. These days, most donors know that nonprofits have operating costs, including transaction and credit card fees. When you ask your donors to cover these fees so that your organization receives the full intended donation, only a handful of donors decline. (And with Funraise, it’s ok if the donor doesn’t pitch in—we won’t charge you our platform fee in those cases.)
- Clearly-marked required fields. Don’t you hate it when you have to go back again and again, inputting the same information, because you missed a required field? Don’t risk frustrating your donors. Make sure all required fields are clearly marked!
- Matching gift search. Through integrations like Double the Donation, you can make it easy for donors to look up their employer and see whether their company offers a matching gift program.
- Dedicated gift option. Include the option to make a gift in honor or in memory of someone.
- Volunteer option. Some donation forms include a link to volunteer information or an application form. This can be especially helpful in converting one-time donors to life-time supporters. Remember: time is money, so volunteers are just as important as donors!
- Mobile-friendly design. More and more folks are doing their giving from their mobile devices. Make sure your donation form works on phones, tablets, and everything in between. (Funraise’s donation forms are automatically optimized for mobile, just FYI.)
- Thank you message. When a donor makes a gift, you need to say thank you. Automate the process so that a brief message of gratitude pops up immediately post-donation, signaling that the donation went through and you’re grateful for their support. The donor should also receive a donation receipt via email afterward.
Basic nonprofit donation form template
The best donation forms are simple and powerful, accessible and welcoming, providing an easy giving experience that can also be customized to suit the individual donor. But for those of you who don’t have the space—or the need—for anything but the most basic of basics, a bare-bones nonprofit donation form template might do the job. Check out the pared-down online donation form template below.
Nonprofit donations form sample
When to use a donation form template for a nonprofit
As you can see with Back on My Feet’s donation form example above, a basic donation form is great when you’re short on space or don’t need a lot of extra information. Maybe you’re doing an emergency gift campaign, and there’s no time to waste. Maybe you want your pop-up donation form to be extra-super streamlined. Or maybe you’re running a social media campaign and want to get as many donations as possible as quickly as possible. All of these are perfect occasions to use a basic donation form template for nonprofits.
What’s included in a nonprofit donation form template
For a basic donation form, you don’t want bells and whistles. You need only the following:
- Branded form. For a basic form, without any additional messaging or imagery, it’s important to brand the experience. Use your fonts and colors so that your supporters still know this is you. Pop in a logo to seal the deal.
- Gift amount. You can provide three set options for donation amounts and an “other” field to save space.
- Recurring gift option. Add a “monthly” check box to increase your donations substantially with a single click.
- Personal information. You always need that basic contact information, including name, email address, phone number, and physical address.
- Payment information. You still need to know how they intend to pay for that donation.
- Donor-covered fees option. Payment processors don’t charge less for a smaller form, so keep the option on even your most basic-est of donation forms.
- Thank you message. Always thank your donors immediately, even when you’re in a rush!
Pledge form template for nonprofit
Ah, the power of the pledge. As a quick reminder/clarifier, a donation is a set gift amount, given immediately. A pledge, however, is a commitment of future support for a specific cause or once a certain goal is met. Nonprofit organizations often rely on pledge donations for urgent fundraising campaigns and peer-to-peer fundraising—with the latter being our favorite.
Peer-to-peer fundraising expands your base and builds community, but your supporters will need a great pledge form if you want them to raise some real money for your cause. While a pledge form is similar to a regular online donation form, there are some key differences. You can see what we’re talking about with the pledge form template for nonprofits below.
Example pledge form template for nonprofit
When to use this pledge donation template
You’ll want to use a pledge form donation template for campaign-based peer-to-peer fundraisers. Donors fill them out with a promise to donate a flat amount post-event or a certain amount per mile walked. A pledge donation form can also be helpful for urgent, time-sensitive needs.
Real talk time: Since most pledge forms target donors who are supporting a specific person in their fundraising efforts, you don’t need as many options. Often, these donors aren't even here for you; like a P2P expert once said, “People donate to people.” That being said, you also want to use this opportunity to attract potential recurring donors to your cause.
- (Very compelling) mission statement. As we discussed, a lot of donors pledge support to a cause because they’re supporting the fundraiser themselves. So, make sure they understand what your organization is all about. You never know—it might be the start of a beautiful friendship.
- Fundraising goal. Emphasize your P2P fundraiser’s end goal to inspire pledge donors to give a little bit more! And one more thing: Funraise’s Fundraising Commitments tool automates the pledge process by letting fundraisers set nonnegotiable fundraising goals, so if they don’t meet their goal, they’ll be charged the remaining amount. Talk about fundraising inspiration!
- Gift amount. If it’s a walk-a-thon, read-a-thon, or other-a-thon, be sure to provide options to donate per mile, per page, or per baby wombat cuddle. (We’d totally participate in a wombat-cuddling-a-thon.) Also, provide a blank field for flat donations.
- Personal information.
- Payment information.
- Donor-covered fees option. It’s as simple as a checkbox, but it means that you’ll never pay platform fees, regardless whether the donor clicks or leaves it empty.
- Option to learn more. You don’t need recurring, honorary, or matching gift options, but if a donor is interested in learning more about the cause, don’t make it hard for them! Ensure they can sign up for your newsletter or occasional updates with a click.
- Thank you message. After all, you only have one chance to make a first impression.
Fundraiser pledge form template
Hopefully, your beloved fundraiser is already equipped with an excellent pledge form template. But now that you’ve ensured a seamless giving experience for those donors, what can you provide to help your selfless fundraisers keep track of all those pledges and be the best fundraisers they can be? That’s where a fundraiser pledge form template comes in.
Example fundraiser pledge form template
When to use the fundraising pledge form template
When you launch your next P2P fundraising event, you’ll want to offer this fundraising pledge form template to help your fundraisers keep track of their many pledges directly on their fundraising page.
Your fundraiser pledge form has one job: to make it easy for your hardworking fundraisers to track their many supporters. A donation pledge form template in Excel is a one way to keep this information organized, but in this modern day and age, they can keep all the information visible and accessible on their peer-to-peer fundraising page:
- Name and contact information. To follow up if needed. Plus, they might want to write thank-you notes post-event.
- Total amount pledged. Pretty important if a fundraiser is trying to meet their fundraising goals.
- Due date. When will the balance be collected? Anyone who’s ever had a budget is gonna be watching that calendar.
- Amount collected. Did the sponsor pay in advance or will the fundraiser need to follow up?
Mobile donation form template
As more and more people move from desktop to laptop to tablet to iPhone or Android to itty-bitty brain implant (it's coming; we can feel it), you can bet that more of your donations will be done from a mobile device. With less space, your mobile donation form will need to be extra clear and concise, so that donors can make their gift before they get distracted by another cat video.
Example mobile donation form template
When to use the mobile donation form template
Trick header—you should always ensure that your donation form works across desktops, laptops, tablets, and phones! After all, more and more donations are made on the go, so your form needs to work flawlessly on any device. And here’s a public service announcement: Funraise automatically optimizes your donation forms for mobile with zero extra work on your end.
Your mobile donation form should be simple and clean—but also keep in mind that some potential donors do all their giving from their phone, so those extra options need to be available.
- Branded form. Keep it professional, keep it consistent.
- Gift amount. As with a basic donation form, limit the pre-set options and then include an “other” field.
- Recurring gift option. Include that all-important “monthly” check box.
- Personal information. Gather all the usual contact information, including name, email address, phone number, and physical address.
- Payment information. Ensure donors can use their preferred method of payment, whether it’s credit card, PayPal, eCheck, or cryptocurrency.
- Donor-covered fees. Don’t forget this one.
- Thank you message. But of course.
Fundraising packet template
When your supporters go off into the wilds of the fundraising world to fundraise for your cause, a fundraising packet template has all the info they need to succeed. And happily, Funraise has created the ultimate peer-to-peer fundraising toolkit, which you can download with a single click and customize to fit your brand.
Sample fundraising packet template
When to use this template
We love a good P2P fundraising campaign, but if you want to make the most of the opportunity, you need to provide your noble fundraisers with the tools to succeed. Once someone signs up for your next peer-to-peer fundraiser, they can hit the ground running thanks to your fundraising pledge form template. Better yet, automate the process, so that it hits their inbox right away—and the dollars start flowing even faster.
While many supporters will be well versed in the ways of peer-to-peer fundraising, a great fundraising packet assumes they’re starting from zero. Here’s what we suggest:
- Welcome message. Lead with your mission and your gratitude so that your fundraising friend is inspired to do their best.
- Fundraising tips. Set your fundraisers up for success with a list of must-know fundraising tips and tricks, from setting an initial goal to sharing their campaign on social media. After all, not everyone is a fundraising expert like you. (Are we making you blush? Good; you look amazing!)
- Event registration form. In addition to soliciting pledges, your fundraisers should all have access to an event registration form. Including a signup form can lead to even more fundraisers, and the more, the fundraise-ier, as we always say.
- Fundraising calendar. A blank calendar template helps fundraisers plan their fundraising activities in advance.
- Communications templates. Pre-written communications templates, including email templates, letter templates, social media templates, and text templates, make it easy for your supporters to reach out to their network throughout the campaign. Be sure to include templates for every key campaign milestone, from initial launch to thank-you letter.
- Branding guidelines. This sounds fancy, but it’s one of those things that will make your team’s jobs so. much. easier. Think properly-sized logos, your brand colors translated into hex codes, and the proper way to spell your organization’s name! (We at Funraise feel this one so hard.)
- Feedback form. If you want to continuously up your fundraising game, feedback is vital—and so are organizational updates. Your fundraiser pledge form should include a feedback form, where fundraisers can let you know how you can improve going forward as well as share stories from the fundraising event. Onwards and upwards!
Donation request forms template
Are you ready for a shocking truth? Not everyone lands on your page and happily clicks that donate button. Sometimes, you need to ask—and that means you need donation request forms templates. Whether you’re reaching out to a long-time donor with a gentle reminder or sending in a grant application to a foundation, donation request templates provide an outline of what to say and how to say it.
Sample donation request form
When to use this donation request template
A donation request form template is useful in a range of situations because a number of requests for fundraising support fall under the umbrella of a donation request. You can send a sponsorship form to a corporation, a grant application to a foundation, or a regular old appeal for a year-end gift. But no matter who you’re asking, and whether it’s by donation request letter, email, text, or paper airplane, make sure your story’s at the forefront, from your initial outreach to the donation form itself.
What’s included in a request for donation template
A request for donation form template is all about convincing someone to invest in your mission. For that reason, we’re going to focus on what you need to include in terms of messaging, taking into consideration your communications, landing page, and donation form. Ready to persuade and inspire? Let's get to it.
- The reason you’re writing. Why are you requesting this donation—and why now? Without a solid reason, that donation request will never receive a reply.
- A distinct, consistent voice. When requesting a donation, let the real you shine through! Ensure your emails match your texts match your landing page, so that potential donors and sponsors feel assured and connected to your cause.
- The benefits for the donor. This is the silent question behind every donation request form. Focus on the impact of the gift as well as any tangible benefits to the donor—for a sponsorship form, that might include their name up in lights; for a one-time donation request, it might include a free tote bag. And for everyone, it includes that warm-and-fuzzy feeling of giving back.
- More than a request for money. Maybe they don’t have the funds to give right now—and that’s okay. Always include other options so that you can cultivate the relationship, whether it’s a group volunteer form for a company or a newsletter sign-up for an individual.
- A side of gratitude. Even if they don’t give, they took the time to read your message, and you never know what might happen later on. Say thank you and mean it.
- Personalization when possible. This is a great test for your nonprofit: Do personalized communications perform better than general ones? Try adding your donor’s first name in the email subject line, noting the amount of their previous gift or past year’s total in a direct mail appeal, or their location in a text. And for next-level personalization, prefill your donation form’s ask array with custom amounts specific to each donor segment.
Data collection: A donation list template
Now that we’ve reviewed the many donation form possibilities, let’s have a serious chat about this form’s big-picture-usefulness. Your donation form collects more than just money; it’s a data collection machine as well. And that’s not just a big responsibility (hello, data privacy protection!), it’s also a lot of power—if you harness it properly.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way let’s do a quick review of all the juicy info you can garner from your donation form—as well as the pieces you might not need or might want to stay away from altogether. This donation list template has it all, folks.
Sample donation list template for data collection
When to use this template
When you’re crafting your donation form, there’s a lot to consider, from being true to your mission to creating a stress-free experience for your supporters. But another thing to keep top of mind is your form’s role in data collection. If you’re debating what to include and what not to include, start thinking about which data points you can track with your form, and which ones you actually need. If you don’t need or won’t use volunteer information, for example, take that piece off of your donation form.
What to include in your quest to collect donor data:
As you gather names, addresses, and whether someone wants to be a recurring donor, you can use it to learn about:
- Biographical information. When someone makes their first donation, you’ll at least learn their name and contact information. Send them a thank you and invite them to learn more, whether it’s a chat with a development staff member or an invitation to an upcoming event.
- Volunteer history. If you choose to include a volunteer form or link in your donation form, you’ll get a ton of valuable data, from the donor’s schedule to their interests to their job.
- When people donate. Are there days of the week that have more donations? Certain times of day? In response to an email request or an appeal on a specific social platform? Giving through your website or on a P2P fundraiser’s page? Understanding these patterns can have big implications for your outreach and campaigns.
- Matching gift interest and availability. How many people search for a matching gift opportunity from their employer? And what can you do to make it easier for them? If someone doesn’t submit a matching gift request, you can follow up and politely ask why. If they’re self-employed, now you know. If their company doesn’t offer a gift, maybe you can politely approach the company and change that in the future!
- Content subscription behavior. By offering to send news, updates, and stories of impact, you can easily discover which donors are interested in more info, and therefore might be great in responding to an urgent appeal or to join a cool recurring program with exclusive content. And on the flip side, you may find newsletter subscribers who may want to become donors one day.
Donation board template
You love your board of directors, and no one is doubting that. But chances are they’re juggling a lot, and sometimes, key parts of their roles fall by the wayside—including asking others for donations and support during major campaigns and events. To make sure nothing falls between the cracks when your next campaign kicks off, try a donation board template to make their job—and yours—a bit easier.
Board sample donation form
When to use this template
When your annual campaign rolls around or your big fundraising gala kicks off, you need your board members to step up and start asking for donations. This time, you don't need to make passive-aggressive comments like, "Man, I was up until 3:00 am getting super-important donations for our huge fundraising event that's only four weeks away! And how was your Saturday?" No, friend. You have a board donation template to lend a hand.
Arm your board members with the information they need and the language they should use when asking for donations or sponsorships. That includes:
- Script for phone calls. Some board members might prefer picking up the phone or asking a friend to coffee when they’re doing donation asks. Make sure they know exactly what to say by providing a script with your mission statement, success stories, and impact data.
- Email template. Again, the easier you make it for them to ask, the more likely they’ll do it. Be sure to include templates for asking both individuals and organizations so they just need to add a personal sentence, change the names, and click “send.”
- Social appeals. Just like with your fundraiser toolkit, providing consistent branding guidelines, pre-packaged social images and captions, and even a branded Zoom background will communicate the quality of your organization and keep your board member from making embarrassing posting missteps.
- Contact information. Make sure your board member gets each new donor’s contact information so that you can say thank you and stay in touch, even if the board member leaves your organization.
- Tax ID number. Make sure your board members are ready to answer the occasional tax-related query—just in case!
Donation proposal template
While many of us have gotten used to sending out a quick email or text asking for a donation, sometimes, you need to go the old-fashioned narrative route. So, grab your quill and pot of ink—maybe a velvet cape if you’re really going for it—and start crafting a memorable message with our donation proposal template.
Sample donation proposal template
When to use this template
Maybe you’re appealing to companies or a foundation, or maybe you’d like to partner with a fellow nonprofit. In any of these situations, a narrative-driven proposal is your BFF. And having it on your site, alongside your donation form, will help you when you have to fill out grant applications, field sponsorship inquiries, and steward major donors.
Your donation proposal is basically the story of your nonprofit’s impact, and as such, it helps to emphasize the impact first. Then, you can whip up a perfect proposal, ensuring that the dear reader wants to keep reading.
- A quick reminder of your work and impact. Don’t assume they know what you do. Lead with your mission, impact, and vision. Always.
- A summary of why you’re writing. How will these funds be used? What will be the impact of this grant, donation, or partnership? Why are you writing now?
- A focus on the partnership. Many foundations and funders have a unique vision and prefer to give to certain causes for specific reasons. If you’re writing a proposal letter to someone with a clear vision, acknowledge it and share how your organization’s work aligns with that vision.
- Numbers. Numbers are hard evidence of the impact of your work. Include data whenever possible.
- Lots of gratitude. Lead with thank you, end with thank you.
Final points on donation templates
Your giving experience is a journey—donors come and go (but mostly come, hopefully), relationships change, and the organization grows. But one thing remains: the necessity of having a great donation form. And that starts with a collection of donation templates. Here are our final reminders.
- The vast majority of your online donations will come through your donation form. Online giving just keeps increasing every year, making your donation form incredibly important to your fundraising strategy.
- Since your donation form is the entryway to your giving experience, it needs to be intuitive, branded, and straightforward.
- More and more donors are using mobile devices for their giving, so ensure all donation forms are optimized for mobile use.
- Including options for recurring giving, company matching, and donation dedications can lead to more and larger donations for your organization.