Contributing Bloggers

Seven Ways to Easily Increase Donations


We all know the story when it comes to events held by non-profit societies – razor-thin margins, with registration fees that only cover the actual expenses of the event itself. Quite often a planner will add a donation section to the registration form, so that the attendee has the option of supporting the organization with an amount of their choice, to keep the fires burning and the gears turning. It can sometimes be difficult to get attendees to make the donation, but we’ve found seven ways to easily increase donations:

  1. State where the funds go: Often times the public is skeptical about where their donation money goes – being open and transparent will very often assuage their fears, and increase the likelihood of a donation.
  2. Add the charitable organization’s logo: It’ll draw the eye to the donation section, and make it stand out.
  3. Indicate a suggested amount: Registrants are sometimes unsure of what constitutes an appropriate donation – this will help them.
  4. Include a selection of preset donation amounts: As an alternative to the single suggested donation, this will allow more of a choice for the registrant, but will also still allow them to make a decision with a single click. You may want to consider adding levels or titles to the donation amounts (bronze, silver, gold, etc.) to reinforce the idea that the donations are important and appreciated.
  5. Include a strong call to action: You don’t have to demand an exorbitant amount, but an assertive appeal can work wonders. Instead of a lengthy preamble followed by an appeal, try a more direct “Select your contribution amount” or “Click here to confirm your donation”.
  6. Consider goods and services in trade: In-kind goods and services can really help with event costs. Examples include sponsored lunches, lanyards, and sessions.
  7. Offer a small thank-you gift: People like to be recognized when they make a donation. A small token of thanks can quite often increase donations, especially when coupled with a tiered donation (see point 4). It’s worked for PBS for years!

Always remember to thank those who make a donation.  Even a simple thank you email will be appreciated and can help to secure future support.

Jim Romanik

Jim is the president and co-owner of ePly Services. While studying business, event registration was still largely a burdensome manual process and being one to always look for the most efficient way to do things, Jim envisioned an online process. What began as a business plan that he submitted for a course on entrepreneurship has gradually evolved into today’s system that simplifies the work of event planners throughout North America.