In this three-part series, we highlight some of the ways CiviCRM can be used to enhance your nonprofit’s fundraising strategy. Part Two explains how to use CiviCRM Campaigns to organize and report across your fundraising methods. Part Three explains how to improve your ask with A/B email testing.
Just because an individual gives through your nonprofit donation page doesn’t mean they actually feel connected to your mission. Rather, someone they really care about may have asked. They care about that person and that’s why they gave. But this shouldn’t depress you!
Even if your organization isn’t ready to jump headlong into peer-to-peer fundraising, there is much you can do with your existing CiviCRM nonprofit donation page to make honorary, memorial, and celebratory giving easy. Here are several benefits:
- Expand Your Donor’s Impact. A small percentage of your donors can write your nonprofit a check for $10,000. But, all of your donors are part of a community. These relationships have the potential to add up to much more than what one check from one person could provide. Giving, volunteering, telling stories, sharing news — each of these actions ripples out and expands your nonprofit’s impact.
- Minimize Transaction Fees. Each online giving platform has its own administrative and transaction fees. Minimize the number of middlemen by encouraging your donors to send their contribution directly to your online donation form. Depending on your payment processor, this can land their gifts directly in your nonprofit’s bank account.
- Retain Donor Information. You control what fields you collect and make required within your online donation form. When a donor makes a gift, all of this information is stored within CiviCRM without you having to manually enter information or tie individuals together on a donation. Separate platforms may give you a fraction of that information, all of which would have to be imported or manually entered into your system.
These benefits are just the beginning. Let’s see what honorary giving can look like on your CiviCRM donation form. One of our clients, the United Way of Central New Mexico oversees a variety of initiatives, many of which have their own dedicated donation page. Here is a screenshot from their general giving page.
As you can see, they have an optional “Honoree Information” section for the donor to choose to make a gift in honor of, in memory of, or in celebration of someone they care about. Additional fields display after the donor selects their preferred option.
In CiviCRM you have complete control over what fields you want to collect and which of those fields are required. In the backend, these individuals are created as new contacts and receive a soft credit for the donation. Soft credits allow you to credit the honoree and the actual donor, without counting the contribution twice. Because of CiviCRM’s robust reporting and search options, you can use this information to develop better reports and more targeted communications.
Here’s what an honorary donation looks like in CiviCRM.
In this example, I made an online donation of $250 in honor of my son. I can click directly to his contact record from the contribution details. This same donation is viewable within the Contributions tab of his record.
I can also find this information from Contributions > Find Contributions.
By entering his name in the “Contributor Name or Email” field and choosing “Soft Credits Only,” I can quickly pull up the donation.
From here I can take a variety of actions:
- Delete the contribution
- Email the donor
- Export the contribution
- Print or email an invoice
- Print or email a thank you letter
- Update the contribution status
Add Honorary Giving to Your Nonprofit Donation Page
You can add an option to your donation form for your donors to make honorary gifts by going to Contributions > Manage Contribution Pages. Click Configure > Title and Settings next to the donation form you want to update. Below the start and end date, you will see an option to enable the honoree section. When you select that box, a variety of options will appear.
CiviCRM contains the following honor or soft-credit types out-of-the-box:
- In Honor of
- In Memory of
- Personal Campaign Page
More soft-credit types can be created based on your nonprofit’s needs. The “Honoree Profile” determines what information you collect from the donor when they are making their gift.
If you’ve made it this far, you’re getting into the nitty-gritty of CiviCRM configuration. The fact that non-technical people can learn to do so much with the system is one of the reasons we love CiviCRM. We also love to work with nonprofits to set up these details so you can stay focused on your mission.
This is just the beginning of what you can learn. If you’re already convinced, find more tips for building a better donation page for your nonprofit:
- 10 engaging nonprofit donation pages
- The anatomy of an effective donation page
- 7 tips for creating a successful year-end donation page
To read more on this topic, visit CiviCRM.org’s user manual to learn about soft credits and how to set up honoree giving on your nonprofit’s online donation form.