When you host any kind of fundraising event or donation drive, it’s crucial that you provide a simple way for donors to contribute funds. Regardless of whether the amounts are small or large, easy donation processes mean a better experience for donors and a much quicker payout for the nonprofit and the cause it serves.
The encouraging truth is that donation amounts continue to grow across the board for nonprofit organizations. Even in the midst of a global pandemic, overall giving grew by 4.1% last year alone, which is the sixth consecutive year of rising charitable contributions.
In this post, we’ll provide tips and best practices that you can use right away to generate enhanced results during your next donation drive. Let’s get started.
How can prefilled forms create a better donor experience?
Using prefilled or pre-populated form fields in your next donation drive is a smart idea for several reasons:
- It prevents you from having to ask donors to send repeat information that you have already collected at some point in time.
- Prefilled forms increase response rate by saving time and effort for the donor.
- It enhances communication with regular donors or members, who likely expect your organization to have certain information on file about them.
- Lastly, prefilled forms allow you to connect seamlessly with other integrations or databases and send important data where it needs to go.
If you’re thinking that prefilled donation forms sound like a huge lift, there’s no need to stress. By implementing a few simple setup steps, you’ll be well on your way to leveraging this important tactic. In the five steps below, we’ll cover everything you need to know to get more effective donation forms up and running.
Choose a user-friendly form builder and data collection platform
Choosing the right software is crucial—especially if you’re overwhelmed with the technical lift, or if you need to get a donation process up and running quickly. A data collection platform like FormAssembly not only makes it easy to build and create forms, but also makes it easy to implement prefill features that give your donation drive an automatic boost.
Plus, when you choose a powerful platform that offers great support, you can access resources and one-on-one help if you have technical questions or get stuck.
Create a branded experience for quick recognition
To lay the foundation of your prefilled donation form, it’s important that respondents know that the form is coming from the organization they expect. A branded experience instills confidence and reassurance that the donation is going to the right place.
Before you define your prefill rules within a new web form, it’s critical that you set the foundation with a strong first impression. With FormAssembly, you can upload your logo, tailor your color choices, and add custom code as needed to ensure your form is in line with your brand characteristics.
Set up prefill to eliminate hassle for donors
As we’ve mentioned already, using prefilled fields is a big benefit for you and your donors. You should always opt for this choice if the following situations apply:
- You already know basic data about the individuals you’re contacting.
- You need respondents to submit the same information in more than one form field (within the same form).
Using prefill gives your donors a professional, seamless experience that doesn’t require lots of tedious data entry. Below, you’ll discover ideas for how you can tweak prefilled donation drive forms to meet your specific needs.
Populate a form using Salesforce data
With FormAssembly, you have the option to populate form fields by using custom links or buttons that are created in Salesforce. You can then include these links in emails sent from your Salesforce account.
To make this process easy, you should be familiar with how to prefill form data through the URL. Prefilling through the URL involves mapping the fields of your web form using specific aliases and directions, so that the form knows where that data is pulled from.
In the screenshot below, you can see that with Field Mapping, certain form fields receive their value from specific records housed in Salesforce. When these are mapped appropriately, the fields will prefill once a respondent clicks on their unique link.
Prefill from within a form
If you have a form which asks users to input the same information more than once, you can prefill that data from one section of the form to another.
For example, you might ask for a donor’s name and address in several locations, or on separate pages of the form. By prefilling from one section of the form to another, users don’t experience the nuisance of repeatedly typing the same information into multiple fields.
To prefill form fields from other places in the form, users can implement a combination of variables and calculations. In FormAssembly, you can quickly select these choices within the Options tab of each new form field.
In this screenshot, you can see that in the Calculations step, the ‘First Name’ field is already set as an available variable. This implies that the setup is correct, and that your donor won’t be required to fill in their first name more than once.
Prefill using data from Salesforce Marketing Cloud
If your nonprofit organization uses Salesforce Marketing Cloud to manage contact records, the Marketing Cloud Prefill Connector allows you to display Marketing Cloud records within a new donor form.
This process has the same benefits as other types of prefilled donation forms—improved user experience, time saved, and professional appearance. At the same time, you can also reach additional members of your audience by leveraging the data you have available within Marketing Cloud.
It’s the perfect way to spread the word about your donation drive while removing the tedious steps that can discourage potential donors from giving.
Use secure payment connectors to accept contributions
Even when it comes to making charitable contributions, donors need to know that their payment information is safe. Whenever you send a prefilled form that includes payment choices, safety and security are extremely important.
With FormAssembly, you can rest assured knowing that your donors’ payment information is being processed through PCI DSS Level 1 certified forms. All users can confidently know that sensitive credit card data submitted through each form is handled in a safe, compliant manner.
Learn more about streamlining payment processes with your donation forms.
Test and approve your donation form to ensure a smooth experience
There’s no greater threat to your donation drive process than to have a form that doesn’t work as expected! As a general rule, always test and QA your donation forms to ensure that the process is smooth, easy, and user-friendly.
A testing process is especially important for prefilled forms, since you should always verify that your field mappings and data are correct. If the prefill QA process reveals that your organization is missing important information about certain individuals, you can then create a secondary form for them to update their contact information.
Launch your donation forms with confidence
Are you ready to raise funds for your organization but feel anxious about releasing your donation forms into the wild? Creating an effective, trustworthy, and secure donation process feels like a lot of responsibility—but FormAssembly can help.
Check out this Donation Forms Checklist to make sure each aspect of your donation form is ready to roll according to best form practices, then test drive your donation forms with a free FormAssembly trial.
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What is one thing you learned from this post? How do you envision applying this new knowledge in the real world?
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