Fundraising Tips

3 Advanced Techniques to Double Fundraising for your Next Campaign

September 8, 2020

More than 80% of potential donors start filling out donation forms, but won’t complete them. Why? They struggle to fill in their information, get distracted, find the form too long and give up. Donation forms actually get your donors to give when they are simple and require the least amount of effort on the donor’s part. The number that measures if your form is performing well is its conversion rate. It is the number of donations over the number of visitors to your donation form.

You may know the basic tips for getting a great conversion rate on your forms, but below we share three advanced techniques to go even further:

  • Pre-fill forms with donor’s information
  • Adapt the suggested amounts to each donor
  • Understand which types of visitors are more likely to donate

Technique #1 - Pre-fill the form with donor information

Most of your donors are already in your database. So instead of asking them to fill in their information, you can send them a pre-filled form. By clicking on the link, the form will already be filled (they won’t have to type in any of their information). This means that all they’ll have to do is enter their card information ! Here is a pre-filled link for me, Rowan.


To get these pre-filled forms, you just need to add a few extra words in to URL you send to donors. Keep in mind that you need to use emailing systems like MailChimp, MailGun, SendinBlue or your CRM Emailer to be able to send a customized link to each donor.

To start, you’ll need past donor’s personal information such as their first and last name, email and address. You might have this information in your emailing system already. If not, you can easily import it.

To personalize the links in your emailing system, you will use the same principle that allows you to customize the first name when you send an email to multiple people. It usually looks like this:

strong fundraising campaign - emailer tag

Your donor then receives an email addressed to them. For example, your donor Peter will receive an email starting with:

Hi Peter,

Our donation form URLs are designed to be able to receive a parameter such as this first name. This way, each of your contacts’ information is included in the link they receive. You will need to add this tag at the end of the URL:

“?firstName=Contact:First name .

For example, if you send a form to Peter, you will send:

Try it with this link :

On the form, Peter’s name will already be filled in:

Next, add on any other sections you want to include. Be sure to use the “ & ” symbol when adding an additional element. You can include a personalized tag for each field on the form:

  • first name
  • last name
  • email
  • city
  • postal code
  • and country

Here’s a template you can use for your links, simply replace the sections in all capital letters with your URL and tags:

Click here to see an example.

Congrats! Your forms are pre-filled. By doing this, you are showing your donors you care about their time and you want their experience to be easy. Feel free to contact us if you need help with this type of advanced campaign.

Technique #2 - Customizing donation amounts

Pre-filling your forms for each donor is pretty exciting, right? Well that’s not all you can do to provide a quick experience for your supporters.

You probably have very different donors in your database. There are small donors that give $ 20 from time to time, or larger donors that donate $ 1000 every year.

Example of Zeffy’s suggested donation amounts.

You can’t create a thousand donation forms for a thousand different donors – but you can adapt one form to thousands of donors!

Like for pre-filling the form, you will need to add personalized tags into the URL.

To do this, you will add your donor’s donating preference to your email system database (with Zeffy, it’s easy because you already have a record of their preference in your spreadsheets, which you can upload directly to your emailing system or CRM).

Then, add the preference to your URL, just like the personal information. You can even select an amount that will be chosen by default with the “amount=” property.

Here’s a template you can use:

YOURFORMURL?&punctualAmounts=%5BAmount 1,Amount2,Amount 3,Amount4%5D&amount=CUSTOMAMOUNT

Here's an example:,20,30,40%5D&amount=20

You want to encourage your donors to give more than last year, so put your donors preference as the second option.

For the other amounts, you can create a formula in excel that calculates them based on the custom amount. Create one amount that is slightly lower and two that are slightly higher. You’ll can then make a custom tag in your emailer for each amount.

Through customizing the amount, charities using Zeffy generate 30% more revenue.

Technique #3 - Understanding your donors – and how they donate

You probably have donors coming from your website, your newsletter and from social media. Wouldn’t it be helpful to understand what platform works best to encourage your donors to give? That way, you’ll know where to put your effort when launching a new campaign.

You can track where your donors find and complete your forms by adding a “UTM” code at the end of your URL. Each code will be different depending on where you are putting the form. For example you will add “?UTM_source=facebook” in the link you put on your facebook page. Another example is to add “ ?UTM_source=August-Newsletter ” to your link in your Newsletter for that month.

By using this method, you will be able to see in your dashboard if your donors give more through your website or through email, and you can compare the conversion rates for these different audiences.

Track where your donors access your forms, from the data provided in your dashboard.

For example:

Zeffy Tip: Whenever you are modifying the URL of your form, always make sure to test it! Paste it into your browser to make sure it works properly. For your email campaigns, be sure to send yourself a test email ensuring that the URL sections get filled accordingly and that the link directs to the proper page. Make sure that the information you’ve included in your link is properly filled out for each of your contacts, if not it could end up in a broken link.

And there you have it, three advanced techniques you can use to improve your donors experience and better understand them. This will lead you to a higher conversion and a bigger impact!