4 Custom Questions You Should Consider Adding To Your Donation Form

May 9, 2021
5 minutes
A neon question mark is illuminated against a dark wall. Every two seconds it changes color.

Donation forms don’t have to be all “take, collect, receive”, you know.

While there’s certainly nothing wrong with taking, collecting, or receiving donations (nonprofits have budgets, too), you can make your digital donation process a little more conversational simply by adding a custom question or three to your Funraise donation form.

What’s a custom question?

A custom question is a question you ask your supporters as they donate to your nonprofit; lil' inquiries conveniently embedded in your nonprofit’s online donation form. They’re called custom because—and forgive us for stating the obvious—you can customize the question to your nonprofit’s needs. Ask your supporters anything that piques your staff’s curiosity: with Funraise’s donation forms, you’re not limited by a set of pre-written questions.

Why are custom questions worth adding to your nonprofit’s online donation form?

When you add custom questions to your nonprofit’s donation form, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to collect information about your donors and supporters that can’t easily be gathered in other places. You’re demonstrating that you’re genuinely interested in your donors and/or supporters.

Wondering what happens if you choose not to add custom questions to your donation form? Well, we don’t think the sky will fall in, Chicken Little. But you will be missing out on a valuable opportunity for your nonprofit to personalize the donor journey a little bit more than you otherwise would have been able to.

It’s time to pop the question.

Are you stuck on which custom questions you should add to your donation form? No worries, friend. We've compiled a list of four custom questions you should consider adding to your donation form. You don’t have to include all of them, but think seriously about experimenting with one or two. You might like the results!

“Where did you first hear about our nonprofit?”

Ask your donors and supporters how they heard about your kickass nonprofit in the first place. The obvious benefit, of course, is that you’ll know which of your marketing outreach efforts are working and which ones might need to go the way of rompers (shoved all the way in the back of your closet until someone convinces you it’s a good idea to try the style out again.)

The benefits of asking donors the beautifully simple question “How did you hear about our nonprofit?”, though, are myriad. Using tools like Google Analytics, you might be able to track how many visitors come to your nonprofit’s website and, of those visitors, how many ultimately convert into full-fledged donors, but you don’t get to hear about the journey in the donor’s own words. Hearing about how exactly your biggest supporters first came across your nonprofit in their own words is invaluable information for a nonprofit—why wouldn’t you want to hear all about it?

“Would you like to be contacted about future opportunities to volunteer with our nonprofit?”

There’s more than one way to support a nonprofit. If you’ve already got a fan of your nonprofit’s mission supporting your goals through their hard-earned dollars, why not offer that donor one more way to show their love for your nonprofit and everything it accomplishes for the community it serves?

There’s no better way to demonstrate your dedication to a nonprofit’s mission than volunteering with that nonprofit—and if you and your team of unicorn nonprofit staffers are in need of more volunteers, the best way to find those volunteers is by giving people who’ve already donated the chance to show their dedication to your mission in a second, equally-fulfilling way.

“Would you like to join our email newsletter mailing list?”

Simply because someone has donated to your nonprofit does not mean they have given their consent to be added to your email newsletter mailing list.

It's a common misconception among email marketing teams on nonprofits. Just because you’ve emailed with a particular supporter once does not mean they have given their consent to receive future promotional messages from your nonprofit. Misunderstanding or disregarding this vital fact can lead to your nonprofit’s email promotions to be ignored or worse, reported as spam.

But! If you are trying to grow your nonprofit’s list of email subscribers, asking a supporter already in the process of making a donation is a smart move. They’ve already demonstrated significant interest in your nonprofit’s mission—don’t be shy, go ahead and ask them to join the (email) party! You’re gaining consent for future communications and giving your supporters a way to stay connected to your nonprofit all in one fell swoop—that’s a win-win in our book.

“How would you like to be thanked for your donation?”

Okay, this is next-level custom question magic, so buckle up.

If you’re ready to really personalize the donor journey, asking donors how they’d like to be thanked for their donations could make your donation form the absolute cream of the crop.

Some donors like thank-you notes. Other donors are happy just to access their tax documentation, with nary a phone call or follow-up (especially easy when donors can do it on their own time through Funraise's donor portal app.) But asking your donors how they’d like to be thanked—how they, in particular, as an individual making a donation to your nonprofit’s budget would like to be acknowledged—demonstrates you see your donors as unique human beings, each different from the other.

Ask your donors how they’d like to be thanked. Their answers might surprise you—and inform other parts of your fundraising program or your major donor strategy.

Wrapping Up

Custom questions make the donation process seem a little bit more like a conversation with your nonprofit instead of filling out a generic form that could belong to any 501(c)3. That’s why Funraise offers all of our nonprofit buddies the opportunity to add custom questions to their online donation forms—we want to help you grow your budget while growing closer to your supporters.

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