Church Donation Forms: 6 Best Practices to Inspire Gifts

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Let’s imagine you’re gearing up to prepare for your annual church mission trip. With the cost of travel, accommodation, and food, fundraising is the obvious next step. If you’re looking for extra money to support a project, it’s very common to ask for support. This is where church donation forms come in.

What does your current church fundraising look like? Maybe one of your staff collects cash and jots it down in a spreadsheet. You might even accept online gifts with a church Venmo account. However, this can quickly become disorganized, especially if you want to grow your church and increase your fundraising potential.

If you want to fundraise for your institution effectively and empower your congregation to do more good, investing in a dedicated online solution and creating church donation forms is your best bet.

We’ve written about donation form best practices before. In this article, we dive into the specifics when it comes to online fundraising for your church. You’ll be exploring these topics:

Your church members want to give back and support the institution they love. Make it easy for them to do so with a streamlined and easy-to-use online donation form. Let’s start off with the basic steps to creating one.

This is how to create a church donation form.

How To Create A Church Donation Form

Church donation forms are a crucial part of the online fundraising process. The easier it is to find your donation form and fill it out, the more likely it is that you’ll receive funds and reach your fundraising goals.

These are some of the basic points you’ll want to consider for your own church donation form:

  • Personal information like name or contact information. Your church donation forms can not only increase gifts but also collect key donor information. It’s always helpful having an accurate database of your church members. This way, you can quickly distribute updates, make future fundraising asks, and invite them to exciting events.
  • Suggested giving amounts. Sometimes, your church members don’t know how much to give. Suggested giving amounts not only provides them with some guidance but can even encourage them to donate a little more than they planned.
  • One-time gift or recurring gift options. Your church members are usually regular attendees, so they might give regularly as well. However, it’s a hassle filling out the same form over and over. Make it easy by including a clear option that indicates whether the gift is one time or ongoing.
  • Specific funds or projects to choose from. Sometimes your supporters want to give but only to fund a specific need. Customize your church donation form so congregants can choose the cause they want to support.

Use the above elements to create the perfect church donation form. We recommend using a dedicated online solution. This streamlines the giving experience both for congregants and your team.

This is why churches need an online solution for creating donation forms.

Why Churches Should Use An Online Solution For Donation Forms

Online fundraising is becoming more popular than ever. In 2019, religious organizations received the majority (29%) of the $449.64 billion dollars donated. In times of crisis (like a global pandemic), providing this convenient and safe way to give is even essential. Your church needs the extra support and your members will be grateful for an online (and safe) option.

A digital church giving solution streamlines both your in-person and online fundraising. Your congregants can give right from their phones or computer—forgoing any trips for cash. The right software automates important processes and simplifies the experience for all involved.

Here are the top benefits an online church donation form solution can bring you:

  • Create a church donation form and ensure you include all the necessary fields.
  • Customize your church donation form with any branding and colors.
  • Offer recurring gift options and automate payment when it’s due.
  • Allow donors to cover the processing fee in their gift with a simple click.
  • Track which church members give.
  • Maintain an accurate database with donation amounts that can integrate with accounting software.
  • Integrate with other fundraising or event software. This ensures centralized and accessible member data.

Want to empower your members to give? It’s time that your church invests in dedicated online donation software.

Here are 6 best practices for your church donation forms.

6 Best Practices For Your Church Donation Form

Now that you have the essentials of a donation form down and invested in a key solution, it’s time to use this knowledge and resource to your advantage. Here are some of the best practices you should follow when creating church donation forms with your online solution:

1. Simplify Your Form

First and foremost, all donation forms should be as simple as possible. Donation forms should make the giving process easier for your church members. The longer and more complicated the form is, the less likely your congregation will give at all.

Ensuring the form is short and simple provides a seamless experience for all. Take a look at your form and make sure you’re only asking what’s required. Chances are, there are a few fields that don’t need to be there.

With a dedicated online donation form solution from Qgiv, you can make this process even simpler by using a multistep format. This breaks down your donation form into a couple of short, easy-to-do steps. At first, the donor can select an amount to give. Once that’s completed the form will change to ask for personal details, and so on. Explore what this looks like with our Church Donation Form Examples.

2. Brand Your Form

Branding your donation form to your church is not only aesthetically pleasing but also assures your members and supporters that they are indeed giving to the right institution.

This reinforces your donors’ confidence and builds their relationship with your brand. Supporters are nearly 70% more likely to give a second donation if they used a branded page the first time.

To brand your church donation form, consider:

  • Using your official institution colors
  • Incorporating your logo at the top of the form
  • Embedding a photo of your church members

Your church members are passionate about your institution. Ensure they know exactly who they’re giving to by branding your form.

3. Ensure Your Form is Mobile-Optimized

You’ll likely be inspiring your church members in the middle of in-person or virtual service. If you want them to take action and give at the right moment, your donation form needs to be mobile-optimized. In fact, mobile-responsive donation pages yield 34% more donations.

Whether the church member is giving through text fundraising or is exploring your website on their phone, your online donation form has to look good and work no matter the screen size. No one likes having to pinch their screen or turn their phones to engage with a site.

Your online solution might already provide mobile-friendly functionality. Aside from that, try and remember to:

  • Keep the layout vertical and simplistic.
  • Use a large font with contrasting color to the background.
  • Ensure your buttons are prominent and clearly labeled.

You can also test your donation page and form with this free Google tool. Input your website and view what your church donation form might look like on all devices.

4. Optimize Your Church Donation Page

Ultimately, your donation form is embedded in your church donation page. To further encourage church members, consider how you can optimize that page.

We write about this more in our guide to 31 nonprofit donation page best practices, but here are some of the key takeaways:

  • Keep your donation page simple. Adding a couple of elements to your donation page to reiterate your church story is a good idea. But you shouldn’t overcrowd the page with content. Make sure that your form is the main focal point.
  • Maximize the top of your donation page. First impressions are important, even for your online donation page. Make use of the top of your donation page with a short headline and valuable images. These elements can emotionally connect with your church members.
  • Ensure your donation page and form is secure. Your form is collecting very sensitive information from your church members. It’s important that your tools and processes are secure. Make sure your online payment tool is PCI Compliant or Certified. Advertise this on your donation page with an official sticker or icon.

Once your supporters are on your church donation page, you don’t want to lose their interest or distract them in any way. Make sure your page is a careful balance of simple and streamlined design with elements that motivate and inspire giving.

5. Implement Recurring Gifts and Nudges

Churches are unique in that their donors are usually regular patrons and will be giving regularly as well. Make it easy by offering recurring donation options. This way, your members can fill out their information once and then be automatically charged at the appropriate date.

There are two ways that you might prompt recurring gifts from your church members:

1. A recurring nudge that appears on the form.

This is an example of how you might incorporate a recurring nudge on your church donation form.

2. A recurring modal that presents the recurring gifts option in a more obvious way. This will usually look like a popup window over the form itself, which the donor has to decline or accept before moving on.

You can use this recurring modal on your own church donation form.

Make sure your online donation form software allows for these capabilities. Providing easy ways for your congregation to give regularly is a key way of gaining consistent support and increasing fundraising for your church.

6. Provide GiftAssist Options

Most online donation solutions will have a processing fee for each time you receive an online gift. This is usually taken from the donation itself, and while it isn’t a large amount, it does take away from your overall fundraising revenue.

Therefore, your solution should also offer GiftAssist options. This describes the donor offsetting the processing fees by agreeing to pay for it themselves and add it to their overall gift. This can display as a simple checkbox on your donation form that your church members can opt-in and out of.

Along with offering this option, make sure you clearly explain the benefits of it. Usually, people won’t automatically give more just because you ask them to. But once they realize it is simply covering the processing fee, it’s likely your congregation will be more than happy to help.

Here are some of our favorite church donation form examples.

Church Donation Form Examples

Before you jump into creating a donation form for your own church, let’s explore some of our favorite examples. Below are some of our favorite church donation forms created by actual Qgiv clients.

These forms follow donation form best practices and our clients designed them with their own unique fundraising goals in mind.

Erie United Methodist Church Donation Form Example

This is a screenshot of the Erie United Methodist Church donation form.

Erie United Methodist Church has a simple multistep donation form that breaks up the giving process into 3 short steps. Immediately, we see that the top of the page is branded to the church with the Erie United Methodist Church logo and color scheme.

We love how they have an easy option to give a recurring gift with the recurring nudge component. And, their church members can easily offset the processing fees by checking a box.

Harvest Baptist Church Donation Form Example

This is a screenshot of the Harvest Baptist Church donation form.

The Harvest Baptist Church also makes use of the multistep form, making the process easy and streamlined for its members. The entire donation page is very simple, ensuring that supporters are focused on the form itself.

We love how they provided specific projects that church members can choose to support. You can even donate to more than one cause at a time by picking the desired amount for each one.

Iglesias del Oeste Church Donation Form Example

This is a screenshot of the Iglesias del Oeste Donation church donation form.

The Inglesias del Oeste donation form draws your eye in immediately. We love how they provided suggested giving amounts, making the entire giving process easy for those church members who aren’t sure what donation amount will make a difference.

Additionally, they made great use of the top of their donation page. As you can see in the screenshot below, they added a quick blurb on why you should support them and incorporated a compelling image of their church members.

This is the top of the Inglesias del Oeste church donation page.

Islamic Center of Fredericksburg

This is a screenshot of the Islamic Center of Fredericksburg church donation form.

The Islamic Center of Fredericksburg has an aesthetically pleasing and compact church donation form. With its multistep format, congregants can quickly go through the giving process.

We love how they not only offered suggested giving amounts, but they also have a drop-down menu for supporters to pick where they want to direct their support.

Wrapping Up

Your church and its members deserve to have the resources to fund important projects and host engaging services for your community. Stepping up with online donation forms and a dedicated donation software solution is key if you want to make the most of your church fundraising.

If you want to continue your research, we suggest the following additional resources on donation forms and church fundraising:

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