Contextual Giving: What Is It? And Why Does It Matter?

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You may have seen press releases or blog posts talking about Qgiv’s “contextual giving” platform and how it can help you raise more money with your donors. But what, exactly, is contextual giving? And why should you take advantage of it?

Well, we know that the decision to donate to a charity is an emotional decision. It can be inspired by lots of different experiences; donors can be inspired by pictures on a website, by a speaker at a conference or a well-preached sermon, or by anything else nonprofits use to appeal to their supporters. When a charity uses contextual giving, they focus on keeping people engaged in the context of whatever makes them want to donate.

When you hear the phrase “contextual giving,” it can cover any of a number of different giving methods. Donors are always inspired in different contexts; here’s why we offer each of our different features to keep them engaged.

1. Branded Donation Forms

Branded donation forms let donors give to your charity without being taken out of the context of your website. You work hard to appeal to your donors’ emotions by using stories and pictures to inspire them. Ideally, you wouldn’t want to sever that emotional connection by redirecting your donors to a donation page that doesn’t look like the inspirational website you built so carefully. Putting your donation form in a page that looks, feels, and functions like your nonprofit’s page maintains your donors’ emotional ties to your nonprofit. That leads to more donations and, in most cases, bigger donations.

2. Mobile Donation Forms

An increasing number of people use their smartphones and tablets to access the Internet every day. As more people frequent websites on mobile devices, the need to have mobile-friendly websites becomes harder to avoid. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly donation page, your donors will have a much harder time navigating your form… and you risk removing your donors from the mental context that made them want to contribute to your cause. Mobile-friendly donation forms let your supporters donate without distracting them by making them squint at tiny text fields and minuscule print.

Check out our guide to mobile giving!

3. Text Donations

Imagine your donors have just heard an amazing speech about your nonprofit. They’re enthralled, they’re fired up, they’re ready to donate and… they have to wait until they get home to do it.

Offering ways to donate immediately is important! Luckily, donating by text allows donors to give right away without navigating to your charity’s webpage on a browser. A quick text message, a few seconds to enter their payment information, and voilà! A near-instant donation means supporters are never distracted from their initial decision to give.

4. On-Site Payments

Allowing donors to give on-site at an event is a fantastic way to connect with donors before they lose the desire to give to your charity. Mobile apps, plug-in card readers, and payment kiosks process donations fast enough that donors don’t have to wait in long lines to make their gift. Being able to donate quickly and easily is important for donors; being bored by a long line can kill a decision to make a contribution!

The philosophy behind contextual giving is that nonprofits want donors to stay within the context of whatever inspires them to donate. Jarring someone from their emotional response to your message can result in lost donation opportunities or smaller gifts. Having the right tools, though, will keep them connected to you from start to finish!

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