Donation form best practices

BBIS allows you to create as many donation forms as your organisation requires. It is simple to create new donation forms by copying existing forms and updating configuration as necessary. You can also use the same donation form on different pages if the configuration doesn't differ but the form requires a different title and message. Some common donation forms include:

  • General donation form with multiple designations and ask amounts
  • Separate forms for single, recurring, and tribute gifts to simplify the user experience
  • Specific campaign forms that are configured with a default designation, appeal, and/or amount 

Configuration recommendations

The general rule of thumb for donation forms is to keep it simple. Just because you can does not mean that you should - include only the options that are absolutely necessary for business processes and reporting. Some general best practices and recommendations include:

  • Constituency: This option allows you to assign all constituents who give through this form a specific constituency. Keep in mind that constituents will automatically be assigned to the Donor constituency. It is not required to assign an additional constituency unless it is useful for reporting and segmentation.
  • Minimum gift amount: Recommend setting a minimum to at least cover credit card and admin fees.
  • Donor gift scheduling options: Recommend creating separate forms for single and recurring gifts to simplify the user experience. For recurring gifts, the frequency should align with when your organisation runs credit card or direct debit processes.
  • Designations: For your general donation forms, include a small number of designations from which donors can select. Set up separate forms with default designations for specific fundraising campaigns.
  • Impact statement: Use the impact statement to merge a designation-specific message into the email acknowledgement and/or confirmation screen based on the selected designation.
  • Giving levels: Studies have shown that including suggested giving levels increases the average gift amount. It is worth doing a little data mining to determine the best suggested giving levels for your audiences.
  • Sources: Source is tracked using CRM appeal records. You can allow donors to self-select source or default the source and hide the field on the donation form. Source can be passed to the donation form by adding "?source=<appeal name>" to the originating URL (email or web page link).
  • Payment options: Use a page that includes a Payment 2.0 part instead of the "Proceed directly to payment" option to process credit cards through Blackbaud Secure Payments (BBSP), a secure payment page hosted on a Blackbaud server regardless of whether you host your own Blackbaud site.


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