Quantify Donations to Encourage Giving

Quantify Your Donations

As the landscape of charitable giving shifts more and more to donating, learning about and supporting nonprofits online, there is an opportunity to set your organization apart— by quantifying donations to encourage more giving.

Research has shown that when a need is presented in a personal, human, and approachable way, people will give more.

Simply telling and/or showing donors how their gifts are used incorporated into an online giving form is one of the secrets to the most successful nonprofit organizations today.

Donors want to know where their money is going—period.

They want to visualize what their money is going to give someone rather than just plugging their credit card number into a generic online donation form and hoping their money is well-spent. The sooner donors feel comfortable with how your organization leverages their gifts the sooner they will give, and the more they will give.

Showing donors this information doesn’t have to be lengthy or complicated. For example: “100% of your donation will go towards purchasing art supplies for the after school art center” is a powerful statement. This type of messaging definitely should appear on your website in some shape or form.


Consider placing messaging or copy on several pages of your site—such as the about us page, or on the first page of your online donation form. Or, you could create a separate page that describes how donations are used with testimonials from clients who have directly benefited from similar donations.

Creative Concepts

Visual examples in the form of graphics or pictures on your website or online donation forms are even more powerful because they offer the mental image of a donor handing something to another in need. For example, a school could include a picture of a child’s book bag filled with school supplies with a list of the costs for each supply. A food bank could show a bag of groceries with the cost of food. A health research organization could show laboratory equipment and its price tag. A homeless shelter may show what it costs to purchase a new refrigerator, dishes, cleaning supplies, or linens.

A great example of quantifying donations is using images of food (e.g. 1 jar of peanut butter, 5 cans of tuna) next to each donation amount for an annual food drive—simple, yet very effective.

Think about the ways your organization can quantify donations and get the message across to your supporters. This small step is just one more way that your organization can embrace online giving without giving up the human touch.

We would love to hear ways that you have quantified donations through text, images or other means. Share your story below.

2 Responses to “Quantify Donations to Encourage Giving”

  1. Hi Jill Boyer. This is a great article. I was curious if you could share any stories you’ve heard – on ways that others have quantified donations. I’d love any inspiration you can share.

    • Jill Boyer

      Hi Mark, that is great to hear you enjoyed the article. One organization that comes to mind is charitywater.org. They continually provide clear and concise messaging on how, and where your donations are to be used. I encourage you to join their mailing list to see more examples. Also, check out our “Writing for Non-Profits” whitepaper and series that will help you express what you do and how you do it for you donors, your community and beyond.


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