Not-for-profit organisations everywhere are discovering that QR codes can reach new donors and boost their donations.
It is very economical to create a QR Code that can be incorporated into everything from your website, to your newsletters, to your national advertising campaign. You can easily generate a QR Code online, and many services can produce codes free of charge.
The Salvation Army has pioneered the use of these codes to drive donations.
Knoxville Area Commander Major Don Vick explains, “We have found that people are more likely to have a smart phone in their pocket than loose change.
“In an age where credit and debit cards are a primary means of spending, we’ve had to experiment with alternative ways for those without cash or change on them to make a donation.
We feel the QR Code is the best option at this point.”
There are several payment techniques that can be linked to a code:
Link to PayPal
When scanned, the code links to PayPal. The donor then enters their PayPal details to complete the donation.
Pro: PayPal is a quick, easy and secure way to donate, because donors don’t need to enter credit card information.
Con: The donor must already have an active PayPal account.
Link to a Merchant Account
A merchant account is a type of bank account that allows an organisation to accept payments by payment cards, typically debit or credit cards. After scanning the QR Code, the donor enters their credit card information.
Pro: Anyone with a credit card can make a donation.
Con: A donor may have to type in their credit card information every time they donate this way.
Link to text-to-give
This option charges the donation to a donor’s mobile phone account.
Pro: This is a very quick, easy and secure way to donate, and most mobile phone companies are familiar with the service.
Con: While plans vary, text-to-give is generally the most expensive option, which is a factor of consideration for not for profit organisations.
Link to a Cash or In Kind Donation
This method is particularly popular with businesses that want to publically support a charity. A code is usually displayed on their product along side text that explains how they will donate ‘X’ dollars to ‘X’ charity for every scan. They then keep track of the number of donor scans and donate corresponding cash or an in kind product to their nominated charity.
Pro: Some QR makers will offer an analysis service that tracks how many times the code is scanned. It may also provide you with other useful information, such as user demographics and locations.
Con: Because all the donor does is scan a code, there is a danger of customer dissatisfaction. To make sure that your donors receive the warm and fuzzy feeling of doing good, link the code to a ‘Thank you’ page that explains what has been achieved or donated on their behalf.
QR Code tips:
Include a call to action along side your code, e.g. “Scan here to donate $5”.
Be clear about where the QR Code will take people, e.g. “Scan here to donate $5. You’ll be taken to PayPal to complete your donation”.
Always link to a mobile friendly webpage. If people can’t easily use the donation webpage on their smart phone, they will simply give up and leave without donating.
If setting up an advertising campaign, check that the areas you plan advertise are covered by a mobile signal.