The following is a guest post sent by Laura Iancu at 123ContactForm:
Every nonprofit has its own unique purpose, but they all have one thing in common: they strive to increase efficiency by saving time, energy and money.
One tool that can greatly help you increase efficiency is a web form builder. Online web forms can be used for a surprising variety of tasks, such as distributing and administering messages collected from your website, creating donor and volunteer databases, collecting donations and more.
1. Create contact forms for your website
Your organization needs to be reachable by the public and create openness towards any requests, potential partnerships or initiatives. This initial contact is often made through a website.
Having a contact form which can give you control over the messages you receive is therefor essential. The advantage of web form builders compared to custom systems created by web developers is that you can achieve the result easier, cheaper (or free) and embed the form on your website within minutes.
You do not need any programming skills to create forms with advanced behavior. For example you can filter any messages you get and redirect them to different persons or departments within your organization. Each form can be customized with colors, fonts, logos and other visual elements to give your messages the same branding as your other media such as your website and newsletters.
2. Collect donations with customized web forms
According to The Nonprofit Fundraising Study released by the Nonprofit Research Collaboration, between 80 to 90 percent of their surveyed organizations collect donations online and the annual online funding receipts grew by 57%. Online fundraising includes raising funds through third party services (read 15 Most Popular Online Fundraising Services) and through a website with the help of an online donation form.
The advantage of using a donation form on your own website is that you can receive payments directly without having to go through a third party fundraising site which will limit you to whatever payment processor they’re using. You will also have access to a database with a record of all your donations.
In addition, by using a donation form you can send ‘thank you’ messages with the help of autoresponders and redirect your donors to find further information about your cause or sign up for your newsletter.
3. Use web forms for volunteer recruitment
We all know that when you need help from volunteers one way to get them is from your donor database. Having a strong database created through the donation form itself can cut some time consuming steps in the process. You can also create a dedicated volunteer recruitment form and send it to your most loyal supporters or you can share the form publicly and let the entire community apply.
4. Event registration
With an event registration form you can have your attendees register directly online which will greatly facilitate this part of your planning and let you better prepare in advance for that specific event.
When you plan a large charity events or galas, all your focus will be on your participants and by using online forms not only will you cut the hours of paperwork for registration but you can also gather feedback immediately from your participants.
5. Marketing like a pro
With every form you create through an online form builder a database is created and since most forms builders integrate with the largest CRM services (customer relationship management), gathering leads is plain and simple. All these contacts can be used in marketing strategies later on.
You can plan emails, newsletters, thank you letters and other media for donor stewardship.
These are just a few ideas of how forms can be integrated into your work flow to help your non-profit finish tasks in less time. With a bit of imagination you can create forms for all kind of processes and streamline your work.
Have you used forms? Which are your best practices in using them for your nonprofit? Please share them with us in the comment section.
About the author:
Laura Iancu is part of the 123ContactForm team, an online form builder service that can help everyone to create powerful web forms.