8 Ways to Use CanadaHelps Customizable Donation Forms

The CanadaHelps Customizable Donation form (CDF) is packed full of features that help make fundraising easier. With its high-level of customizability, built in best practices and automations that cut down on administration, it’s no wonder it’s the leading donation form used by over 12,000 Canadian charities. 

One of the best things about the CanadaHelps Donation Forms is that you can create unlimited forms for your charity at no extra cost. Our data shows that charities with more active donation forms achieve higher revenue. You might be wondering why your charity needs more than one donation form. By being able to create as many donation forms as needed, you can share your donation forms in more ways and  create more tailored experiences from the messaging of the donation form, to that of your thank you and tax receipt.

There are so many different ways to use CanadaHelps Customizable Donation Form; here is a rundown of the different types of donation forms you can choose from and all the ways you can use your donation forms. Our data shows that those charities with more donation forms can stand to earn up to 13.5X more revenue annually. Are you using your donation forms in all these ways? Are there any more ways that you can think of?

Choosing Your Form Type 

When you’re creating your first Customizable Donation Form, you can choose from four types, the Full Form, a Multi-Step Form, Tribute First Form or Securities Form. 

No matter which type of form you choose, rest assured that all of them come with best practices already in place:

  • The only mandatory fields are for necessary information: how much they want to donate, their details, and payment information
  • There are as few steps as possible to increase conversion rates
  • High customizability with brand imagery and colours
  • PCI-compliant security, with robust fraud protection to protect your charity
  • Automatic tax receipting and thank you messaging you can control
  • Backend support such as automatic credit card update checker
  • Detailed donor information that you can act upon

Full Form 

The Full Form is a traditional form that keeps everything on one page so that your donors can see what information is required of them before they start filling in their information. 

There are multiple ways to use this form, whether you want to use it as your main donation call-to-action or for a specific campaign. You can link to this standalone form from your website, emails or socials and add features like progress bars. Here is a wonderful example by the Bach Vancouver Choir.

Multi-Step Form

Our multi-step form breaks down the donation process into simple steps, making donating to your charity as easy as 1-2-3! 

  • It keeps things streamlined so there is no other information to distract them 
  • It breaks up the process and guides them through step-by-step
  • It shows their progress through the donation process
  • A multi-step form may increase your conversion rate

Some may feel that the multi-step is a more modern and slick experience. If you’re not sure whether the full form or the multi-step form works better for you, you can always try them both out and see which brings in the most donations.

Tribute First Form

The Tribute First Form asks donors who they’d like to dedicate their gift to and options to send an eCard as the first question. While there are some template eCards you are welcome to use, you can also add your own, as shown in this example by Hospice Orillia, to add a more custom touch.

Securities Form

Securities have become an increasingly popular way to give particularly because of the capital gains benefits a donor can receive. If you aren’t already, educating your donors on the tax benefits they can gain on securities donations is a great way to encourage gifts of stocks, bonds or mutual funds. Our securities form makes it easy for donors to donate securities, you can learn more about security donations with CanadaHelps here.

Plus Two Bonus Form Types!

In response to growing donor expectations and our often hybrid online and offline world, we have two additional ways for charities to embed and share forms.

Pop-up Form

Pop-up forms take things a step further by showing your donation form on the screen, on top of everything else. You can create a pop-up form from any existing multi-step form by hovering over the “three-dot” menu on the right, and clicking on the rocket ship icon that appears. 

Please note, pop-up forms are only available for multi-step style forms. 

The beauty of a pop-up form is that you can link to it from any page of your site. You can also make the button for your pop-up form “sticky” so it’s always visible on the page even if your potential donor is scrolling.  

QR Codes

This isn’t a different form perse but another way you are able to share your form, online and even offline at an event such as a Gala dinner. This way, in-person attendees at your event can donate through an online form easily and conveniently, right from their table. 

To generate your QR code hover over “three-dot” menu on the right of the form you want to share, and click on the QR code icon. You’ll be given options to download your QR code in PNG, JPG or SVG formats to add to your assets.

Creating a Donation Form for:

One-Time Donation

The one-time donation is the most popular type of donation for charities. 

It can be effective to have prepopulated suggested amounts that have impact statements alongside them. For example, $50 provides one week of food for a family in need.

An example from Ecosource, a charity whose mission is to inspire the community to become more environmentally responsible through creative public education

Monthly Donations

Monthly donations provide charities with steady income that can help them to plan sustainably. It can also provide them with more revenue for more ambitious projects.

On the CanadaHelps donation form, you can choose to have one-time or monthly options or both, and you can also choose which of these options the toggle should default to. Since typically charities want to highlight the monthly option we also have a “monthly donation icon” which draws attention to the monthly donation. This can be customized to an icon that best fits your mission.

Our newest feature to help increase monthly donations for your charity is a monthly prompt which asks one time donors whether they’d like to convert their one-time donation to a monthly donation. This is only available on the multi-step form and displays for one-time gifts between $10 and $200.

Tribute or Memorial Donations

One of the most popular reasons to give is to honour or in memory of someone. In fact, this is a growing trend and particularly significant for health related charities. If you have the option for a tribute gift, it is best to provide the user with a tailored experience and give them the additional options to add a name, choose an eCard and send a message to a recipient.

While you can turn on the option for tribute or memorial donations on any of your CanadaHelps Donation forms, the tribute first form puts the option first. This signals to the donor that they are in the right place and also gives them the opportunity to choose from several eCards.

Securities Donations

Securities are the most tax efficient way for donors to make a difference and includes stocks and mutual funds. Instead of selling their shares and donating the cash amount, donors can donate securities and eliminate capital tax gains. 

Not everyone is aware of the advantages of securities donations so it’s important for charities to provide this education. You can see an example of how we educate donors on securities donations here.


Now you've learned about a few of the different ways to use donation forms, we can't wait to see how you add them creatively to your fundraising strategy and raise even more for your charity! Here's a checklist of 4 actionable next steps:

  • Go through your "Ways to Give" page and ensure you're using tailored forms to match each ask with the donor experience.
  • See whether there are "Ways to Give" that may be missing from your website.
  • Assess whether securities giving may be right for your charity if you don't already have this way to give.
  • Check if there are upcoming in-person events or locations that would benefit from QR codes linking to your donation forms.

We’ve included a few of our favourite donation forms in this blog, but if you’re looking for more great examples, check out the 10 Best Uses of The CanadaHelps Donation Form. 

If you’re ready to try it out for your charity get started in minutes

If you'd like to speak to one of our Charity Engagement Specialists to get a personalized walkthrough, book a free consultation.

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