Nonprofit: Fundraising with QR codes
You can find QR (Quick Response) codes pretty much everywhere these days, so chances are good that you’ve used them or at least have seen them. In fact, a recent survey looking at trends in e-marketing reports that one in five have indeed scanned one. And it isn’t surprising. Take a look around… QR codes show up on product packaging, direct mail pieces, magazines and even billboards.

But what are these mysterious looking inkblots and how do they work? And more importantly, how can they help you with your fundraising efforts?

What are QR codes
QR codes are essentially two-dimensional barcodes, that when scanned with a smartphone, give the user instant access to digital content. QR codes can be used to direct a user to your website, provide contact information or send text messages.

There are many websites that will generate QR codes for free such as http://qrcode.kaywa.com or www.qrstuff.com. But having a QR code alone won’t bring in donations. You need to use it.

Add them to direct mail pieces including postcards, appeal letters and newsletters. And make sure you include them on promotional materials and on giveaways at your next fundraising event. They can be printed on brochures and business cards, in printed advertisements and on a ceramic white mug, T-shirts, buttons, and more. The possibilities are really endless.

How to use QR codes to collect donations
Making it easy for donors to contribute to your organization has never been simpler. Here are some ways your supporters can give without ever reaching into their wallets or grabbing for their cheque-books.

  • QR codes linked to PayPal®: QR codes can be linked right to PayPal allowing donors with a PayPal account to make a contribution without having to enter their credit card information. All users need is a PayPal account and their username and password.

This type of donation request works well during fundraising events and at times when donors are on the go. For instance, you can print QR codes right on posters or banners, or have them at check-out lines where donors can instantly contribute to your cause without literally digging into their pocketbooks. Plus, credit card processing fees won’t eat in to your donations.

  • QR codes and merchant accounts: For donors without a PayPal account,QR codes can be linked to merchant accounts. In this situation, after a user scans a QR code, they are prompted to enter their credit card information. This donation method is more inclusive as anyone with a credit card can join. However, the downside is that it is a more time consuming process as donors have to enter personal information including credit card account numbers each and every time.
  • QR codes and text-to-give: Many of you may remember how much mobile giving campaigns helped Canadian charities quickly raise relief funds after the Haiti earthquake in 2010. Over the course of 2010, Canadian charities raised a total of $600,000 through 125,014 mobile donations. With a text-to-give campaign, users scan a QR code and are prompted to donate via text. The donation is then charged to the user’s mobile phone account.

QR codes will continue to increase in their use, so now’s the time to give it a try. As they are measurable and mobile, this tactic is a winner and easy to put into action!

QR Code Adoption: 2013 Trends & Statistics.” QR Code Adoption: 2013 Trends & Statistics. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2013.

QR Stuff – QR Codes For Cell Phones And PDA’s.” QR Stuff. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2013.

Waters, Joe. “4 Ways to Use a QR Code to Raise Money | Inspiring Generosity.” Inspiring Generosity. N.p., 12 Mar. 2013. Web. 06 Apr. 2013.

Request a Paypal Donation.” Free QR Code Generator. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2013.

Mobile and Fundraising: What are the Issues that Non-Profits Must Know?” Mobile Giving Foundation. 3 May 2011. Web. 23 April 2013.

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