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Sept 9 & 10

4 Strategies to Increase Donor Engagement With QR Codes

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Technology is increasingly present in nonprofit fundraising. From Facebook campaigns to mobile donation pages, digital fundraising tools are rising in popularity—especially QR codes. With 89 million users using QR code scanners and 70% of consumers saying they’re more likely to follow a brand that uses QR codes, your nonprofit can’t afford to ignore this tool for increasing engagement.

QR codes have an unparalleled potential to engage your nonprofit’s audience, making them an indispensable tool to incorporate into your marketing and event materials. Let’s explore four ways your nonprofit can use this tool to increase donor engagement.

Hands holding a phone as it scans a QR code

1. Add QR codes to marketing materials

As a professional fundraiser, your goal should not just be to reach out to supporters but to engage them by soliciting a response. Responsiveness is a clear sign of engagement, meaning you’ll know your marketing materials are effective when donors interact with them. 

The right fundraising tools, like QR codes, can help you capture donor attention and solicit a response. Consider incorporating QR codes into the following marketing materials:

  • Social media posts: QR codes are both eye-catching and self-explanatory, making them the ideal addition to your nonprofit’s visual content. Add QR codes to your social media posts and prompt viewers to learn more by scanning the code. For example, you might create an Instagram post promoting your mobile giving campaign that prominently features a QR code. Upon scanning the code, followers can access more information about the campaign and how their donation would be used.
  • Email newsletters: Use the subject line, headers, and body text of your email newsletters to promote your upcoming events and campaigns. Then, supplement this content with QR codes to provide additional information for those who’d like to keep reading. For example, the QR code may lead to your nonprofit’s About page, where they can learn more about your organization’s mission and purpose.
  • Direct mail: Although direct mail falls under the category of print marketing, QR codes can act as the bridge between physical mail and the online donation process. In fact, according to Nonprofits Source’s charitable giving statistics, 24% of Baby Boomers have been prompted to donate online after receiving direct mail. This means that direct mail can get donors online, and QR codes can help. Add QR codes to your print marketing materials to provide seamless access to your online resources. 

Prompting donors to scan your QR codes is just the first step in engaging them. Remember to maintain engagement after the scan by linking to attention-grabbing content, such as promotional videos for a fundraising event or testimonials from beneficiaries. 

2. Use QR codes for event activities

No matter what types of fundraising events you host, you can use QR codes in any setting to better engage your donors. For example, QR codes might link to information about the event’s corporate sponsors so that donors can learn more about the companies that support your cause. This can also help you engage your corporate partners and encourage them to continue their support.

Additionally, QR codes can facilitate participation in the fundraising event’s activities. For example, next to each item in a silent auction, you could display a QR code that links to more information about the item and allows donors to bid right from their smartphones. According to Snowball’s auction software guide, “the more straightforward the bidding experience is, the higher the engagement potential.”

This strategy can even help with event registration to streamline the check-in process. If donors can scan QR codes to sign themselves into an event, it will reduce the amount of time they’d normally spend in line waiting to be checked in. Your event volunteers will also appreciate the self-managed check-in process so they can spend more time connecting with attendees and promoting your cause.

3. Provide access to exclusive content

While publicity can help your nonprofit stand out, content that isn’t widely available to everyone can make loyal donors feel more connected to your organization. For example, a donor who receives access to information about your nonprofit’s upcoming project will feel more invested in your organization since they’re in the know. 

Your nonprofit can offer access to exclusive content using limited-time QR codes. Make it clear that donors must scan the code before a certain deadline to access exclusive information. Then, link to content such as:

  • Behind-the-scenes footage
  • New project sneak peeks
  • Early campaign announcements

Personalize the content by sharing QR codes that align with supporters’ interests. For example, an animal shelter might use QR codes to provide updates about their cat rescue program to volunteers who have shown interest in this program in the past. 

Alternatively, you could tailor content to match a supporter’s level of involvement. Major donors might access content about the nonprofit’s strategic plan, while one-time donors could be led to information about recurring giving. 

4. Encourage interactivity in thank-you letters

It’s no secret that effective donor recognition increases retention. If you want donors to stick around, you’ll need to make your appreciation efforts meaningful. 

Using QR codes to aid donor appreciation can exponentially improve engagement, especially when you make it easy for donors to deepen their involvement. After all, donors who commit to continuing their support are likely engaged in your cause. Whether you’re handwriting an appreciation letter or sending a digital card, use QR codes to provide additional ways to get involved, such as:

Facilitate your appreciation efforts with fundraising software or dedicated donor engagement tools. The right platform can automate communications and monitor donor engagement to help your nonprofit show meaningful appreciation more easily and gauge its effectiveness.

Over time, track the performance of your QR codes to ensure they’re being viewed and scanned. If your strategy could use improvement, consider reaching out to a digital marketing consultant for guidance on how to use QR codes more effectively. 

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