By: Darcy Hofmann
Is your organization thinking about starting an online gift catalog? The gift catalog is a list of items that your donors can add to a cart and purchase. Rather than buying goods, your donors can contribute to your organization’s greatest needs. You don’t have to wait until the holiday season to get started, here are a couple of ways organizations use symbolic giving year-round.
Ann & Robert H Lurie’s Children’s Hospital of Chicago created their Feel Good Gifts page to provide their donors an opportunity to buy gifts. To accomplish this, they set up products, which are the individual items donors can purchase, using Blackbaud Luminate Online’s eCommerce module. Some of the items include pet therapy visits for $37 and a garden play program for $200. The products are organized by category (research, care, community) and also by occasion and price level. Each item has an image and a description that explains the impact of the gift. Donors add the items to the cart and use the checkout functionality to process their gifts. During this process, the donor can send eCards, printable cards, or mailed cards as a gift to a family member or friend. The eCommerce module in Luminate Online allows for the organization to easily create new items to keep the catalog updated.
Richstone Family Center used their donation form to create a short gift catalog for their Back to School campaign. If your organization does not have access to an eCommerce module like the one in Blackbaud Luminate Online, you have the option of using a donation form to set up products. Each item was set for a different price and the donor has the ability to select multiple items which updates their donation total. While this does not have the same “add to cart” functionality that the gift catalog does, donors can see the impact of their gift.
First, think about the items that you would include in your gift catalog. What are some program areas that you would like to highlight to your donors? The best option might be physical items like dog food for an animal rescue or it could be areas of need in your organization like research or a specific program.
Once you have some ideas in mind, curate an image and descriptions for each item. Then set a wide variety of price points so donors can provide support at any level. Lastly, you’ll want to develop eCards and mailed cards so donors can share their gift with a loved one.
Whether you’re using an eCommerce module or a donation form, creating an online gift catalog is another great way to engage donors with your mission and spread your message.
Are you interested in setting up your online gift catalog but don’t know where to start? Our team can find the products that work best for your organization and set up the technology to enable symbolic giving. We’ve helped nonprofits throughout the United States and Canada to optimize their digital fundraising strategy. Fill out this form to get started!