How To Pre-Populate Your Form

There are three values that you can pre-populate on your donation or payment form: Amount, Gift Designation, and for an invoice payment template, the Invoice Number.

You might wish to pre-populate these fields in order to customize your online giving for special appeals, to encourage donors to give more, or to pre-fill fields that you have made required.

These customizations are fairly easy to execute by adding some extra instructions to your form’s link, or URL.

How To Add A Pre-Populated Value

Your donation form link might look like this: , (xxxx indicates the form ID number)

To set the Amount field to $100 you will add &amount=100 to the end of your donation form link:
(Be sure to substitute our example form id number above with your own donation form's id number.)

Pre-populating a Gift Designation value or an Invoice Number value is done the same way. Read on for specific examples.

Pre-Populate The Amount

Let's say you always want the amount on your donation form to be pre-populated with $100.

To do this, append &amount=100 to the end of your donation form link:

Figure 1

You can pass any amount to the form. Usually, the amount will match one of the Suggested Amount buttons, but it does not have to. Example:

You can include a decimal point in the amount you pass. An example would be running a Pi Day appeal and pre-populating the donation form with the amount of $30.14. Example:

Pre-Populate The Gift Designation

For this example let's assume you have three programs: item-1, item-2 and item-3 listed in your dropdown menu.

To set the designated gift on the form to Program item-2, append "&desig=Program+item-2" to the end of your donation form link like this:

If your text contains spaces, replace all spaces with a plus sign (+).

You can use a dash (-) in your text, but no other special characters will be recognized and keep the query from working correctly.

Figure 2

Without using the pre-population method as described, your donation form will read "Select" in the dropdown menu field (as seen in the before graphic, figure 3). If you pre-populate your form with a gift designation, the dropdown menu field will already have your program selection.

Figure 3

When Is It Useful To Pre-Populate The Gift Designation Field?

Scenario #1: Your donation form uses a dropdown menu to allow a donor to designate a particular program or fund. You are running an appeal focusing on just one of those programs. By setting the link in your email appeal or social media post to pre-select the program, you make it easy for your supporters to donate to your active campaign.

Scenario #2: Your nonprofit runs several programs and you have a web page on your website describing each one. At the bottom of each program's web page is a button to Donate. You can customize the link on each web page so that the program area the donor has chosen to support is pre-populated.

Scenario #3: For your year-end appeal, you have decided to segment your donor list based on which program area someone has supported in the past. Each segmented group will receive an appeal customized for that program with a pre-populated donate link.

When Should You Use A Separate Fundraising Form?

A pre-populated value on a donation form can still be changed by your donor. If you are running an appeal for a particular program and you need to make sure that the donors are giving to that program, you should create a separate fundraising form for the appeal.

Example: Your Parent/Teacher Association nonprofit runs 3 funds: Teacher Appreciation Fund, School Supplies Fund, and Graduation Fund. In August, you want to run an appeal to raise money for the School Supplies Fund, and you need to make sure that all the money during the appeal is designated for School Supplies.

If you pre-populate your general donation form the donor can change the gift designation selection. In this case, it's better to create a separate fundraising form called School Supplies Fund. The new new School Supplies Fund form does not include a gift designation field because all donations go only to that fund. Your appeal's Donate link will then use the link to this separate fundraising form.

Using A Custom URL

If you are using a custom URL for your fundraising form you will add the pre-populated values to your link slightly differently. Let's say your custom URL looks like this:

To use this URL and pre-populate the Amount field the link will look like this:

To pre-populate the Gift Designation field the link will look like this:

Pre-Populate The Invoice Number

When using GiveDirect's simple Invoice Payment form you can pre-populate the Invoice Number field and / or the Amount field.

To pre-populate the invoice number field append &inv=12345 to the end of your donation form link:

You can use a dash (-) or a decimal (.) in your text, but no other special characters will be recognized.

You can combine a pre-populated amount and a pre-populated invoice number. A link that uses both values will look like:

Figure 4