Skip to content

Print Goes Digital: 5 Ways You Can Use QR Codes At Tax Time

As technology weaves its way into our everyday lives, digital fundraisers are given new and exciting ways to engage donors. QR codes now dominate the landscape, and many innovative charities are embracing their usage in a variety of ways. 

With tax time just around the corner, we thought we would share some of the great things you can do with QR codes on your marketing materials. 

Just in time, before your mail packs need to be finalised for your Tax Appeal!

Why are QR codes beneficial and how can you use them?

QR codes can instantly provide more information about your organisation to a donor OR seamlessly pre-fill donor’s information into a form to make it easier to donate. Either way, COVID has meant that for now QR codes are here to stay and there are countless ways to make use of them. 

Before we get into it, it’s important to highlight that there are two distinct types of QR codes we’ll talk through, whether you want to create one QR code for lots of people, or one QR code per person:

1. One QR code to many people

To create a QR code that directs many people to a single website is super simple. All you have to do is:

  • Google “free QR code generator”
  • Select a provider
  • Add the QR code website destination (and any relevant tracking)
  • Download the QR code file in your preferred format
  • Test your code to make sure it hits the right webpage
  • Add it to your marketing material

This is a great option for generic destinations but not the best for destinations that should be personalised.

2. One QR code to one person

When you’re looking to really personalise the donor experience, prefill a donation form and provide personalised content on the page. You need a single QR code for each person. The best way to do this is to work with GiveEasy and your favourite mailhouse. Here is our step by step:

  • Reach out to your mailhouse and see if they are able to print individual QR codes
  • Ask mailhouse what format the URL needs to be in
  • Let GiveEasy know you’d like to do personalised QR codes as part of your next campaign
  • Provide datafile to GiveEasy
  • GiveEasy provides appended datafile with personalised URLs in preferred mailhouse format
  • Provide file to mailhouse
  • Be sure to test QR codes on your proof sheets from the mailhouse before approving 

Please note: GiveEasy doesn’t charge additional fees for this service and in our experience, this process has no additional cost from the mailhouse. 

If you’re working in above-the-line marketing like billboards and digital screens you only have one option. On the other hand, if you do have someone’s details, why not make their life easier and yours, by pre-filling as much information as possible? But we’ll get to all that!

Five ways you can use QR codes in your tax campaign

1. Donation Mail Packs

Using QR codes, you can remove the hassle of a donor having to take several actions on their path to conversion. 

For example, adding a QR code on a mail pack that directs users straight to a donation page eliminates the extra hassle for the user to have to open a web browser, search for your website, and then try to navigate their way to the right page. By using a personalised QR code, you can pre-fill their details so all they need to enter are their payment details. 

After all, the more actions you require a donor to take, the more that will drop off and exit – meaning that fewer people make it to your donation page, and therefore less donations.

By using QR codes to reduce the amount of steps users have to take, this will ultimately mean more money for your organisation (YAY!).

Scan the QR code on The Royal Melbourne Hospital’s mail pack below for a demonstration of the personalised user experience:

NOTE: We strongly advise NOT including banking details in QR codes. This could be a risk if the mail is delivered to the wrong address or falls into the wrong hands.

How do QR codes stack up in a mail pack?

The key ways someone will donate are:

  • Filling out and returning the coupon
  • Phoning the call centre
  • Typing the vanity URL
  • Googling the charity
  • Scanning the QR code

None of these mechanisms are going away, but the way we use them is changing. More and more we see people receiving mail packs and donating online. It isn’t that mail is dead, it’s still a huge motivator for giving, but people are preferring to make the transaction online. 

When phone and call centre costs are so high, save them for mid-value and major donors. When predictive text and google mean you’re unable to track accurately, it can make it hard to justify your mail costs. QR codes provide a unique benefit; by creating personalised QR codes and adding tracking, not only can you see the direct revenue coming in from your mail pack, you can make the whole experience seamless for your donor. 

QR code revenue won’t turn everyone into an online donor; it may only make up 20-30% of revenue. However, we’re seeing an increasing number of donors choose this method, and it’s providing real data to the charities who are using it. Ultimately, this is guiding where they spend their fundraising budgets.

2. Receipts

Annual receipts for regular donors often see some of the highest attrition periods in the year across the industry.

Get creative and provide a personal thank you video to high-value donors, or an end-of-year wrap-up video to anyone who donated.

It’s also a great time to survey your donors and ask for feedback, what do they love, what grinds their gears?

Adding a QR code on your donation thank you pack or receipt is a great opportunity to engage with your donors. You are only limited by your imagination here.

In this scenario, both a generic or a personalised QR code could be used. If you are directing a donor to an anonymous survey then a generic QR code is all you need. If you are directing high-value donors to personalised thank you videos then you will obviously need a personalised QR code.

3. Invitations

Holding a fundraising event as part of your tax campaign? You can use QR codes on your mailed invites or flyers to allow users to easily register for your event.

If you’re mailing an invite then you already have the donor’s address. Take this opportunity to create a personalised experience for the user, by only showing the relevant event/s in their area.

In this scenario, a personalised QR code that pre-fills the donor’s name and email address in the event registration form would work perfectly. Again this saves the donor the extra hassle in filling in fields you already have.

4. Volunteer Packs

If you are holding an event for tax time and you need to direct volunteers to a particular location an easy way to do this is through a QR code.

Simply add a QR code to your volunteer information packs. Your volunteer will scan the QR code and a pre-filled address with specific directions are readily available.

This saves the person from having to manually search for the location.

A generic QR code would work perfectly fine in this scenario as you just need to provide the same location to all. If there are a few locations, creating three different QR codes would also work as you don’t need to create hundreds or thousands of these. As there is also no opportunity to make personalised directions a personalised QR code would be unnecessary.

5. Digital Screens

Whether you’re hosting a webinar, advertising in a lift lobby, or running a televised event like a telethon, QR codes on digital screens have become the norm. 

Think about where you can add value or be strategic about asking for a donation. 

Often during webinars you’re cutting and pasting links and promising to send PDFs after the event is over. What about providing a QR code on the closing notes with a link to a PDF on a hosted landing page? Or providing a quick survey users can complete on their mobile. 

During disasters and seasonal telethons avoid long URLs and support people while they are dual screening. Add a QR code to the bottom banner of the screen, either while the presenter makes a call out for donations, or while your most emotive content is on screen. 

Digital screens are all around us now and with support from your out-of-home advertising supplier you can get creative with where you put your QR code. Make it simple and ask for the fewest possible details as people are often in a rush.

Final Comments

You can use QR codes both on printed and digital marketing material, so the opportunities are almost endless! The above are just five examples of what you can do.

Ask your mailhouse today if they do personalised QR codes, or get in touch with GiveEasy to find out more. 

QR Code checklist:

  • Whenever you use QR codes ensure you provide clear indications on what the QR code is for and where the user will be taken after scanning.
  • Put the QR code in a location where people will be able to see and scan the QR code.
  • Make sure the QR code is big enough to be scannable.
  • Don’t add banking details of donors and supporters to QR codes.
  • Create a URL destination that is mobile-friendly. This is critical when scanning and visiting websites from your phone. As always, all GiveEasy donation pages and forms are mobile-friendly so you can check this one off already!
  • Be sure to add tracking to your URL so you can monitor the performance of your QR code vs other channels.
  • Don’t put a QR code on a platform that people primarily view on mobile. For example, social media is primarily viewed from a mobile device; if you put a QR code on a social media post, any person viewing the post from their mobile device won’t be able to open it – that’s because they are already on their phone and can’t use it to scan the QR code. 

“COVID-19 …. helped us to move to a digital-first, storytelling focused approach across campaigns fundraising and we completely smashed our fundraising targets. Lockdown meant that donors moved to responding digitally (over 70% of donors are now giving through online channels), and they have given more than ever before”

Natalie Barnett   |   Head of Fundraising Campaigns

Arts Centre Melbourne

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn