pay what you wish donation platform

Flexible + Pay What You Wish: The Next Wave of Nonprofit Fundraising

What are Pay What You Wish Donations?
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How Flexible Donations Work

What Are Pay What You Wish Donations?

Odds are, you’ve been to or heard of an event, museum, or concert that accepts “pay what you wish” with admission.  This flexible donation style is rapidly growing more prevalent as we adjust to this next post-COVID chapter. This donation style lets the buyer decide how much to donate in exchange for admission to your event, while a minimum price may be set by the organizer. More and more people want to travel and experience new artistic works. We’re craving events that invite questions, conversations, and new ways of looking at the world–opening minds and hearts everywhere. Flexible donations allow audiences around the globe to do just that. Ticketstripe is here to help break down how “PWYW”/flexible donations work and how to raise as much as possible for your cause through this burgeoning fundraising technique!

While there are numerous benefits of patrons “paying what they wish,” our Ticketstripe team has rounded up three top reasons your nonprofit can benefit from adopting a donation platform that offers PWYW.

More Accessibility

By allowing your event to be more budget-friendly to the average consumer, you open the gates of art, music, and diverse culture to your community at large. Think how the next great artist, musician, poet, or activist can emerge simply from having access to their inspiration. Flexible donations also help support marginalized groups, allow entrance to school groups and educational classes, and invite more eyes to your event.

More Publicity

“Pay what you wish” is a catchy hook for social media. With Ticketstripe you can create private branded event pages, entice your audience with flexible PWYW donations, and allow your patrons to share the occasion on their personal pages— bringing in more faces and donations. Social media makes it simple to promote and capture the essence of your event, and Ticketstripe makes it equally easy for participants to contribute to the cause.

More Fundraising

While donation platforms that offer PWYW for admission provide fantastic opportunities, they can also cause members of the board to take a pause. How can you continue to make money and meet the necessary goals when it feels like you’re ‘giving things away? Worry not! Fundraising is possible– and increased–with this kind of admission. Greater access and increased publicity inherently bring more donations, but you can also set a minimum required donation to ensure you meet your quota. For an extra boost, create complimentary packages that align with the level of a guest’s contribution. Backstage passes, private tours, or gratis bubbles and bites are all strong additions to your fundraiser and can be advertised through your social platforms.

Once you’ve decided to give pay-what-you-wish donations a try, double-check that you’re making the most of this admission type! Whether you’re a fresh event creator or well-versed in throwing a nonprofit soiree, we’ve culminated a handful of tips to help elevate your event and ensure that you make the most money for your designated cause.

Reiterate the ‘Why’

Remind your attendees of the reason behind your big bash. Why this event? Why is it important? Is it a time-sensitive mission where the funds need to be quickly accessed? I.e., hurricane relief or children in crisis. Is it to assist in a more extended project, like building a new hospital wing or supporting a modern art museum? While most patrons might lean towards a smaller financial gift, don’t underestimate the power of a well-worded description to help establish the value of your event and to help gain more monetary traction.

Create a Paper Trail

Captivate your audience’s attention and promote your organization’s authenticity and morals by crafting a paper trail. Show your customers an actionable plan with tangible steps to help your cause. By detailing exactly where each individual’s money is going, you not only continue to foster a sense of community and trust– you help your audience envision their role in participating. Providing a concrete “where” in addition to your “why” will prompt them to remember how critical their donation is.

Learn More About Your Donor

Part of the beauty of flexible donation entry is that your donors will ideally come from all walks of life. But, like any event, the key to success is to consider your target demographic. Reflect on your nonprofit. Muse on its inherent values, aesthetics, the age group that predominantly attends your soirees, etc. What social issues matter to them? How do they best feel appreciated and wanted? What group will care most about your nonprofit, and how do you ensure they’re included? To further guarantee you’re “in the black,” think about your ideal attendee in your planning. If your patrons feel that they’re part of something special, exclusive, or culturally significant, they will be more likely to contribute.

Maximize Your Checkout Process

Now that you have the “why,” “where,” and “who” of your event, add the “when” with your checkout process! Here, you’re able to provide the necessary details of the event and allow each guest to select their desired payment. The checkout process is also an incredible opportunity to gather information about your patrons. Ticketstripe enables your team to craft custom questions to better understand your audience’s wants, needs, and preferences. Some sample questions might be:

  • If you could describe your ideal event in three words, what would they be?
  • What is your meal preference? Fish or Vegetarian?
  • Which nonprofits are doing work that excite you?

Whatever questions you choose, their answers can help shape your upcoming event and future fundraisers. They can aid in organization, inform advertising copy and tone, and assist in reaching out to other benefactors. Taking time to add a personal touch to your checkout makes your attendees feel cared for and valued– and that their answers are influential and essential! Wouldn’t you want to be involved in something like that?

Ticketstripe’s platform makes checkout a breeze by seamlessly streamlining ticket sales, “pay-what-you-wish” options, and custom checkout questions– the premiere way to ticket your nonprofit gatherings.

You may think, “this all sounds great, but how does it work?” Let’s break it down.
flexibile donation platform

How To Use Flexible Donations with Ticketstripe

Once you’ve decided on adopting flexible donations, you enable the individual to type in their own financial contribution. To set this up, pop over to Log in to your free account, select your event, click the “Donations” tab, and the “+Donations” button. From there, you can create a title for the offering, modify or delete the suggested amounts, and tick the box to “allow custom donation amount”.

when to use flexible donations

Since we are talking about PWYW, this donation involves admission. Simply click on the More Options button and scroll down to tick the box “Donation includes admission”. Then, from the drop-down, select the admission ticket you previously created along with the quantity. Don’t forget to fill out any other donation details and hit save. For a step-by-step guide on accepting contributions and deciphering which style best fits your team, view this help article.

Ticket Bundle

Lastly, to keep the finances flowing toward your fund, we recommend passing on the service and merchant fees to ensure that as much money as possible goes directly toward your cause. This feature is only available via a Stripe merchant account, and we highly recommend your nonprofit utilize it for your event!

Other Types of PWYW Uses

Suggested Donations

Via Ticketstripe, suggested donations allow the event coordinator to add multiple suggested charitable amounts for your occasion. You can always add a flexible “pay what you can” option to any suggested amounts.

Donation Tiers

These layers help customers easily choose what fiscal amount best fits their budget and lifestyle. We recommend crafting a handful of options to choose from. Said tiers are an excellent way to include the gifts mentioned above that accompany the donation type. (If you’re struggling to decide what extra baubles to pick for guests, you can’t go wrong with champagne and chocolate.) For more helpful tips on how and why to use Donation Tiers, along with examples, check out this post.

A study from the University of Chicago shows that there’s an increased urge to give when the pressure is alleviated. Be sure to include a lower-price level to encourage this behavior!

After a harrowing few years with considerable adjustments to personal finances and more causes than ever that need support, flexible donations are the future of nonprofit fundraising. This style of ticketing balances on a “win-win” transaction. It relies on the acknowledgment of value, trust, and community.

In addition to the already noted perks of “PWYW,” perhaps the most significant benefit is allowing everyone– regardless of background or social status— to feel included, meaningful, and able to give back. Flexible donations encourage us to be a part of something bigger than ourselves and will undoubtedly create incredible advancements in the nonprofit field.

Check out our help center to learn more about varying types of donation options or how to add them to your event. Feel free to drop us a line if you have more questions. We can’t wait to hear about your incredible events!

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