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Using QR Codes for Fundraising & Awareness Campaigns: It's so easy!

QR codes (aka quick response codes) are machine-readable images of black and white squares that take a person to a specific website page

when scanned on a phone or tablet.

Your charity can use a QR code to direct supporters to your nonprofit’s fundraising or marketing campaign quickly and easily. Users scan QR codes by holding the camera on their phone in front of a code for two to three seconds. Your phone will ask to re-direct you to the website that contains your campaign information.

There are so many reasons your nonprofit should invest in QR codes, so in today’s post, we will get you all set up with your new nonprofit QR codes.


1. They provide a contactless donation method.

Touchless has been the theme for the last couple of years. Everybody is doing it, and it has been gaining momentum.

2. They show you're adaptable & tech-savvy.

I talk a lot about next-gen donors, and the 35 under crowd is the biggest user of QR codes.

3. They provide information without taking up a lot of space.

Event information, fundraising campaigns, annual reports, newsletters… QR codes are a great way to update your stakeholders on new information.

4. QR Codes can boost your social media following.

There are code generators that can link to most social media platforms.

5. They are cost-effective.

There are many free simple code generator sites, which we will cover later in the video.

6. They provide excellent tracking and date opportunities.

You can collect tons of information with QR codes that can help you when doing your analysis. You can also ask your customers for specific information when scanning your QR code.


Speaking of tracking, let's talk about static versus dynamic QR codes.

There are two main types of QR codes: static and dynamic.

Static QR codes are straightforward, baseline codes that can't be altered and don't track data.

These are great if you're sending donors to a single site or page where the link will not change in the future. They're also excellent for events like galas, fundraisers, and short-run programs.

Dynamic QR Codes are recommended for all sorts of marketing campaigns. You can change the QR Code destination or content, even after their creation.

Additionally, dynamic QR Codes offer data tracking to help you fine-tune and optimize your campaigns. You can also retarget (on Google and Facebook) people who have scanned your QR Code, but this is for paid advertising.

Dynamic codes will cost more, but the data you'll be able to collect can be worth the cost, especially for fundraising or marketing.


I found 4 code generators that I like:

With any code generator, all you need to do is provide the link you want it to send people to. The site will generate the code and offer different downloadable file formats for you to use.


1) Paypal Giving account

The donor will enter his username and password to confirm their donation on their personal PayPal account.

2) Merchant's account

The donor manually enters their credit card information into your merchant account.

3) Text-to-Give

Donors simply charge the donation directly to his smartphone account.

4) Your website giving page

Just copy-paste the URL of your web page and generate a QR code.


Now that you know what a QR code is, what it can do, where to get one and how to hook up payments, let’s look at some ways to use your charity's QR Code.

  1. Add a QR code to your direct mail linked to a donation page.

  2. Add a QR code to your existing postcards, banners, or other materials .

  3. Stick it on collection buckets at stores for donations.

  4. Use it on social media pages to promote event information, fundraising campaigns, special updates and so much more.

  5. Add it to events programs or link to sponsors' websites using a QR code.

  6. Add it to your business cards.

  7. Use it to link to surveys to collect valuable donor data.

  8. Print out the code and put it where you get a lot of traffic – like your front reception desk, your programs area, or event just posters around town.

Sit down with your team and brainstorm ideas for how you can incorporate QR codes into your fundraising.


  • The pattern is the code. Don't overlay any images, logos, watermarks, or text on an already generated QR code.

  • Keep about a quarter-inch of blank space around the code so cameras or apps to read it.

  • You should always test your QR code before sharing it.

  • Checking regularly on your code is also a good idea.

  • Be sure that all staff or team members know how to use the QR code.

Watch our YouTube video on QR Codes for Fundraising.


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