How to Use QR Codes for Fundraising - dummies

How to Use QR Codes for Fundraising

By Joe Waters

QR Codes have many uses for causes, especially fundraising. Here are a few of the benefits of using QR Codes for cause marketing in nonprofits.

Cause marketing isn’t just the marketing of causes. It’s the partnership of a nonprofit and for-profit for mutual profit.

  • Tell your story. Nonprofits can tell their stories in several different ways with QR Codes. They can link to pictures, video, testimonials, and so on that can better share the nonprofit’s mission with key stakeholders.

  • Make a donation. QR Codes can link donors to a donation page where they can support your cause.

    Most QR Code generators, including and, give you the option to encode a Paypal buy-now link.

  • Educate your visitor. If you run a museum or historical site, QR Codes can bring artwork, statutes, furniture, armaments, and even gravesites to life by sharing behind-the-scenes details about their origin, use, or restoration.

  • Scan the cause. Are you an activist trying to share your message with demonstrators? Brand your signage with QR Codes so people can access directions for the march or learn more about the cause.

  • Like this. Nonprofits are always looking for ways to get more Facebook Likes. Try putting a QR Code in your newsletter or display one at your next event so supporters can show they love you with a like.

  • Save money on your summer mailing. The United States Postal Service will offer a 3 percent discount on first-class and standard mail pieces, as well as flats and cards, during July and August, 2012, if they include a QR Code. You get the discount upfront, and the only requirement is that the code has to relate to some part of the mailing.

    The USPS is driving adoption of QR Codes! In summer 2011, nearly 40 percent of mailing pieces had QR Codes or other approved bar codes.

  • Sign a petition. A QR Code can link supporters to a page where they can find out more about your goals and sign their name to an online petition.

  • Take action. Local governments can increase their responsiveness to community concerns with a QR Code that connects them immediately with an official.

  • Be transparent. Consumers frequently complain that nonprofits aren’t transparent enough on where their dollars are going. Use a QR Code at the point of donation to show donors their support in action.

  • Answer a question. Cause products that support nonprofits with a percentage or portion of sales can feature a QR Code that links to a frequently asked questions page where donors can get questions answered about the campaign, how much money the nonprofit will receive, and so on.


  • Embrace innovation. Many nonprofits do good work but lag on putting the latest technologies to good use. QR Codes are bound to what will probably be the most dominant screen in history: the small screen on mobile devices. This is your opportunity to be the early adopters in one of biggest technological revolutions of our time