May 18, 2021




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Tribute and honorary gifts, made in honor or in memory of someone who is not a donor, are a great way for nonprofit organizations to raise awareness and funds while honoring an individual, either in memoriam or celebration. Such gifts can help an organization reach its fundraising goal because tribute gifts come from a strong belief in the organization’s mission and are generally given from a place of pain, heartache, healing, and love, and the donor wishes to give back in a meaningful way.


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While tribute donors are typically one-time donations, they don’t have to be. Sharing with donors how their tribute gift contributes towards the mission of the organization can be a strong point of converting them into a repeat donor.

  • Inform and update those providing the donation with the programs and efforts that are supported because of their donation, and don’t forget to send them a follow-up email or phone call to thank them for providing a tribute gift. Additionally, create a space on the website to acknowledge tribute gifts.
  • Ask donors right on the donation form if they want to increase their impact and make the donation recurring.
  • Include a prompt that asks if they want to subscribe to the newsletters before leaving the donation form, or a link that leads to more information about how to get involved in other ways, such as volunteering or attending events.
  • Make the tribute section a standard element on all donation forms. This will provide donors the option to give a tribute in honor of loved ones consistently.
  • Include tributes on every campaign – Whether it’s a gala event, a direct mailing, or peer-to-peer campaign, it is important to show donors that tributes are an option across every platform of your organization.
Donation form with suggested amount buttons and designation options.

Would you like to learn more about how GiveSmart can help you set up text-to-donate campaigns for your organization? Learn More


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GiveSmart makes it easy for a donor to make a tribute gift. When the In Honor/Memoriam section is included on the form, the donor will see a checkbox that states, “Make this gift in someone’s honor”. When the donor checks the box, options will be laid out on the form to include the recipient’s name and email address, and a special note. There will also be a field to include the person’s name for whom the donation honors. Making these fields required ensures proper notification and delivery of the tribute. Additionally, there will be a checkbox to send a personalized e-card. When the e-card is selected, the donor will have the choice of six e-cards to choose from with various images. The donor can select the one that best fits their sentiment. The GiveSmart Admin can offer customized images with their brand colors, logo, or visual imagery that will resonate strongly with their constituents.

Donation form showing six e-card image options.


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What our clients say

We needed a platform to make sales online and to track and display ads for our sponsors. GiveSmart was perfect. We ended up making close to $15,000 more than we had hoped for. Definite better ROI than we anticipated. The interface is easy to use and provides plenty of options to get help if needed.

Michelle M.

The Rotary Club of South Whidbey Island

Using GS has created ease in auction bookkeeping, payments, and generating post-event thank you/tax letters. While we were online during COVID, our interactions with our GiveSmart via phone, email, and zoom were seamless. A representative always got back to us within the day. I would recommend GiveSmart to anyone doing a large online event.

Julie G.

MicroFinancing Partners in Africa

GiveSmart is highly flexible - you can use it for [a] simple registration and check-in, to full-scale galas with complex order forms, onsite upsells, live auctions, seating management, and more.

Jamie F.

Hope Chest for Breast Cancer

GiveSmart is easy to use and ideal for virtual events and can be used for in-person events to manage the silent auction, seating charts, and check-in to the event. Being able to use the platform for unlimited events within the contract year is very useful and being able to add other users and volunteers for different levels of access is helpful as well.

Dawn L.

Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County