How to Use QR Codes for Non-Profits (Extensive Guide)

an illustration of a woman displaying a QR code and a non-profit sign

Several changes have reshaped the way non-profits interact with their donors in today's technology-driven era. One notable advancement that has proved to be a game-changer is the QR Code.

This powerful tool may appear inconspicuous due to its modest design, but its potential to maximize donations is immense, but what exactly is a QR code for non-profits?

Let's explore the concept of using QR codes for non-profits together!

Why QR Code for Non-profits: An Overview

man using phone to scan a QR code on cellphone

Incorporating QR codes into your non-profit strategy opens up a multitude of possibilities - from providing a seamless and efficient donation method to bringing transparency and gaining trust from donors.

However, to effectively leverage this powerful tool, one must understand its cost and its dos and don'ts.

The Cost of a QR Code

One of the major appeals of 'QR codes for non-profits' is their affordability. QR codes are free to generate and use! Yes, you read that right. Basic QR codes that just hold text or a URL can be created using various free online services.

But if you want to make the most of your QR code, you may want to consider a premium service.

Premium services, like dynamic QR codes, allow you to alter the website linked to the QR Code even after it's printed. This feature allows non-profits to keep the information up-to-date without reprinting and redistributing materials. These codes often come with nominal costs, typically ranging from $5 to $20 monthly, depending on the specific services chosen.
Some QR code generators might offer this service for free. QRCodeDynamic allows you to create 1 dynamic link if you are using a free plan. 

Despite the nominal cost, the financial returns are invariably high, especially regarding fundraising. 'QR code for donations' is also a cost-effective option as it eliminates the middleman and the expenses usually incurred with other fundraising options.

QR Code for Non-profits – Dos and Don'ts

a hand scanning a QR code and a background with posters

QR codes can contribute substantially to non-profit organizations, but using them correctly is essential.

Here are a few do's and don'ts to keep in mind:


  • Use a URL shortener: Long URLs can result in complex QR codes, making scanning difficult. Using a URL shortener will make your QR code cleaner, smaller, and, most importantly, more readable.
  • Test QR Codes: Before you deploy your QR code, ensure it works. It's an easy step, yet one that is frequently overlooked.
  • Make it Mobile-Friendly: Your QR code is likely to be scanned by a smartphone, so always ensure that you link it to a mobile-friendly page.
  • Provide Context: Always ensure you provide a short description of what people are scanning. Let them know what to expect after scanning the code.
  • Utilize Dynamic QR codes: These types of QR codes allow you to change the linked content without creating and distributing a new code. You can then direct the donor population to different campaigns at different times to enhance your fundraising efforts.


  • Avoid Tiny QR Codes: QR codes that are too small can be difficult to scan, decreasing their effectiveness. Always ensure that your QR code is of the right size.
  • Never Link to Just a Homepage: Linking straight to the homepage may make it difficult for donors to find where to make a donation. Instead, link it to specific campaign pages or use a PayPal donation QR code.
  • Avoid Printing on Uneven Surfaces: QR codes printed on flat surfaces are easier to scan than those printed on uneven or wrinkled surfaces.
  • Don't Neglect Your Content: While the QR code makes accessing information easier, the content you deliver must still be valuable and engaging.

A well-executed QR code project can be a significant addition to your non-profit strategy, significantly improving your donor interactions.

Benefits of QR Codes for Non-profits

a phone with a QR code on a computer

The world of non-profit organizations can be immensely rewarding yet equally challenging.

Raising funds, speaking your truth, and creating a bond of trust with your donors takes a lot of patience and hard work. It's here that embracing technological advancements, like the QR code, can solve a lot of problems at once. QR codes, in essence, are not just mere black-and-white dotted squares but your doorway to many opportunities.

Here are some key benefits your organization can enjoy by adopting QR codes:

Easy and Efficient Fundraising

Easy and efficient fundraising is the first and most significant advantage of using 'QR codes for non-profits.' QR codes can help your donors and your organization experience an easy and breezy donation process.

Simplify Donations: Donors can just aim their smartphone's camera at the QR code, and voila! They get direct access to the dedicated donation page. No need to type long URLs or navigate through complex donation processes. They can, they donate, and it's done!

Flexible Donation Options: QR codes open up several options. For instance, you can set up a 'PayPal donation qr code' to facilitate easy transactions or link the QR code to a page that offers various payment gateways. The simplified process often encourages more individuals to step forward and lend a helping hand.

a person scanning a QR code and a scenery behind

Embed in Multiple Platforms: The versatility of QR codes allows them to be virtually placed anywhere, from print media like magazines, brochures, and banners to digital media like emails, social media accounts, or websites. This increases their visibility, thereby increasing the chances of receiving more donations.

Saves Time and Resources: Conventional fundraising methods involve a lot of time, manpower, and resources. However, QR codes are effortless to create, update, and distribute, delivering better results with lesser investments.

Powerful Storytelling

As a non-profit, your story matters, perhaps even more so than in businesses. Powerful narratives of the cause you support, the change you have brought about or wish to bring, resonate deeply with the audience.

These narratives not only inform but can inspire empathy and persuasion and eventually result in action, i.e., donations. 'QR code for non-profits' serves as an effective storytelling medium.

Interactive Stories: Static images and text can only do so much to express your cause. Through QR Codes, you can link donors to more engaging content types like animation videos or a photo gallery of your work. This interactive storytelling creates a strong emotional connection prompting more people to support your cause.

Real-time Updates: Using dynamic QR Codes, you can periodically update your stories or the status of ongoing projects. This displays progress, keeps the donors engaged, and often motivates them to contribute further.

Build Trust Through Transparency

Transparency and clarity on fund allocation are priorities of people when choosing whom to donate to. QR codes can assist non-profits in showing this transparency efficiently.

a woman works with bills using a QR code

Show Where The Money Goes: You can lead the donors to a page detailing how their donations are being utilized through the QR code. Knowing their contributions make a real difference reinforces their trust and commitment to your organization.

Display Legal Compliances: Non-profits have certain legal obligations, like yearly reporting of financial statements. You can create a specific QR code for these documents and display it for all. This builds credibility, something that every donor appreciates.

Open Feedback and Interaction: Allow open communication channels with your donors. A QR code can link to a form where donors can leave feedback or ask questions. This open interaction illustrates your organization's responsiveness and respect for donors' concerns, fostering a deeper relationship.

In a nutshell, QR codes take your non-profit organization a step ahead by providing easy and efficient fundraising, offering unique and emotional storytelling, and, most importantly, building trust through transparency.

Top 10 Ideas for Using QR Codes in Non-profits

a bunch of abstract QR codes

Adopting QR codes into your non-profit strategy marks the beginning of a fruitful journey. This small step has the potential to transform your outreach and fundraising methods, bringing about revolutionary changes to your organization.

Below we present a range of creative and effective ways to incorporate QR codes into your non-profit operations:

Here are the top 10 ideas for how non-profits can utilize QR codes to maximize their impact:

  • Brochures and Flyers: Embed a QR code into your brochures and flyers, leading to a donation page, a specific campaign, signup forms, or more detailed information about your cause.
  • Event Tickets: Using QR codes on event tickets can provide attendees with additional details about the event, such as the schedule, venue layout, or links to related content or campaigns.
  • Direct Mail Campaigns: Use QR codes in your direct mail campaigns to direct the recipients to your organization's donation page, eliminating the need to painstakingly copy a URL.
  • Business Cards: Make your business cards interactive by adding a QR code that leads to your non-profit's website, a particular project, or your LinkedIn profile to stay connected.
  • Merchandise: If you sell merchandise as part of your fundraising strategy, consider adding a QR code. It can lead to the impact stories your donors are helping to create, making the merchandise more meaningful.
a guy checking his phone and smiling
  • Thank You Notes: Include a QR code in your thank you notes leading donors to a video or letter expressing gratitude. It adds a personal touch and strengthens your relationship with donors.
  • Outdoor Ads: Maximize your outdoor advertisement by incorporating QR codes. Anyone interested in your ad can easily scan the code to learn more or donate.
  • Volunteer Registration: Speed up the volunteer registration process by linking a QR code to the registration form. It will also increase the number of signups by simplifying the registration process.
  • Corporate Sponsorships: QR codes on corporate sponsor ads could lead to a special page detailing the benefits and impacts of their sponsorship.
  • Non-profit Reports: Adding QR codes to your annual reports can provide donors with supplementary information or dynamic content such as videos, infographics, or a message from the CEO.

Using QR Codes for Donations and Fundraising

black and white QR code on a window

QR codes have simplified the process of donating, enabling non-profits to raise funds more efficiently.

By scanning the QR code, donors can swiftly access the donation page without manually typing long URLs. Here's how you can leverage the 'QR code for donations' method:

  • Static Donation Amount: Link the QR code to a donation page where a fixed amount is set for donation. Quick, simple, and great for events where you want to set a standard donation amount.
  • Choice of Donation Amount: If you want to give your donors the freedom to choose the amount they wish to donate, the QR code can lead to a donation form where they can fill in their desired amount.
  • Monthly Recurring Donations: Many donors prefer making small regular donations rather than a lump sum. Use your QR code to lead donors to a page where they can set up recurring monthly donations.
  • 'Paypal donation QR code': To facilitate donation through PayPal, simply set up your QR code to lead to a donation page. This offers a trusted platform for the transaction and a well-known and widely-used method for donations.

Creating a QR Code for Non-Profits

Implementing QR codes into your non-profit organization strategy is all too simple, making it an ideal tool for accommodating even the busiest schedules.

However, the key to maximized results lies in the selection of a suitable QR code generator, understanding the types of QR codes and how they can best serve your cause, and capitalizing on the potential of dynamic QR codes for a greater philanthropic impact.

Let's delve into these intricacies:

Choosing the Best QR Code Generator for Non-profits

abstract QR code background

Your journey to leveraging the diverse applications of QR codes begins with choosing the right QR code generator. There are several online QR code generators available, with varying features available at different price ranges.

However, for non-profits, it is essential to consider the factors of cost-efficiency and suitability to your cause while making this choice.

Here are some considerations:

  • Cost: As a non-profit, keeping operational costs low is crucial. Look for QR code generators that offer basic capabilities for free. Many platforms also offer non-profit discounts for premium features, so definitely inquire about that.
  • Customization Ability: Look for generators that offer customization options. Being able to match the QR code with your brand colors or logo increases recognition and trust.
  • Range of Functionality: Consider your specific needs and ensure your chosen platform meets them. For example, if you want your QR codes for a range of uses like redirecting to a video, collecting charity, or leading to your social media page, choose a platform that provides these capabilities.
  • Ease of Use: Ease of use ensures everyone in your team can generate and manage QR codes without difficulty. An intuitive and user-friendly platform would be an excellent place to start.
  • Dynamic QR Code Capabilities: Dynamic QR codes are more beneficial to non-profits than their static counterparts. Therefore, ensure that your chosen platform supports the creation of dynamic QR codes.
  • Analytical Features: These help you track the success of your campaigns and understand the preferences and behaviors of your donors.

Types of QR Codes for Non-profits

Before you start to create your QR code, understanding the types of QR codes can help you choose what would serve your cause the most effectively.

  • Static QR Codes: A static QR code always leads to the same destination, be it a website, a video, or a Paypal page. The information is fixed and can't be changed. This type is great when you need a QR code for a permanent page, like your non-profit's website or main donation page.
  • Dynamic QR Codes: Unlike static codes, you can change the destination URL of dynamic QR codes without changing the QR code itself. This is very useful when you need to change the campaign or event you're promoting frequently. You can also track each scan's time, location, and device type, providing valuable data for your marketing strategies.

Creating Dynamic QR Codes for Greater Impact

Dynamic QR codes offer significant benefits over static QR codes for non-profits. Understanding how to create and deploy dynamic QR codes is essential.

Here is a step-by-step guide to creating your first dynamic QR code:

  • Choose a QR Code Generator: Select a QR code generator offering dynamic QR code capabilities. You can use QRCodeDynamic if you are looking for a dynamic QR code generator.
  • Select URL option: Choose the QR code type Once you're on the platform. For dynamic QR codes, select the 'URL' option.
URL QR code generator page of QRCodeDynamic
  • Enter Your URL: Enter the URL you want your QR code to redirect. Remember, you can change it later without altering the QR code itself.
  • Choose PayPal for Donations: You can choose a PayPal QR code type to collect donations as well.
PayPal QR code generator page of QRCodeDynamic
  • Customize Your Design: You can customize the look of your QR codes quickly. Add colors that align with your brand or your logo to make it more recognizable.
customizing a QR code on QRCodeDynamic
  • Test It: Always test your QR code with different devices to ensure it redirects correctly.
  • Download & Distribute: Once tested, download your code. The file should be in a high-resolution format like SVG or PNG to ensure good print quality. Now you're ready to distribute it on your marketing materials and boost your fundraising efforts!

By wisely creating and managing dynamic QR codes, you'll be able to keep your donors engaged with the most recent and relevant information, enhancing their experience and your donation inflow.

Ultimately, creating a successful QR code campaign is as much about strategy and analysis as it is about donors and their donations.

Strategy and Tracking QR Codes for Non-profits

One of the major advantages of using QR codes in your non-profit communications strategy is the ability to track and manage them in real-time. This accessibility to crucial data and analytics can provide several insights to help you adjust your campaigns for maximum effectiveness.

The key lies in knowing how to manage your QR codes, use data for impact, and proactively expand your reach and network.

How to Manage and Track Your QR Codes

QR code scanning barcode

The digital nature of QR codes makes them easy to manage and track. Once generated, these codes can be deployed across various marketing materials, and the performance can be tracked in real-time using the QR code generator's tracking system.

Here is how you can go about it:

  • Use Dynamic QR Codes: Dynamic QR codes allow the tracking of various data points like the number of scans, location of scans, time of scans, and the type of device used. This is not possible with static QR codes. So, always use dynamic codes for your campaigns.
  • Monitor Regularly: Regular monitoring helps you monitor the performance of your QR code campaigns. Most QR code generators have a real-time dashboard where you can track the performance.
  • Analyze Performance: Understand what the data is telling you. Look for trends and patterns. Do certain types of campaigns generate more scans? Do certain locations respond better to the 'QR code for donations' method? Use this data to guide your campaign strategies.
  • Update QR Codes: One of the perks of using dynamic QR codes is the ability to update the destination URLs without changing the code itself. If a particular campaign is over or if you find a campaign is not performing as expected, you can promptly update the content.

Using Data and Analytics for Impact

The ultimate test of your 'QR code for non-profits' campaign lies in the impact it creates. Here is how you can leverage data and analytics to get the maximum impact:

  • Measure Success: The data from your QR code scans tell a story about the success of your campaigns. More scans usually indicate a more successful campaign. Pay attention to the data and take note of what's working and what's not.
  • Understand Donor Behavior: The scan data can also provide insights into your donors' behaviors. What time do they usually scan? Which location has the most scans? This helps you understand your donors better and customize your campaigns accordingly.
  • ROI Calculation: Using the tracking data, you can calculate the Return on Investment (ROI) for your campaigns. For example, if you use a 'PayPal donation qr code' in a particular campaign, you can calculate the donations received through the QR code and compare it to the cost of the campaign.
  • Optimize Future Campaigns: The data from previous campaigns can help you strategize for future ones. If a campaign does well, you can study and replicate what worked. If a campaign fails, you can analyze and avoid what went wrong.

Expanding Reach and Network Proactively

a hand scanning a QR code from another phone

QR codes offer a simple and efficient way for non-profits to expand their reach and network.

Here are a few ways you can accomplish that:

  • Collaborate with Businesses: Partner with local businesses to display your 'QR code for donations in their stores. This promotes your cause within the local community and expands your reach.
  • QR Code on Social Media: Promote your QR codes on your social media handles. Encourage your followers to share them along with their networks.
  • Mobile-Friendly Website: Ensure your website is mobile-friendly, as most of your donors will scan the QR code with their mobile devices. A mobile-friendly website offers a seamless user experience, thus encouraging more scans and shares.
  • QR Codes in Email Signatures: Adding a QR code to your non-profit's workers' email signatures is another great way to passively promote your cause. Anyone interacting with your organization via email can easily scan the QR code to donate or learn more about your ongoing projects.

In Conclusion

Graphic representation of key points summarized in the conclusion section of the article

Leveraging technology for the greater good is a narrative that we're increasingly seeing in our digital age.

Now more than ever, it's crucial for non-profit organizations to adapt, evolve, and utilize technological tools for their mission. Among these tools, QR codes have emerged as a transformative counterpart for non-profits, revolutionizing how they connect, engage, and fundraise.

Through our comprehensive exploration, we have explained the concept of QR codes for non-profits, delving deep into their why's and hows. We have understood how these QR codes, especially dynamic ones, can act as your tech-savvy companions in fundraising, allowing quick and easy donation methods and taking donors on an interactive and emotionally resonant journey through effectively narrated stories.

We looked at the immense value of trust in the realm of non-profits, understanding how QR codes could build, maintain and elevate this trust by offering a transparent view of how funds are being utilized and encouraging open channels of communication with donors.

But the journey of QR codes doesn't end at creation. In fact, this is where the story diverges into several narratives waiting to be unfolded. Utilizing an effective QR code strategy and tracking their performance can provide you with valuable analytics, aiding you to craft better, more assertive, and more appealing campaigns.


How do I get a QR code for my non-profit?

Getting a QR code for your non-profit is not as complex as it may appear. As previously explained, the process is simple and can be enacted in a few easy steps:

  • Step 1: Choose a suitable QR code generator. There are a variety of them available online, some for free and others at a cost. Examples include QR Code Monkey, GoQR, and QR Stuff, among others.
  • Step 2: Select the 'URL' option in the generator and input the link you would like your QR code to direct to.
  • Step 3: Customize your QR code to match your non-profit's brand. Many generators offer you the chance to change the color and even insert your logo.
  • Step 4: Test your QR code using a QR scanner to ensure it directs to the intended URL.
  • Step 5: Download the QR code in a high-resolution format and incorporate it into your marketing materials.

Remember to monitor the QR code regularly to ensure it functions correctly and serves its purpose effectively.

Can a QR code be used for donations?

Absolutely! QR codes are an incredibly effective way to facilitate donations. Scanning a QR code with their smartphone allows a potential donor to be taken directly to your donation page. This saves them the time and trouble of typing in a URL and navigating your website. It simplifies the process, thereby encouraging more people to donate.

Whether your QR Code redirects donors to a webpage with a donation form, a crowdfunding platform, or even a mobile wallet address, the process is seamless, swift, and convenient for them, often resulting in higher conversion rates. However, you must ensure your donation page is mobile-optimized to provide a smooth experience for your donors.

What is a QR code for a charitable trust?

A QR code for a charitable trust is a quick and easy way to send potential donors to a page that will allow them to contribute to a cause. These QR codes can be printed on any published material - flyers, posters, direct mail, or event invites- making them incredibly flexible and convenient.

These QR codes could direct a potential donor to a landing page about the Trust's mission, successes, and impact, to an interactive page with compelling narratives and achievements, or directly to a donation form to contribute to the cause.

QR codes are a transformative tool for charitable trusts, opening doors to increased engagement, higher visibility, and improved donation collections.

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