Empower Your Fundraising Efforts via Digital Waiver Insights


Are you looking to level up your fundraising results? While steps like choosing engaging fundraising ideas, setting SMART goals, performing a SWOT analysis, and segmenting your audience are important parts of the process, data is still king.

Any interaction you have with supporters can yield important insights. For example, when supporters like or comment on your social media posts, they are showing that they like that content. When you use liability release waivers before a fundraising event or during volunteer onboarding, you can learn more about supporters’ preferences, contact information, and more.

We’ll explore what you need to know to start collecting and understanding waiver data—but first, let’s walk through the basics of digital waivers.

Why use digital waivers?

While you may associate waivers with risky activities like bungee jumping or white water rafting, these legal documents are used every day in various businesses, from salons to hotels to summer camps. As a nonprofit, you might need waivers for situations like:

  • fundraising events;
  • volunteer activities;
  • youth programs;
  • service delivery (e.g., low-cost medical assistance); and,
  • travel programs.

No matter why you need to obtain a liability release, using a digital waiver offers many advantages over traditional paper waivers. Smartwaiver’s guide on activity waivers highlights some of the top benefits of digital waivers, explaining that they are:

  • More cost-effective. Because digital waivers are 100% paperless, your organization will save on costs like paper, ink, and printing services. As an added benefit, limiting paper use will make your organization more sustainable.
  • Easier to use. Digital waiver software ensures that your waivers are easy for you and your supporters to use. The front end offers straightforward, branded digital forms, and the back end makes it easy to store and locate specific waivers.
  • Convenient. Because these waivers are hosted online, you can share links or embed the forms on your website. Then, supporters can sign the waiver from any device before the event or program even begins. Digital waivers also boost accessibility: Supporters can adjust their screen’s brightness, increase text size, use a screen reader, translate the form into another language, and more, customizing the waiver to their needs.
  • More secure. Waivers contain your supporters’ sensitive data—do you trust your old file cabinet to keep it safe? To protect their privacy, choose a digital waiver service with security measures like data encryption, two-factor authentication (2FA), and certificates of authenticity.

Digital waivers are also highly customizable and easy to update, meaning that you can add custom fields to collect any additional information you need. For example, ask participants how they found your organization to track your marketing platforms’ effectiveness.

How can nonprofits get the most out of digital waivers?

To collect useful information about your supporters, make sure you’re asking the right questions, staying organized, and ensuring supporters can find your forms. Choosing digital waiver software with robust features makes this part easy.

Keep these best practices in mind when creating and sharing your waivers:

  • Tailor the form to your needs. Remember that you can ask for more than just supporters’ signatures. Like data appends, waivers are an easy way to collect more data about supporters. For example, you might request feedback on your fundraising idea, ask them why they support your cause, and see if they’d like to opt into your email list.
  • Share the waiver across many digital channels. Your marketing team should know which communication channels your supporters prefer. To help supporters find the waiver, share it through those channels. You can embed the form on your website, link to it in emails and social media posts, and add QR codes to printed materials like posters and direct mail.
  • Practice data hygiene. Once supporters complete the waivers, it’s up to you to keep the data clean, meaning free of errors, duplicate data, and missing information. Audit your database regularly to remove inaccurate and unnecessary data. Then, establish data entry guidelines (e.g., how to format phone numbers or whether to use abbreviations in addresses) to prevent future issues.

You should also regularly back up your database. This can prevent losses by protecting against human errors, viruses, or technological failures. This way, you can easily recover data if something happens, saving your nonprofit valuable time and money.

How can you use insights from digital waivers?

After collecting data, it’s time to put the insights to work. Here are some of the ways you can use information from waivers to deepen your relationships with supporters:

  • Segment donors based on shared characteristics. As GivingDNA explains, segmenting your supporters empowers you to quickly and effectively target your most loyal donors. Segment them based on demographics, interests, involvement history, and more. For example, create a segment of very active 18 to 25-year-old supporters who enjoy physical events like your charity 5K and target them with invitations to similar events.
  • Personalize communications. Segmenting supporters also makes it easy to tailor messages to each recipient. Using the information from your waivers, greet supporters by name, reference past interactions, and customize the message to align with why they support your cause. Share these messages via their preferred communication channel.
  • Optimize your events. Analyze waiver data to see trends in event participation like total attendees, the number of registrants who attended, and more. Plus, feedback from supporters can reveal how to improve future events. Let’s say you held an outdoor silent auction with live entertainment, a dance floor, and fun physical games. Supporters might indicate that they want to view the auction items before the event so they can plan their bids.

Depending on the purpose of the form, there are many other ways you can use your waiver data. For example, you can learn more about your volunteers’ interests and commitment levels by having them sign waivers before each activity. While you should always cover your legal bases first, you can tweak each waiver to collect the information you need from supporters.

Waivers don’t just help protect your nonprofit from costly legal issues—they also provide a wealth of information about supporters. This data will help you spot opportunities to deepen your relationships with donors, fostering long-term relationships. To start maximizing support for your cause, take these next steps:

  1. Choose reliable digital waiver software that allows you to share and customize forms.
  2. Configure waivers to fit your needs and goals.
  3. Apply the insights to your communication strategy and future campaigns.