Brilliant ways to use donation kiosks

on August 02, 2017


This is a guest post written by Ryder Kessler, founder and CEO of DipJar. The people at DipJar made donation kiosks a thing. If you don’t know what donation kiosks are, read on to learn how they can help you at your next in-person event or fundraiser. (Seriously, it’s pretty cool. Welcome to the future…)

Giving online is a growing phenomenon in the nonprofit industry—and part of that upward trend can be attributed to the decrease in donors using cash or checks.

While this can help boost online giving, it can also be challenging for nonprofits to find a solution for in-person fundraising when donors are just as inclined to give using their credit cards.

Luckily, we’ve got the answer for you: donation kiosks.

These handy devices are portable credit card readers that make accepting in-person donations quick and simple.

As a nonprofit leader, you probably have questions including:

  1. When can my nonprofit use donation kiosks?
  2. What is the user experience like for my nonprofit?

Stick around and we’ll answer these common questions. Along the way, we’ll provide insights into how to make the giving experience convenient for donors.


One of the best features about donation kiosks is their ability to adapt to multiple situations, making them well worth the investment.

Let’s go over three of the most popular ways nonprofits can use their donation kiosk.


The first—and perhaps the most obvious—function is to use your donation kiosk onsite. This can be best described with an example:


The New York Public Library uses a giving kiosk to collect donations after their audio tours. Supporters who don’t have cash can give by “dipping” their cards into the device.

By adding an interactive element, like a short song or the act of dipping a card into the device, you can make the donation process unique for donors. Some kiosks even include a thank-you page at the end of the donation process to instantly show supporters how much their gifts are appreciated.

Donors will have a much more enjoyable experience when they use a device that makes the process fun.

Your organization can use donation kiosks onsite:

  • During sermons for churches.
  • At the front desk in your nonprofit’s facility.
  • At your school’s student resources or admissions office.

Donation kiosks are perfect to use during the day-to-day operations of your nonprofit.

The key to success is placing your donation kiosk in a prominent spot as donors are more likely to use your kiosk and make a similar size donation after watching someone else contribute.

By placing your donation kiosk in a place that’s easily visible donors will see others using your device, which might motivate them to do the same.

Fundraising Events

It goes without saying that fundraising events have the potential to raise a ton of money for any nonprofit. While you may already have giving methods in place (think: text-to-give), having multiple ways to accept donations means that there’s an option out there for everyone.

Donation kiosks can easily be placed on your table like in the example below.


Additionally, since donation kiosks have fewer steps to give, you won’t have donors waiting in long lines to contribute to your cause.

One of the best deterrents for donors is a long or complicated giving process. Therefore, make sure your process is intuitive. If someone—be it a staff member or volunteer—has to be present to walk donors through the process, it’s inconvenient for both your nonprofit and the donor.

Generally, donors have to physically swipe or dip their cards into the reader, pick their donation amount, and confirm their gift.  However, the kiosk in the example below simplifies the process by already having a selected donation amount.


That way, all a donor has to do is insert his or her card into the device and wait for it to confirm the gift—it’s that simple.

Whether you’re hosting a walkathon, gala, or charity auction, incorporating a donation kiosk into your fundraising strategy is a great way to get donors to give at your event.

Checkout Charities

Last, but certainly not least, nonprofits can use donation kiosks for checkout charities. If you’re not familiar with this term, checkout charities are a type of cause marketing campaign where nonprofits and retailers join together to raise money. Double the Donation has compiled a list of examples to help you understand the concept a little better.

Customers who shop at nonprofit retail partners will be asked to contribute to that cause usually with cash or as an integrated part of the checkout process.

With that said, you can offer patrons and retail partners an easier way to give with donation kiosks. Donors don’t have to give using cash, and retail partners won’t have to manage a ton of donated cash or a complicated system.

Take a look at how the Salvation Army used branded donation kiosks beside their iconic red kettles to provide donors with two ways to give:


Donation kiosks offer donors and retail partners a simple solution because payments are automatically sent through the credit card payment process without any additional steps on the retailer’s part.

Additionally, kiosks just need to be plugged in or charged to get them fully operational, meaning retailers don’t have to implement a complicated system or educate employees on how to use the device.

The system is straightforward enough that patrons can understand the process by following a few simple steps that can be displayed using a sign beside your kiosk.


For instance, The Faces of Diabetes placed donation kiosks in a few local convenience stores with a sign that explained the cause and asked people to donate.

In summary: Donation kiosks have plenty of uses from onsite donations to fundraising events to cause marketing initiatives, which means your nonprofit can easily raise more money.


We’ve talked a lot about how donors have a convenient giving experience when using donation kiosks, but what about your nonprofit?

With so many donation kiosks on the market, it’s important to really know what you’re getting and how this device can make fundraising easier.

Versatility is a feature that many nonprofits enjoy about donation kiosks because they can be used for a variety of different functions.  

Purchasing a single donation kiosk can help you fundraise for practically any situation, making it a great investment for your organization. Plus, when donors contribute with a donation kiosk, organizations can expect to see funds disbursed into their account within in a week.

But let’s not forget the biggest benefit to organizations: data tracking.

A crucial part of any fundraising software is to have the ability to measure your progress as well as collect donor data in a way that doesn’t take away valuable staff time.

Some donation kiosks will integrate with your nonprofit’s CRM so that all the information is automatically transferred to your donor profiles.

Other kiosks may have a complete dashboard of their own that lets you track specific information for each kiosk like:

  • Location.
  • Donation time and amount.
  • Name and payment information of the donor.

With a separate dashboard, organizations have full control over the types of information they want to track and can access the information on the web or through mobile devices.

With the information in a centralized location, organizations have a more in-depth look at their fundraising progress and can easily make adjustments to help improve their fundraising initiatives. 

This information can help your organization figure out what types of events or situations work best and help you determine the best donation amount to set your kiosk at.

If you’re interested in learning more about the capabilities that make your organization’s user experience fantastic, check out DipJar’s list of must-have features.

In summary: No matter what type of donation kiosk you choose, your organization will a frictionless fundraising experience.

Now that you’ve read through our comprehensive guide, you can decide if donation kiosks are right for your nonprofit (and hopefully the answer is yes). Use the tips we provide to aid you in purchasing the perfect device and incorporating it into your fundraising strategy. 

Ryder Kessler

Ryder Kessler dropped out of an English Literature PhD program to found DipJar, which enables cashless generosity via a hardware, software, and payments platform for joyful, friction-free donations.