How to Use Donation Tiers with a Donation & Ticketing Platform

With more and more organizations itching to join the ranks of the latest ticketing trend, your team may be wondering: what exactly are donation tiers, why should we use them, and how does our company implement them?  We’re here to show you how to use donation tiers with Ticketstripe’s online donation and ticketing platform.

First, what are donation tiers? Donation tiers are pre-determined suggested giving levels that donors can choose from (i.e. $25, $100, $200).

  • Next to each donation tier, there should be a description of what that donation will accomplish. These descriptions are important because they influence a donor’s decision about how much to give.
  • By creating payment levels, your audience feels valued and essential to the cause– regardless of their personal finances or background. Each level allows your guests to select the most comfortable option for their financial situation.

Whichever way you slice it, online donation platforms create the ultimate win-win! Think it’s time to take the plunge? Below we detail how to create your own donation tiers.

Building Your Tiers with Ticketstripe

So, how do we create these donation tiers? To get started, log into your Ticketstripe account and select your event. Tap the ‘+Donations‘ button, enter the title of your donation, and the suggested amount.

Through our donation platform, nonprofit organizations can build a ‘donor box’ with their event pages. You can easily share the specifics of your event, detail the importance of your foundation, and enjoy a hundred percent of the proceeds when you pass on fees to the buyer.

Donation Tiers Example
Ready to create your contribution levels? Consider the following tips:

Gather Data

Like any hero embarking on their quest, and we do think our nonprofits are heroes, it’s crucial that you gather the right intel to complete your mission successfully. We recommend you research your audience and pull from past events to determine your average donation. What do your donors typically give? Does it fall in the $10-20 category or the $100-200 range?

Whichever bracket best fits your patrons, ensure that you have donation options that best match it. Too high a suggestion can drive away some patrons, and capping contributions at a lower amount than usual can block big-ticket donations.

By thoughtfully investigating your donor tiers, your team can create average tiered amounts that sync with your organization and goals. Need help figuring out what that standard amount may be? Measure them next to your usual industry figures.

Limit the Levels

We’re constantly making daily choices. Minimize your patron’s decision fatigue by limiting the donation options. For those who might not know, decision fatigue is defined as “the idea that after making many decisions, your ability to make more and more choices over the course of a day becomes worse,” states psychiatrist Dr. MacLean. When presented with excess options, we can shut down. Think of a chain restaurant’s chock-full menu and how long you think about the different possibilities vs. a more direct and curated menu. Research suggests that three to six tiers are ideal for offering easy options that reduce guilt or overwhelm the donor.

Person-to-Person Tiers

Person-to-person is fantastic when determining what category of tiers to provide your donors. Here, your organization would exchange services that best match their contribution.

For example, a $100 gift might warrant a lesson or entrance to a class, $200 might equate to a 1:1 dinner with a featured artist at your foundation, etc. Whatever you choose, work to ensure that each experience is exciting for your patrons and aligns with your cause!

Item-Based Tiers

Item-based levels are perhaps the most popular among the tiers, and the objects for auction can indeed run the gambit. This tier type offers something for everyone, from autographed books and flatscreen televisions to Broadway or football tickets. Bonus points if your item is on brand with the theme of your event or charity.

Activity/Time-Based Tiers

Kick your donation box into high gear with an activity or time-based tier. This level allows your audience to experience new adventures, surprise their loved ones, or luxuriate in some much-needed R+R. Spa or yoga coupons, a new club membership, or even children’s summer camp enrollment are all great options.

Once you’ve selected your tier, ask if your patrons are comfortable with being filmed or submitting photos from their various experiences. Incorporate some footage into your social media feeds and marketing for future events. Even your patrons waving from the space or with the object makes for engaging and exciting content!


Need the funds to provide extra treats? Try your hand at titles. Dubbing someone an ‘Angel’ or ‘Hero’ for their gift is a beautiful way to show that you care. Add their names to a thank-you email, social media post, or online roster to seal the deal. Acknowledging someone’s help is a simple and effective way to make a lasting impression and bring back patrons for years to come.


Donation Tier Titles

Adopting this donation style provides countless benefits for your donors and nonprofits alike, but we’ve listed a few of our favorites.

Build Relationships

When you allow your audience to participate in the decision-making process, you build trust, create interpersonal relationships with your patrons, and ideally incentivize repeat clients. If customers know there are flexible forms of payment, they’ll be more likely to attend, bring friends, and give more to your cause. When additional donations feel optional vs. obligatory, research suggests people will actually offer what they can.

Sweeten the deal with additional gifts that are unlocked with each level of financial contribution! Smaller donations can equate to event-themed merchandise, while larger endowments can include VIP perks and luxury treatment.

Invite More Audiences

As mentioned in our “Pay What You Wish” blog, a donation and ticketing platform that offers flexible tickets and donations invites a more diverse audience to your event. By adding donation tiers that include an “Other Option” amount, you can attract the younger generation to events they ordinarily wouldn’t attend and be the catalyst for cross-generational conversations. We can come together to discuss the causes closest to our hearts. You can encourage community building, offer access to marginalized groups, and provide the tools for everyone to give back.

Sound like magic? It just might be. Add the key ingredient of a social media strategy to the mix to provide this escalated entry for your audience.

Publicize your event well in advance on the media channels your target audience is most likely to frequent, but be bold and experiment with others! Double-check that your content’s tone reflects your event and speaks to your ideal demographic.

Video content is all the rage and can significantly benefit your cause. Use Tiktok and Instagram reels to document your event’s vibe and record the importance of giving to your charity. Post a video of where their money is going, who it’s directly benefiting, and the ultimate goal to reach.

Finesse Your Fees

Factor in your credit card and service fees when determining the best donation platform for your nonprofit. Ticketstripe is free for organizers as the buyer pays reduced nonprofit fees. But we also give you fee options per donation. You may choose to pass on all fees for smaller donations, whereas on large donations you may consider absorbing all or part of the fees.

Most nonprofits pass on fees to keep internal costs low and ensure the most money goes towards their foundation. You can click here for more information about your merchant options with Ticketstripe.

Donation tiers offer flexibility with a guarantee that your team will meet its quota. Our favorite part? By encouraging your patrons to participate in your narrative, they will innately be more invested in the story that you’re sharing. Online donation platforms allow more people to participate in charitable donations and are just one innovative, strategic, and joyful way to care for your community.

We’re so excited to see a surge of live events and are beyond thrilled that more nonprofit foundations have the chance to be recognized, appreciated, and spotlighted for the incredible work they continue to do. Explore the rest of our blog posts for more fundraising ideas, and feel free to reach out with any questions.

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