Donations and Funds

Billy Fluck
Billy Fluck
  • Updated

In Spektrix, you can take donations from customers who are looking to support your organisation, whether that's as a standalone donation or as an additional contribution made alongside a ticket purchase. Using Funds and customer eligibility, you can tailor your ask based on, for example:

  • The value of a customer's basket
  • What Event a customer is booking for
  • Whether it's a customer's first time donating or not
  • How much a customer has donated in the last year

As well as these one-off donation asks, Spektrix also allows you to sell Memberships that are entirely donation-based, or which have a donation element.

To cap it all off, you can also claim Gift Aid on donations made through Spektrix, giving you the ability to claim back an additional 25% on eligible donations.

In this article, we'll cover:

Standalone donations

The simplest way of taking donations through Spektrix is to add in the option as part of the customer journey, both online and in the Sales Interface. You can create a Fund and have this appear as a prompt before a customer checks out, asking if they'd like to make a donation; this will also appear in the Sales Interface, prompting box office staff to ask for donations when taking bookings in person or over the phone.

You might also want to create a separate donations page on your website using our donations iframe (donations.aspx), allowing customers to donate without having to purchase any other items. For further information on integrating iframes into your website, see our Integrations Portal.

If you want to tailor your donation asks outside of the purchase path and without people having to navigate to a specific donations page (for example, you might want to ask for donations towards your work with the local community when someone is reading about your ongoing community-based work on your website), you can use the Donations Web Component. For further information about this and our other Web Components, visit our Web Components Portal.


In order to accept donations in Spektrix, you'll need to have at least one Fund set up on your system. Funds are how you you determine where the money from donations goes – think of them as pots of money into which donations are funneled.

If you only want to have a single purpose for donations then you might only need one Fund; however, if you want to allow customers to contribute to different projects, you can create a Fund for each one. For example, you might have one Fund for general donations and another specifically for an upcoming capital project.

As you can also use Funds to determine when and how someone is asked to donate, you could create multiple Funds with tailored asks, Event criteria and customer criteria that are all for the same purpose; you'd just need to give them all identical accounting codes to flag to your finance department that all donations made to these Funds can be used for the same purpose. We'll look at this in more detail in the section on tailoring your donation ask below.

Setting Up Funds

You can set up Funds in the Admin Interface under Other > Funds. Here you will see a list of all active Funds, and the option to add new Funds:


NOTE: you can tick the View Inactive? check box if you want to view all Funds that have ever been created on your system, inclusive of those you've deactivated.

When creating or editing a Fund there are four sections to fill in, beginning with Basic Details:


  • Name: the name of the Fund; bear in mind that, if the Fund is available online, this name will be visible to customers
  • Code: here you can enter an account code for reporting purposes; you'll want to discuss with your finance team how your Funds should be coded
  • Description: the description of the Fund which will appear online; here's where you'll add your copy about what you're ask for donations for
  • Display on web: tick this to make the Fund appear online
  • Active: make sure this box is ticked, otherwise the Fund will not be available for use
  • Default Campaign: if you use the Opportunities Interface, you can set a Campaign for any donations to this Fund to default to

Only the Name field on this page is a required field, although it’s recommended that you fill in as much information as possible. Once you have filled in your basic details, click Next to go to the Event Criteria tab:


This page allows you to choose whether the option to donate to this Fund should be available and, if so, whether it should prompt on the way to the checkout all the time or only when customers book for certain Events:

  • Never: this Fund will not be visible in either the booking path online, or in the Sales Interface; however, it will still be visible in the donations iframe if you're using this
  • Always: regardless which Event(s) a customer books for, they will be prompted online to donate to this Fund, and the Fund will show up in the Pre-Payment Panel in the Sales Interface (if you have it enabled)
  • For specific events: donations to this Fund will only be prompted when customers purchase for specific Events, which you can choose using the Event Instances picker; as with other criteria pickers, you can combine criteria using the AND, OR and NOT rules.

It's worth noting that you can potentially have more than one Fund prompted on the way to checkout:

In this case, you should be aware that if a customer clicks Continue to Checkout with a value in the amount field for each Fund, donations against both Funds will be added to the basket. Customers who only want to donate to a single Fund will have to manually remove the value from the Fund they don’t want to donate to.

If you would prefer to set your system to only show the Fund with the highest default value, you can do this in the Settings Interface under System Setup > Website:

Once you have completed your event criteria, click Next to go to the Customer Criteria page:


Here you can determine whether all customers should be asked for donations to the Fund, or only specific customers:

  • Always: this is the default option. Leave this option selected if you want all customers to see the Fund as part of the booking path
  • For specific customers: tick this option if you want to specify customer criteria for the Fund to appear as part of the booking path

Choosing the For specific customers option brings up a criteria picker, which works the same as in any other area of the system:


Simply select the criteria you want, and drag it down to the dotted area marked Drop criteria here.

You could use customer criteria to:

  • Exclude certain types of customers (such as students or press contact) from being asked for donations
  • Avoid asking regular major donors/high value patrons who already give large amounts for smaller donations

We'll cover some smart ways to use this in a bit more detail in the section on tailoring the donation ask below.

Customer criteria affects things slightly differently online and in the Sales Interface:


The criteria set here is specific to the checkout process and which donations are presented to the customer after they have logged in; if you have a separate donations page on your website, it will display all available Funds by default.

In the Sales Interface

If you have the Pre-Payment Panel enabled, all available Funds will show up with the suggested donation value already populated. When you add a customer into the basket, the Pre-Payment Panel will change to only show Funds which that customer is eligible to donate to. In Other > Donations, all available Funds will show up by default, regardless of whether you have a customer in the basket or not.

Once you have completed your customer criteria, click Next to go to the Default Amount page:


Here you can choose what suggested value should appear by default for this Fund. By default, this will be set to request £0.00 on any basket valued £0.00 and above (meaning customers will have to enter a donation value themselves). If you want to set a single suggested value for donations regardless of basket value, just click the pencil to edit this, enter a new default amount and hit Save:


You can also set the suggested value to increase based on the value of a customer's basket by adding multiple levels on this page:


You can add in as many levels as you want by simply filling out the boxes and clicking Add.

NOTE: each level is based on the total value of tickets, Merchandise Items, and Memberships currently in the basket; Gift Vouchers and other donations do not contribute towards this value.

Once you've filled in your default amount(s), click Ok to create your Fund.

Tailoring the donation ask further

Setting a default amount to ask based on basket value is one way of tailoring your donation ask, you can also cleverly use event and customer criteria to tailor this further.

For example, let's say you want to take donations towards your work with young playwrights. You want this Fund to be available online, and to show up regardless of what someone's booking for. However, you might want to make a different ask to a customer who's donated to this cause in the past year than you do to a customer who hasn't. 

Firstly, you'd need to set up an Auto Tag that applies to anyone who's made a donation to your work with young playwrights; for more info, see our article on Auto Tagging.

Then, you'd create two Funds, each of which have the exact same accounting code but which have different copy. So, the Fund you're going to show people who have not donated will have its basic details set up like this:

  • Name: Invest in tomorrow's playwrights
  • Code: ITP-001
  • Description: Each year, we work with over 500 aspiring writers from all backgrounds, helping them develop their craft. Help shape the great playwrights of tomorrow by donating today.
  • Display on web: make sure you tick this check box

While the Fund you'll show to people who have previously donated will have its basic details set up like this:

  • Name: Continue to support tomorrow's playwrights
  • Code: ITP-001
  • Description: Your previous donation enabled our work with aspiring writers from all backgrounds. Your continued support will help us to keep helping the great playwrights of tomorrow.
  • Display on web: make sure you tick this check box

As you want these asks to appear regardless of Events booked for, you can just select Always under Event Criteria for both.

Under Customer Criteria, you'll then set who sees which Fund's ask in the purchase path based on the Auto Tag you've created. While you want everyone who hasn't made a donation to see your first Fund (Invest in tomorrow's playwrights), you'll still need to choose For specific customers – this is because you want to exclude people who have donated from seeing this Fund as well as the one designed for them. As such, you'll want to add the Auto Tag as criteria and then tick the NOT check box:


This will exclude everyone who has previously donated and has this Auto Tag from seeing this ask in the purchase path.

For our other Fund, which we want to show to customers who have donated before, we'll simply add the same Auto Tag as customer criteria, but leave the NOT check box unticked:


This will include everyone who has previously donated and has this Auto Tag in seeing this ask in the purchase path.

For some more ideas around making your asks more dynamic, we'd recommend having a read through our 2019 Spektrix Workshop, Strategic Fundraising - Tailoring the Online Giving Experience.

Prompting donations

Once you have one or more Funds set up you can start prompting customers to ask if they would like to make donations, both online and in the box office.

Prompting for donations online

Any Fund set up with the Display on web check box ticked can show up online and be used with a Donations Web Component.

In the purchase path

When making a purchase online, customers will see any Funds they're eligible to donate to (based on the Event and customer criteria the Funds were set up with) when they reach the Donations page between the Basket and Checkout pages:


From here, customers can donate by choosing to either go ahead with the suggested donation or amending the amount.

NOTE: the Continue Without Donating button is an optional element – you can turn this on or off in the Settings Interface, under System Setup > Website:


If you turn this option off, customers will need to amend the donation amount to £0.00 in order to proceed without donating.

Using the donations iframe

It’s also possible to set up one or more donations pages on your website, so that any customers who want to just make a donation without purchasing tickets can do so.

By default we provide a donations iframe (donations.aspx) which can be embedded into a page on your website – if you speak to your web developer, they should be able to help with this. By default, this page will show all of the Funds set to be available online.

You can also use Fund Attributes to filter the donations iframe, meaning you can set up different pages on your website that each only show a single Fund/a selection of your Funds.

For example, you might want the donations page in the booking path to only show a single Fund for General Giving, and then set up a separate page which encourages customers to donate to an Education Fund. Here’s how you would do this:

  • Add a Fund Attribute in Settings > Attribute Templates called something like Fund Type with a dropdown list of options including Education and General Giving
  • Edit each Fund and choose the relevant option from the Attribute dropdown list for each one
  • Make sure the Display on web check box is ticked for both Funds
  • Set the General Giving Fund to be forced on the way to checkout (either Always or For specific Events)
  • Set the Education Fund to Never be forced on the way to checkout

The General Giving Fund will show up during the purchase path while the Education Fund will not.

You can then embed the donations iframe into a separate page on your website, using an Attribute filter as part of the URL. For more information about using Attributes to filter iframes, see our Integrations Portal.

Using a Donations Web Component

If you want to tailor your donation ask outside of the purchase path and without people having to navigate to a specific donations page, you can use a Donations Web Component. For further information about this and our other Web Components, visit our Web Components Portal.

Prompting for donations in the Sales Interface

In order to take donations as part of the checkout process in the Sales Interface, you need to have the Pre-Payment Panel enabled – you can turn this on in the Settings Interface under System Setup > Basket:


With this enabled, you'll see an additional panel in the Basket section of the Sales Interface, from which a donation can be added to the basket. This follows the Event criteria rules set up in each Fund – so Funds set to only be prompted against certain Events will only show up in the Pre-Payment Panel if you have one or more tickets for a relevant Event in the basket:


If a Fund has been set up with particular customer criteria rules, these will only apply and include/exclude particular Funds from this list once a customer has been added to the basket.

You can also always add a donation to the basket from Other > Donations, where all active Funds will show up by default.

Ticket Donations

As well as donations made during the booking process, you can set up Ticket Donations to allow customers to add a donation on top of the price of their tickets. This works by setting up Ticket Donation structures which you can then apply to one or more Instances.

Setting up Ticket Donation Structures

Ticket Donations structures are set up in the Admin Interface under Pricing > Ticket Donations:


From this screen you can edit, delete, or create new Ticket Donation structures. Click the Add button to create a new Ticket Donation:


  • Name: give your Ticket Donations Structure a clear, memorable name; this is for internal purposes only and won't be seen by the customer
  • Description: though this field is optional, we'd recommend completing it to make it clear at a glance what this Ticket Donation Structure is for
  • Type: you can set the value of each Ticket Donation to one of four options:
    • Global Fixed Value: a single value regardless of the ticket price
    • Global percentage of ticket price: a percentage of each ticket’s face value – please note that this is calculated as a percentage of the ticket's original face value; even if the ticket is subsequently discounted as part of an Offer, the donation will remain a percentage of the original face value
    • Custom fixed value for each combination of sales channel, priceband and ticket type: a fixed value which varies depending on which Sales Channel is used, as well as which Price Band and Ticket Type is purchased
    • Custom percentage for each combination of sales channel, priceband and ticket type: a percentage of each ticket’s face value, depending on the Sales Channel, Price Band and Ticket Type – as above, this is also calculated as a percentage of the ticket's original face value

If you select a global fixed value or percentage, click Save . If you choose either a custom fixed value or percentage, click Next and you'll see a matrix which allows you to set different values for each combination of Sales Channel, Price Band and Ticket Type:


Applying a Ticket Donation Structure to an Instance

Once you have created a Ticket Donation Structure, you can attach them to Instances that you would like them applied to. You can do this when you're first creating Instances for an Event, under the Ticket Donations tab:


To apply an existing Ticket Donation Structure, select the radio button beside the dropdown box containing the names of all your Ticket Donation Structures; you'll then be able to select which Ticket Donation Structure to apply from the dropdown menu:


You can then select the Fund you want this donation to go towards from the Fund dropdown menu.

By selecting the radio button beside Custom, you can click Edit and create a custom Ticket Donation Structure for this Instance if necessary.

NOTE: this custom Ticket Donation Structure will not be available for use outside of this Instance.

Adding Ticket Donations to tickets

In the Sales Interface

Ticket Donations will need to be added to tickets manually by the box office team. If there are tickets in the basket for an Instance which has a Ticket Donation Structure attached, a button labelled Attach donations will appear underneath them in the basket:


Clicking this button will attach donations to each eligible ticket in the basket

If you only want to attach a donation to some eligible tickets, you can select the ticket(s) individually and click on the dropdown arrow next to the Reserve button; from here, you can select to either Attach donations or Remove attached donations from the selected tickets:



If a customer adds an eligible ticket to their basket online, they'll be able to choose whether or not to add a donation at the point of choosing a Ticket Type.

Events with a reserved seating plan

When booking for a reserved Event, customers will see a donation check box, alongside the value of the donation:


Events with an unreserved seating plan

When booking for an unreserved Event, customers will see each available Ticket Type displayed twice – once at its standard price, and once with the donation included in the cost:


A few things to note about Ticket Donations

  • Donations made as part of a ticket are treated as normal donations by the system; they'll show up as a donation to whichever Fund you selected when you attached the Ticket Donation Structure to an Instance
  • Tickets will always default to being added to the basket without donations. If you attach donations to tickets and then add more tickets, you'll need to attach donations to the extra tickets as well
  • Customers can only give a donation at the set value – it’s not possible to give a higher or lower donation
  • Making any change to a ticket will always remove the Ticket Donation and prompt you to attach it again –  this is to keep you from accidentally adding more donations than you intend to
  • It’s recommended that when applying Ticket Donations in the Sales Interface you only attach donations once you have finalised the order with the customer


As well as these one-off donation asks, Spektrix also allows you to sell Memberships that are entirely donation-based, or which have a donation element. For more information on Memberships, start with our article on Setting Up Memberships

Gift Aid

You can use Spektrix to track and claim Gift Aid on donations, whether those donations are made during the purchase process, as Ticket Donations, or as part of a Membership. For more information on how to set Spektrix up to track and claim Gift Aid, please see this article.

Further reading

Hopefully this article has given you everything you need in order to start setting up Funds and taking donations. We'd recommend you also check out these other articles:

  • Donation Recognition & Tributesa guide to using the Donation Recognition and Tribute features not only by record the name of the person who made a donation but to offer them the opportunity to choose exactly how they would like to be thanked
  • Tracking and Claiming Gift Aida guide to using Spektrix to track your donors' Gift Aid declarations and to process your Gift Aid claims


If you have any further questions about donations, Funds, or anything else please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Support team.