Designating your donation

Include a note for the nonprofit and make sure your donation gets to the right place!

Michelle Marinas avatar
Written by Michelle Marinas
Updated over a week ago

Designations allow you (the donor) to let the nonprofit know how to use or where to send your donation. When Bright Funds sends your gift to the nonprofit, we include the designation.

Before you finish submitting your donation or matching gift, use the ‘Include a designation’ box to make sure your donation or match is designated correctly.

Common Examples

Designations are important, as they communicate the purpose of your gift to the nonprofit. Here are some of the most common scenarios where including a designation is essential.

1. Giving to a School 

When giving to a school, many donors want to support a specific department, research group, or program area. This is exactly the information you can include in your designation. For instance, if you were to make a donation to Boston University on Bright Funds, you can use the designation field to specify that the gift be directed to the Department of Computer Science. When the University receives your gift, they will see the note and know exactly where to allocate the funds. 

2. Donating to Fundraising Campaigns

If you or someone you know is raising funds for a cause or nonprofit, you can use designations to pledge your support! 

Here’s an example: a friend is raising funds for Avon Foundation’s Walk for Breast Cancer. When you are donating to the Avon Foundation on Bright Funds, including your friend’s name or participant ID in the designation box will ensure that your donation (and match, if applicable) are applied to their fundraiser. 

Please note: If your company offers outside matching, you may want to make the original donation directly to the fundraiser, particularly if there’s a fundraising deadline. Just make sure you receive an official donation receipt from the eligible nonprofit sponsoring or benefiting from the fundraiser to be able to request a match for the donation.

3. Directing your gift through a ‘parent nonprofit’ or conduit

There are many situations where tax-deductible donations might be directed through a parent nonprofit – donations to a church or religious school, to a local branch of a larger nonprofit (American Cancer Society, MS Society, for example), or through conduit platforms like GiveWell, or 

In all of these cases, you can include a designation to specify to which church, school, project, or nonprofit branch your gift should be directed. Be sure to verify that a conduit or parent nonprofit is able to direct your gift to the right place before making the donation! 

We’ve hit upon a few of the most common uses, but donors can also use designations to make their gift on behalf of or in honor of someone, or simply to include a special message to the nonprofit. 

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