How to create donation levels

Why should I use donation levels?

The best types of asks are specific. Rather than have people guess at what to give, we recommend adding donation levels. Each team should consider their donor network’s giving capacity when developing their levels, but we recommend donation levels up to $250, with three giving levels under $100. Using donation levels helps all of your teammates direct their asks consistently. 

What kind of donation levels should I use?

We have found that there are four types of donation levels that work best. They can be organized around the following:


If you are raising money for supplies, consider donation levels linked to the items you need. For example:

$25 Buys goggles
$80 Buys a cooler
$50 Pays an operator for the day $100 Buys a table
$200 Buys a plywood sign for the site

Supporter Type

In some cases, it may be easiest to create a graduated list of supporter types. For example:

$10 Friend
$25 Supporter
$50 Collaborator
$100 Sustainer

They can even be themed:

$25 Flower Pot
$50 Garden Bed
$75 Shade Tree
$100 Projecting the Stars 


If you are not raising money for supplies, one option is to design your donor levels to describe the impact your donors will make. For example:

$25 Helps to keep the algae out of our neighborhood pond
$55 Provides 1 foot of our protected bike lane

$75 Provides a living wage stipend to our classroom educators
$100 Takes a first generation college student on a campus tour site


Feel-good moments lead to donations. It never hurts to use a little humor and encouragement. For example:

$25 A job well done! $50 Gold star!
$75 You Rock!
$100 Fantastic!
$250 Saintly goodness!


You can also do a hybrid of any of these types. For example:
$25 Shows support
$50 Helps produce part of the educational materials
$150 Pays for the installation of one light

$200 Buys a plywood sign for the site
$250 Contributes to the creation of the Linton Rohr Dark Sky Information Kiosk
$479 Sponsors the total replacement cost of one new streetlight—this includes the light, photocell and installation

Did you find this article helpful?