Step 1: Make a Custom Contribution Form
The first thing you should do once you’ve set up your ActBlue account is create a custom contribution form from your campaign or organization’s Dashboard. You'll use this form on your website or in your fundraising emails. You can create as many custom contribution forms as you’d like (it only takes a few minutes!) and we suggest making a new one for each fundraising ask that you make.
1. CHOOSE YOUR FORM
Once you’ve logged in to ActBlue you’ll see the My Dashboards tab in the upper right hand corner. Click to open up a side menu that lists all of your committees.
Visit your Dashboard by clicking on the appropriate organization within the menu. Navigate to the Metrics tab of your Dashboard and choose the appropriate option: create a contribution form, sell merchandise, or plan an event.
2. Fill in the essentials
The basics come first. Give your form a title and a short blurb explaining why a supporter should donate. Telling people why you need the money and what you’ll use it for helps motivate them to give.
We've made it easy for you to add custom formatting to your pitches, thank you emails, pop-up recurring asks, and more. No HTML required.
You can add basic formatting like bullet points and bolding, as well as add images.
If you’d like to see our traditional HTML editor, click the pencil on the right-hand side of the menu to switch over. For help with HTML, check out our guide here.
While more creative control is awesome, remember that less is always more. You want to make sure your forms are readable on all devices, particularly mobile, where 40% of all contributions are made. You should preview the form on your phone to be sure your donors won’t have any trouble viewing and contributing.
We suggest making a note of the slug, or name, you decide to give your form. Having the form's name on hand will allow you to locate it in the Form Management tab quickly.
You can choose to display your form's fundraising totals by checking or un-checking the box below the Options header while editing your form. If you choose to leave it un-checked, the funds raised won’t be reflected in your public totals.
Once your form is created, the address will look like this:
We’ve also provided you with the tools to add goal thermometers and videos to your contribution forms. You can click the linked text to find out more. But for now, click the button in the lower right hand corner to skip this step.
Now that you have the basics down, you have a number of optional customizations that you can add to your form. You can choose to skip these, select the ones that suit your particular fundraising campaign, or come back and edit them once you’ve finished creating your form.
You can also add a branding to your form, allowing you to include your campaign or oganization’s logo or color scheme on the contribution forms your donors receive. If you’ve created one already, click the drop-down menu and select which one you’d like to use for this form. If you haven’t created a branded design for your campaign or organization, we make it easy for you. You can find out how to create your own template with your group’s colors and logo here.
We strongly encourage you to check the box to enable recurring contributions. You can learn more about them here, but for now turning them on is enough.
You can also choose custom contribution amounts for your form. Donors will always have the option to type in their own amount, but you should still make sure that the amounts you suggest are in line with the type of supporters you’re targeting. We’ve tested the current standard presets and determined that they’re the best overall. However, every campaign and organization is different, so you should test this yourself if you have the resources to do so.
As you can see below, presetting the contribution amounts like we have above will make it easy for your donors to quickly choose an amount.
When your donors chip in to support your cause they deserve some thanks! Write a short thank you note for donors and make them feel like they’re part of your movement. Your message must be in plain text (no HTML formatting) and will automatically be added at the top of the email receipt your supporters receive after contributing.
Time to get the word out! Donors aren’t going to find your contribution form on their own. You’ll need to put in some hard work to raise your funds. Choose Promote on the left menu of your form to launch your fundraising program.
To send your contribution form out to the world, just copy the link that’s generated on the top of that page and paste it in an email, on your website, or anywhere else you’d like to fundraise and you’re all set!
If you’re planning on using reference codes to track your donations (and we think you should), read our guide here.
5. Make Changes
Once you’ve completed the contribution form setup process, you’ll see there are new tabs available with further customization options. You’ll find these in the sidebar on the left hand side of the form. Check out those additional features here.
If you want to change or update your form at any other time, you can access it by logging into ActBlue and selecting “Manage Forms” from the “Fundraise” drop-down menu in the upper right hand corner of the site and choosing the Edit button in the left sidebar on the form you’re working with.
There you’ll be able to edit all the features you just set up, or you can see what your contribution form will look like by clicking "View your form" in the menu on the left hand side of your screen.