ActBlue Glossary

Welcome to the ActBlue glossary! This article is a helpful list of technical terms you’ll see all over our platform. If you’re an admin and new to ActBlue, make sure to also check out our Getting Started series!

Our tools and features:

  • Dashboard: The hub for all admin needs on ActBlue, including contribution forms, donor data, account settings, and more. 
  • Contribution forms: The building blocks of ActBlue’s platform: Our forms are where small-dollar donors give to their favorite campaigns and organizations! 
  • Community forms: Contribution forms that anyone can create to fundraise for their favorite group! Admins have access to the donor data for all community forms fundraising on their behalf.
  • Supporter forms: Forms that make fundraising on behalf of campaigns and organizations easy for grassroots supporters. Admins can customize the branding and content on supporter forms before sending the link to their champions. 
  • Tandem forms: Contribution forms that allow donors to split one contribution between multiple groups with a single click. This tool is unique to ActBlue and a powerful way for groups to lift each other up!
  • Form editor: Where fundraisers will find all of the options for customizing a contribution form! When you click “Edit” on a contribution form, either while viewing the form itself or in the Contribution Forms tab of the Dashboard, you will see the form editor pop up on the left.
  • Branding: A custom design admins can create for your forms and receipts using our form editor.
  • Social share: The text and image people see when a contribution form link is posted on social media! Fundraisers can customize this in the form editor. Here’s an example:
  • Refcode: Short for “reference code,” a refcode is a short word or phrase fundraisers can add to the end of a contribution form link as a reference, so you can easily track where donations are coming from on the form’s Stats page!
  • ActBlue Express: Our saved payment feature that enables donors to give to any group on ActBlue with a single click! This also makes it easy to check your contribution history and update your personal and payment information

Other helpful terms for fundraising on ActBlue:

  • Topline numbers: These stats, which admins can find in the Dashboard Overview, give a basic rundown of your digital fundraising program. The big three at the top are contributions, dollars raised, and average contribution size, and we break them all down here. 
  • CSV: CSVs are a popular and universal document format that work with all donor tracking software. Fundraisers can download all sorts of donor data, contribution form data, and personal contribution history data in this format on ActBlue.
  • Conversion rate: A term that refers to the percentage of people who take some sort of action on a form, email, ad, or other media. On a form’s Stats page, the conversion rate shows fundraisers what percentage of people who landed on a form ended up making a donation!
  • Merchant account: A merchant account is required by some state and local jurisdictions for campaigns raising money online. We have an easy system for getting groups with merchant accounts set up on ActBlue, and you can still use all of our tools seamlessly! If you have questions about reconciliation for your merchant account, click here.

And a little bit about us:

  • ActBlue: We are a nonprofit dedicated to empowering small-dollar donors. Our tools make it easy for grassroots supporters to chip in to their favorite Democratic campaigns, progressive organizations, and nonprofits, creating people-powered movements and transforming power structures across the country.
  • Small-dollar donors: What we call donors who engage with their favorite candidates and causes at the grassroots level by chipping in! Together, they’ve contributed over $4 billion to groups on ActBlue since we opened our doors in 2004. Read why small-dollar donors give in their own words here.