Creating & Customizing Contribution Forms

In this article:
1. Your default contribution form
2. Getting around the form editor
3. Customizing your contribution form
4. Creating a new contribution form
5. Additional resources


Your default contribution form

Contribution forms are the building blocks of ActBlue’s platform — they are the pages grassroots supporters make donations on. Once you have an ActBlue account, you should first customize your default contribution form so you can link it on your website, emails, and social media accounts. You can find your default contribution form in the “Contribution Forms” tab, which you’ll see near the top of your Dashboard menu. The default form will be at the top of all of your forms, highlighted in gray.

dashboard tab

default form

We recommend that you edit your default contribution form before creating a new one. Your default form provides a good base for customization, and it’s the form that shows up in the ActBlue directory when people click “Donate.”


Getting around the form editor

On the “Contribution Forms” page, click “Edit” to the right of your default contribution form.

edit

This action will bring you to a preview of your contribution form with the form editor open on the left. While you’re editing, you can view your form as different people: yourself, a first-time donor, a returning donor, or an ActBlue Express user. You’ll find these options at the top right corner in the form navigation bar (form navbar). But note that you can only view your form and donate as yourself when you are not in the form editor.

switching views

When you change the settings of your form, a small reset button will appear next to the field you edited. If you want to undo that specific change, just click the button.

reset button

If you make a change in one tab of the form editor and then go back to the menu without publishing, an orange dot will appear next to the tab name to help you keep track. You can click “Publish” at the top of the form editor to make all of these changes live at once, and the orange dots will disappear.

orange dots

Read this support article for more details on navigating the form editor!


Customizing your contribution form

Once you’ve opened the form editor, you can begin to explore the options for customizing your form. The following tabs are meant to help you customize your contribution form; the tabs that are not listed (A/B Testing, Tracking, and Custom Field) are more advanced features and are meant to track and analyze your form. If you want to learn more about each feature, click the link to read a more in-depth support site article.

  • Title, ask, and URL: Here is where you can change three of the most basic and important aspects of a contribution form: title, ask, and URL. Do: Always write a custom title and ask! The ask is where you can explain more about your cause and why you are asking for a contribution. You can also add an image to the donation ask by clicking on the picture icon and selecting a file from your computer. Don’t: Change the URL unless absolutely necessary. If you want a form with a different URL, try creating a new form or duplicating an existing one!

    title and ask

  • Preset donation amounts: You can set the donation buttons to any amount you want. Separate the amounts with a comma!
  • Goal thermometer: Goal thermometers can track dollars raised or number of donors for a contribution form.
  • Branding: Brandings are custom designs for your contribution forms and receipts. The logo, background color, and donation button color in the example below were all changed in the branding editor. You also have the option of creating reusable brandings, which you can apply to multiple contribution forms!

    sunrise movement

  • Recurring settings: The Pop-up recurring and Smart Recurring pop-up features will ask your donors to make their one-time contribution into a recurring one. You can customize the pop-up text in this tab.
  • Remarketing: Remarketing sends an email to donors who started making a donation but didn't finish. You can customize the body text of these emails in this tab.
  • Thanks and receipt: In this tab, you can customize the text that will appear at the top of your donors’ email receipts, as well as the content of the thank you page that appears after a donor makes a contribution.
  • Social share: Using this feature, you can customize the image and text that people see when the link to your contribution form is posted on Facebook or Twitter. You can also create reusable and default social share settings in this tab.
  • Recipients: If you want to fundraise for more than one group on a single contribution form, you can add these groups in the “Recipients” tab. Adding more than one recipient makes your contribution form a Tandem form, which you can read more about here.
  • Entry Mode: Turning Entry Mode on will create an alternate version of your contribution form that does not store any user data in the internet browser. We recommend using this feature when multiple people are giving on the same device, like at in-person events!

Creating a new contribution form

After you’ve customized and started using your default contribution form, you can create additional forms. To create a new contribution form, click the “Create form” button at the top of the Dashboard menu.

create form

When you click the “Create form” button, a dropdown menu will appear, listing the types of forms available to you. If you want to sell and track tickets for an event, click “Event form.” If you’re selling merchandise, click “Merchandise form.” Click “Contribution form” to continue with a regular contribution page.

dropdown create form

After you click “Contribution form,” a pop-up will appear asking you to enter a form title and complete the web address for your new form.

form title and url

The form title is the default title that donors see on the form. You can always change this text in the form editor under “Title, ask, and URL.” For example, on the contribution form below, the title is circled.

title text

In the “web address” box, type a simple but memorable word related to the content of the form. This word will complete the unique web address for your form, which donors will see in the URL.

web address in url

The word you put in this box will also be the name of the contribution form in your Dashboard.

web address in dashboard


Additional resources

Are you looking for tips on how to make your contribution forms look and perform their best? Here are some resources:


Next: Sending & Evaluating Contribution Forms


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