Sending & Evaluating Contribution Forms
In this article:
- Using your form to fundraise
- Creating refcodes to track where donations come from
- Finding out how your form performed
Using your form to fundraise
You’ve created and customized your contribution form — now it’s time to get the word out and begin connecting with small-dollar donors!
Here are the basics of fundraising: Your goal is to direct supporters to your ActBlue form so they can give to you online easily. You can share your form across many different channels online, like in emails (where most money is raised online), on social media, or as a linked button on your website. You can find your form’s web address (URL link), which you will be sharing and linking, at the top of your browser:
Another foolproof way to find your form’s URL link is by clicking the “More” button from the form navigation bar (form navbar) at the top of your form and selecting “Promote.”
To send your form out to the world, copy the link that’s generated at the top of the “Promote” pop-up and paste it in an email, on your website, or anywhere else you’d like to fundraise.
Creating refcodes to track where donations come from
Refcodes (short for reference codes) are a word or phrase added to the end of your form’s URL link. We highly recommend you use refcodes to easily collect data on where your donations are coming from! When you share a form one way with a unique refcode and another way with a different refcode, you can compare how different strategies perform by looking at that form’s “Statistics” page, which lists the form’s fundraising numbers organized by refcode. You can learn all the details of refcodes and tracking your forms here.
You can use refcodes in the “Promote” pop-up. Here’s what you can customize:
- “Refcode”: Any word or tag you’d like to attach to your form’s URL link, such as “email” for links you send out through email.
- “Amount”: A dollar amount you’d like pre-selected for donors who click on this link, such as $10 for donors who you know typically give this amount.
- “Recurring”: Only admins that have contacted ActBlue, have been made aware of ActBlue’s policy on using pre-set recurring forms, and been approved to use pre-set recurring forms will see a “Recurring” field after “Amount.” Type a “1” in this field if you want donors who click this link to land on a form with the option for unlimited recurring contributions pre-selected. If you are using a specified amount of monthly recurring contributions, enter the number of months here.
Important note: ActBlue has a policy which requires groups using pre-set recurring forms to explicitly and clearly ask donors for recurring contributions immediately before the donor clicks the link to give. In addition, any pre-set dollar amounts in the recurring links must reflect what is in the ask. Here are some examples of this in action:
Read the full policy and get helpful language examples here. ActBlue will contact any groups that do not follow the policy and will limit use of the feature until proper adherence with the policy can be achieved. Repeated failure to adhere to the guidelines will result in a group no longer being able to use pre-set recurring forms. If you would like to request the ability to use pre-set recurring forms or have questions, reach out to your ActBlue contact or firstname.lastname@example.org!
Finding out how your form performed
After the hard work of creating and sending out a form, you can check and see how its fundraising is going.
You can find an individual form’s statistics two different ways. If you’re already on your form, click the “Stats” button in the form navbar up top.
You can also head to your list of forms by clicking the “Contributions Forms” tab from the Dashboard menu.
Find the form you’d like to evaluate and click on the “Contributions” or “Amount” links next to the form name.
You’ll find a table of statistics on how your form performed, organized by refcodes. Here are the statistics you can see:
- Count: Number of contributions made
- Visits: Number of people who landed on your form
- Conversion Rate: Percent of people who landed on your form who donated
- Mobile: Percent of contributions made via a mobile device
- Total (avg.): Total dollars raised, followed by the average contribution size in parentheses
- Recur #: Number of recurring contributions made, followed by the percent of contributions made that are recurring contributions in parentheses
- Recur: Total dollars raised from recurring contributions
You can see the above statistics for each refcode of your form, with the last “Total” row at the bottom showing the above statistics for all refcodes combined.
Some helpful tools:
- Download your form’s statistics as CSV files and see a detailed list of all contributions made on this form by clicking the “Additional tools” at the bottom
- Download data for a specific refcode by clicking the “Download CSV” link underneath the refcode you want.