Using the Custom URL Builder
In this article:
2. Pre-selected dollar amounts
3. Building custom URLs with pre-set recurring forms
4. Sharing custom URLs
Our URL builder makes it easy for anyone to create custom contribution form links — no coding experience required! If you would like to use refcodes or customize the options that are pre-selected when a donor lands on a form, keep reading.
Start by going to the Contribution Forms tab of your Dashboard and opening your form.
Under the “More” dropdown in the navigation bar at the top of your screen, select “Promote.”
A pop-up will appear with sections for you to write in refcodes and pre-selected dollar amounts.
Refcodes (short for reference codes) are a word or phrase added to the end of your form’s URL link 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. We recommend using refcodes for every contribution form link you share!
Simply pick a short word or phrase to use as your refcode — you can use letters, numbers, or underscores, but no spaces or punctuation — and type it in the “Refcode” field. Your link will automatically update at the top of the pop-up. To get accurate data, make sure that you don’t repeat any refcodes on the same contribution form!
You can make as many refcodes as you’d like using the custom URL builder. Just copy the new link each time you make a new refcode. For example, you could make a refcode for every person on your team to send to their contacts by using their names.
If you’re using ActBlue Express Lane, refcodes are critical for determining which donation link amounts people are clicking. If you have questions about creating refcodes and using them with ActBlue Express Lane, email us at email@example.com.
Pre-selected dollar amounts
You can pre-set the contribution amount that will be selected when a donor lands on your contribution form in the “Amount” field. This is helpful if you know how much your donors typically give or if you specifically want to collect donations of a certain amount. Do not use a dollar sign when entering your pre-set amount into this field.
Building custom URLs with pre-set recurring forms
You can also use the custom URL builder to create pre-set recurring forms. 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 in the custom URL builder 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 that 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 to 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!
Sharing custom URLs
Once you’re done using the custom URL builder to create refcodes, pre-select dollar amounts, or configure your recurring settings, simply copy the link in the pop-up and add it to your fundraising emails or website!
If you’re comfortable, you can also add the refcode or pre-set a contribution amount without using our generator. To do this, start by adding a “?” after your link. Then add each parameter (“refcode=” or “amount=”) after the question mark. Separate the parameters with ampersands. The order of the parameters does not matter.