Guide to Community Forms
In this article:
- Creating a community form on desktop or mobile
- Adding details to your form
- Fundraising with your community form
- Finding your community form
- Data from your community form
Community forms are a great way for anyone to begin organizing their own networks and fundraise for candidates and causes they support! It’s easy to create your own fundraising page and begin raising money for your favorite groups using ActBlue’s tools.
Creating a Community Form on Desktop or Mobile
If you’re logged in on a desktop computer or laptop, click on the Account menu at the top of your screen and select “Fundraising.”
You’ll be brought to your Fundraising page, where you can find tools to begin raising money and see all of the forms you create to fundraise for your favorite groups! Click the “Create form” button to start building your community form.
A pop-up will open where you will fill out your form’s basic information.
First, give your form a short and descriptive title. You will be able to edit your form’s title later, so don’t worry if it is not perfect!
Then, add the recipient or recipients you would like to fundraise for by searching for the name of the group(s). Make sure you double check the name to confirm that you’re adding the correct campaign or organization!
Please note that due to campaign finance law, certain groups cannot be on the same contribution form together. Once you add one recipient, we will point out in the dropdown what groups you cannot add as recipients on that particular form.
Finally, finish the web address for your form by typing a short, simple phrase in the “Web address” box.
This phrase will be part of the unique web address (URL) for your form. If a web address is taken, you will see “Not available” under the web address field.
When you click “Start fundraising,” you will be taken back to your Fundraising page, where you will see your new community form at the top of the list of your active forms. Click the name of your new form, and the form will open!
If you want to customize your form, click the “Edit” button and the form editor will open on the left side of your screen.
You can also easily create a community form on your mobile device! Once you’re logged in to your ActBlue Express account, select “Fundraising” in the Account menu.
Then, press the “Create form” button in the middle of your screen.
A pop-up will open where you can enter your form’s title, add one or more recipients, and create your form’s web address (URL). Once you’ve entered all of this information, press the “Start fundraising” button.
You’ll be brought back to your Fundraising page, where you will see your new community form at the top of the list of your active forms. Select the name of your new form, and the form will open!
If you want to customize your form, click the “Edit” button and the form editor will open.
ActBlue Express users can also start a community form from the search results page when they are logged in on desktop or mobile.
Use the search bar at the top left of your screen to find a specific candidate or organization by name, or use our filters to search by state or territory, the office a candidate is running for, committee type, fund type (like nominee funds and draft funds), or nonprofit issue area.
Once you find the group you would like to organize for, you can create a community form to fundraise for that group right from the search results!
Adding Details To Your Form
Now you can use the form editor to customize your form! We’ll walk you through tabs of the form editor we think are most important for supporters like you to edit so you can best connect with other grassroots donors.
1. Title, ask, and URL
The first thing you should do is add a donation ask. In the “Title, ask, and URL” tab of the form editor, write a short blurb explaining why someone should donate in the “Donation ask” box. Being specific about why you’re invested in the cause will motivate your friends and family to give.
You can add basic formatting like bullet points and bolding to your ask. If you want to add HTML, click the “</>” button before typing your code.
In this tab, you can also add a variety of video types to a contribution form — including livestreams! — and make the video a centerpiece of the form. On forms with a featured video, supporters will be able to watch and donate at the same time, and after donating they will stay on the form so they can continue to watch! This tool is a great option if you want to host a virtual fundraising event for your community.
To add a featured video to your form, enter the link to your video or livestream under “Video URL,” and make sure to turn on the “Feature video” option. Click “Publish” and exit out of the form editor to preview your form with a featured video!
Click here to learn more about our featured video tool, including what types of videos and livestreams are supported.
2. Preset donation amounts
The next thing you should do is go back to the main menu of the form editor and open the “Preset donation amounts” tab. Here you can choose what contribution buttons appear on your form! Presetting contribution amounts will make it easy for your donors to quickly choose an amount.
Donors will always have the option to type in their own amount, but it’s a good idea to make sure the amounts that appear on the form make sense for the people you’ll be asking to give.
3. Social share
Another great (and impactful!) feature you should customize is your form’s social share, which is the image and content that appears on someone’s Facebook and Twitter account when they post the link to your community form on social media. When picking images to use in your fundraising, keep image vetting and consent best practices in mind. Here’s an example:
Social share is a simple way to catch the eye of more potential supporters! To do this, open the “Social share” tab in the form editor and then fill in the fields. You can even create reusable and default social share settings here to save you time and effort in the future! Check out how to do that here.
If you update your social share settings but don’t see the change right away, you should clear out your Internet browser’s cache and cookies. These settings are typically stored in an Internet browser’s Preferences. Look for a section in Preferences that deals with clearing browser data, history, cookies, or your cache and follow the directions there.
You can also add multiple groups to your community form in the “Recipients” tab, which will turn it into a Tandem form. When a donor lands on a Tandem form, they can easily split one contribution between all of the groups listed on the form.
You can also change your form’s settings to ask donors after they’ve given whether they want to share their contact information with the recipient group(s) on the form. By default, when a donor gives on a community form, their contact information is shared with every recipient group on the form. If you want to change this default setting for your community form, change the “Show email list permissions pop-up?” setting at the bottom of the “Recipients” tab to “Yes”.
This will show a pop-up box to donors that asks them to opt-in to share their information after they have donated. The pop-up looks something like this:
To preview your pop-up, just click the “Preview permissions pop-up” button in the form editor.
Please note that community form creators will always receive the contact information for all donors that give on their form (both those that opt-in and those that opt-out of sharing their information with the recipient group[s]). However, form creators cannot see which donors opted in or out of sharing their contact information with the recipient group(s).
5. Form customization: Spanish language option
In the “ Form customization” tab, you can change all of the standard ActBlue-provided text on your form to Spanish with a single click! If you’ve already been writing your form title and ask in Spanish, you will be able to create a user-friendly and unified form in one easy step.
Under “Language,” select “Spanish / Español” from the “Form language” dropdown to see the form translated in real-time.
Here’s what a sample community form looks like with the standard ActBlue-provided text translated:
To learn more about what is and is not translated with our Spanish language option, read this article!
Once you’re done making changes to your form, make sure you click the green “Publish” button to save them!
Fundraising With Your Community Form
After publishing all of your changes, close the form editor by clicking on the X in the upper right-hand corner. You’ll still be on the live preview of your form, but now you’ll see the form navigation bar at the top. Click “More” and then “Promote” to start sharing your form!
To send your form out to the world, just copy the link that’s generated on the top of the Promote pop-up and paste it in an email, a social media post, or anywhere else you’d like to fundraise.
This is also where you can create refcodes for your form. Refcodes are URL parameters that you can add to your community form links in order to collect useful data about where your donations are coming from. All you have to do is type a keyword into the “Refcode” box on this page, and a new link will be generated for your form in the pop-up. Then you can share that link like normal, and you’ll be able to track its performance on your form’s Statistics page (more about that in the next section: Data from community forms).
There are endless uses for refcodes. For example, you could create refcodes for tweets, Facebook posts, and your website to track which platform brings in the most contributions. You can also create refcodes for friends that will be sharing your form to track their progress, like in this example that uses the name “Dave” as a refcode:
If the group you are fundraising for on your community form has contacted ActBlue and been approved to use pre-set recurring forms, you will also see a “Recurring” field in the Promote pop-up. Pre-set recurring forms allow you to direct people ready to make a monthly donation to a form with the recurring option pre-selected. Please note that ActBlue has a policy which requires fundraisers using pre-set recurring forms to explicitly and clearly ask donors for recurring contributions immediately before the donor clicks the link to give. Read the full pre-set recurring forms policy and get helpful language examples here.
Finding Your Community Form
You can see your list of contribution forms on your account’s Fundraising page. To view this page, open the Account menu and select “Fundraising.”
At the top, you will see the number of contributions, dollars raised, and average contribution size across all the contribution forms you have created. Then, you will see a list of all of the contribution forms you have created, as well as the dollars raised and number of contributions on each form. Click “Actions” to edit your form, preview what your form will look like to your donors, view your form’s statistics, duplicate your form, or delete it altogether.
Data From Your Community Form
Your community forms have a lot of useful data. To access it, you will need to go to the Statistics page for your form. Once you are viewing your form, click the “Stats” button on the form navigation bar.
You can also access a form’s Statistics page from your account’s Fundraising page. Next to your dollars raised and number of contributions, click the “Actions” tab and then “Form statistics.”
On the Statistics page, you’ll find a table of statistics on how your form performed. 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 (count divided by visits)
- Mobile: Percent of contributions made on mobile devices
- Total (avg.): Total dollars raised, followed by the average contribution size in parentheses
- Recur #: Number of active recurring contributions, followed by the percent of contributions made that are active recurring contributions in parentheses
- Recur: Total dollars raised from recurring contributions
Below the table, you should see an “Additional tools” dropdown. Open the dropdown menu and you’ll be able to download a CSV with the donor data (including names and email addresses) for all of your contributions.
The admins for the group you are fundraising for on a community form will not be able to edit the form or view its Statistics page, but they will have access to the form’s donor data.