In this support article, we’re going to go over the nuts-and-bolts of how to create a fundraising page, use your page, and how to make your campaign successful.
Before we get to the nitty gritty, here’s a quick breakdown of the different types of ColoradoGives.org pages and how they work.
Three Different Fundraising Pages
Organization Profile Page
Your organization page is the hub of your nonprofit’s presence on ColoradoGives.org. This is connected to your nonprofit’s EIN and can be used for general year-round fundraising. Your organization page has basic information about your nonprofit, your mission statement, and a gallery where you can upload photos or videos. This page can be used for general year-round use or you can utilize for a specific campaign by adding a thermometer to your page.
You can also embed a ColoradoGives.org widget on to your website for donations to go directly to your general fund.
Organization Page Best Practices
- Make this page evergreen: Your organization page should be where you talk about your nonprofit’s “big picture” mission and explain the work you do. You should use fundraiser pages for specific projects, campaigns, and appeals.
- Keep your contact information up-to-date: If your address, phone number, or website changes, make sure to update your organization page so donors on ColoradoGives.org know how to contact you!
A fundraiser page is connected to your organization page — it’s best used for specific campaigns, projects, or funds, where you want to set a financial goal, timeline, and talk about your campaign’s purpose and goals.
Event and Team Fundraisers
Event and Team pages allow you to run large-scale peer-to-peer campaigns where your supporters create their own fundraiser pages and ask their social network to donate to your nonprofit. Read more about event and team campaigns on ColoradoGives.org
Creating an Individual Fundraising Page
First, log into your ColoradoGives.org account. Then find your name on the navigation bar and hover over it with your mouse. Then choose the organization you want to fundraise for from the dropdown menu. If you manage multiple organizations, you will see each listed. If you only manage one organization, it will be listed at the very top.
Once you’re on your organization’s page, scroll down and click the “Fundraise” button:
When you click “Fundraise” from your organization page, that will ensure that the fundraiser is linked to your nonprofit and all you need to do is follow the prompts to create your fundraiser.
Select "Get Started"
And then select "Build Your Fundraiser"
That’s it! Now your page is created and you can begin editing it!
The Features of Your Fundraiser
Now that you’re ready to start editing your page and crafting your campaign, we’ll go through all of your fundraiser’s features, one-by-one.
We will also share tips and best practices that will help you make your page as strong as it can be.
Your page is unpublished at this stage, so you can take as much time as you need to perfect it — you are the only one who can see it before it’s published!
Features in this article that have "(Required in order to publish)" next to them are required, meaning you cannot publish your page without completing this item.
Your Page’s Title (Required in order to publish)
When thinking of your title, consider this: Every time your nonprofit shares this page on Facebook or Twitter, your fundraiser’s title will be one of the first pieces of information your friends and followers see. They will make a decision about whether to click on the link to your fundraiser based on your title.
Your title should make it immediately clear what and for whom you’re fundraising for.
When you’re logged into ColoradoGives.org and on your page with the dashboard open, you can either click directly onto the title to change it…
… or click on "Profile" > "Page Editor", then "Title", on your sidebar:
You have a limit of 50 words, so you’ll need to be concise:
People are more likely to click on a fundraiser title that is catchy, easy-to-read, and makes it apparent what the fundraiser is all about.
Image/Video (Required in order to publish)
Your cover photo is the “face” of your fundraiser. It needs to represent your nonprofit, your campaign, and the reason you are fundraising on ColoradoGives.org. Like your title, it’s one of the first pieces of information people will see about your fundraiser. So, what makes for a great cover photo that will inspire people to donate to you?
You cover photo should be:
- Clear. Avoid using blurry or pixelated photos. The container for your cover photo is 1280 x 720 pixels, so your photo needs to be at least that big. If you upload a smaller photo, it may become distorted within the container, which affects the overall quality of your page. If your photo is larger or has a different aspect ratio, keep in mind that you will have to crop it to fit in the container, so a photo with landscape orientation is best.
- Relevant to your fundraiser. Your cover photo needs to represent the reason you are actually fundraising.
- Impactful: Since your cover photo is representing your entire campaign, it’s not a great place to use a logo or lots of text — you can communicate the important details elsewhere on your page. You want your cover photo to have an emotional impact that compels people to click on your page, read your story, and make a donation. Anytime you can include a photo of a person or animal your nonprofit helps, you should!
ColoradoGives.org gives you several options for uploading a cover photo. First, make sure you’re on your page in Edit mode. Then hover your cursor over the image container:
As you can see, you have two different options for uploading a photo. You can either upload one directly from your computer or mobile device, or import one from your Facebook photos. (You’ll need to link your Facebook account to your ColoradoGives.org account in order to import photos from Facebook.)
You can also link to a video. ColoradoGives.org does not host videos, so you will need to upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo first. Both YouTube and Vimeo offer free basic accounts. You can then link your video on your ColoradoGives.org page by clicking “Use a Video Link.”
Please note that you should put the link to your video in this box, not the “Embed Code.”
The basic rules for what makes a good video are the same as the rules for photos: It should be clear, relevant, and impactful. Both YouTube and Vimeo offer basic editing tools, so you can splice together multiple videos, add music and text, and let the video tell the story of why you’re fundraising on ColoradoGives.org.
ColoradoGives.org Video Tip: Why not enlist help from volunteers to help make a video for your campaign? Let your volunteers know you’re looking for someone who can help make a video, or put a call out for video help on social media. You may have talented videographers or editors already in your midst who can help you create something sleek, professional, and cool that takes your campaign to a new level!
This section is pretty self-explanatory: How much are you hoping to raise? But there’s more to it than that. Your goal should be:
- Attainable. If you have a robust email list and tons of social media followers, it may be realistic for you to raise one million dollars for your campaign. But if your nonprofit is just getting on its feet or has a modest email list and social media presence, you’ll want to make sure you scale your goal to the size of your donor base. If you’re not sure what a reasonable goal is for your campaign, take a look at past campaigns or your nonprofit’s average monthly revenue to get a good handle on what’s feasible for your fundraiser.
- Justifiable. Your goal should not be an arbitrary number you chose, it should reflect an actual expense or financial need. You should be able to break down for your donors just how you arrived at that number (using the Use of Funds feature, which we’ll discuss later).
To set your goal, click Page Editor, then click “Goal”, on your sidebar:
You can choose the type of goal you would want, Dollar Goal or Donor Goal. The dollar goal will be a monetary amount, the donor goal will be a numerical amount that will be based on unique donors.
Then type the amount into the window that pops up and click “Save.”
This is a short summary of your fundraiser that will appear beneath your goal. When you link to your fundraiser on social media, this summary will also show below your cover photo. You have a limit of 100 characters, so you’ll want to keep it short and sweet.
You may be tempted to get creative here, but since your space is limited, it’s best to stick to the facts. In one sentence, why are you fundraising?
Duration (Required in order to publish)
Every fundraiser must come to an end, and this is where you choose when yours will. To set an end date for your fundraiser, either click “Duration” on your sidebar or click on the calendar in your fundraiser. A calendar will pop up that you can use to select your end date for your fundraiser:
Your fundraiser’s duration isn’t set in stone — you can change it at any time during your campaign. So don’t fret too much about this, if your fundraiser is doing well and you want to keep it going, just go back here and change the end date!
However, consider your goal and the size of your donor base when setting your end date. If your fundraiser goal is $100,000, it’s not realistic for most nonprofits to raise that amount in just one month so you’ll want to be sure to give your nonprofit enough time to meet your goal.
If your nonprofit is still building your donor base, you may need extra time to build support for your fundraiser, so set your goal date a little further out. However, you should be cautious of making your fundraiser too long — setting an end date three years from now means your fundraiser might stall out, and your donors won’t feel any urgency to donate if they have three years to contribute.
Creator Social Links
To add your social media accounts, click “Creator Social Links” on the page editor section of your sidebar.
You can link to all of your social media accounts on your page: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, Periscope, your nonprofit’s website or blog.
Don’t worry, we won’t steal your information or post anything on your behalf without your permission. We promise.
Note about Facebook brand pages: At this time, you cannot connect a fundraiser to a brand page. This is because of how Facebook sets up permissions for brand pages — they’re connected to individual accounts. So if you’d like to link to your nonprofit’s Facebook page, you’ll have to add it as a hyperlink in your story.
"Organizer Info" allows you to edit the name and add social media links of the fundraiser's organizer. The fundraising page will automatically load the account name of the organizer who created it.
This information will appear at the bottom of the fundraising page.
Any donor who chooses to contact the organizer through this area will have their email sent to the organizer's ColoradoGives.org account email.
We know from years of fundraising that people are more likely to donate when they know precisely where their donation is going, and some people won’t even consider donating unless they have that information. This is understandable: We all work hard for our money, and when we open up our wallets to help out, we want to be sure our money is being spent wisely. You can preemptively answer your supporters’ questions about how their donations will be spent with the Use of Funds feature.
Use of Funds creates a pie chart on your page. To use this feature, either click on “Expense Breakdown” on your sidebar
or click on "Use of Funds," the pie chart, on your page.
The “pie” is your goal amount. The “slices” are the different expenses that add up to your goal amount.
You’ll need to account for the total amount of your goal, but don’t worry! You don’t have to do any math, ColoradoGives.org does it for you. At the top of the box you’ll see how much of your goal you’ve accounted for. You need to make sure the full amount is accounted for — and if you can only explain why you need $1,500 of your $3,000 goal, well, you may need to reevaluate whether your goal amount is appropriate.
Description (Required in order to publish)
This is the most important part of your page on ColoradoGives.org. This is where you tell your story: What your organization is, what you do, and why people should donate to your nonprofit. This is where you’ll detail your campaign and what it’s all about. Your story is your space to really sell your nonprofit and inspire people to donate to your cause. Having a well-written, compelling and heartfelt story is vital to running a successful fundraising campaign. ColoradoGives.org has a user-friendly in-line editor that allows you to add photos, videos, links and more in a snap, so you can really jazz up the formatting in your story to make your page more compelling.
So, how do you make sure your story is good enough to help you reach your goals? A good story is:
- Compelling. No one wants to read a dry account of how many people used your services last year, or a list of your programs. People don’t donate to fundraisers that are focused on facts and numbers. People donate based on feelings. So your story will need to inspire the people reading it to feel something, thereby inspiring them to act. If you’re not sure where to get started, read our blog about communications planning to make sure you set your campaign up for success.
- Personal. A good story makes a large issue feel personal, and that’s a key part of successful nonprofit fundraising. Your nonprofit’s mission might be related to huge, complex social issues, but you’ll need to tie those larger issues to real lives in order to raise money. Giving some examples of real impact your nonprofit has had on lives, or even centering your story around a single person or animal to demonstrate your impact, is a great way to make your fundraiser feel personal and inspire people to donate.
- Laser-focused. It can be tempting to write a novel about your nonprofit, the work you do, and why people should support you — after all, you’re working for a nonprofit because you care passionately about this cause! But in order to resonate with supporters, your story will need to be focused on key points about your campaign and your nonprofit’s key messaging.
- Easy-to-read. People have short attention spans, so a good story should be easy for the average person to read and understand. A giant wall of text is unattractive, difficult to read and unlikely to hold anyone’s attention. But, a story told in paragraphs with photos to help illustrate the story, important points in bold, and maybe some bullet points with essential information, is much more likely to be read all the way through.
Updates appear right above your description on your page.
When you send an update, an email will be sent to each of your donors, so this feature is most effective when you’ve been fundraising for awhile and have a good number of donors. Updates are a great way to share news about your campaign, thank your donors for helping you hit a milestone, and keep the people who’ve already supported you engaged in your campaign.
If your nonprofit is on Instagram, you can link your feed right to your ColoradoGives.org page. Linking your Instagram account will show the last four images you posted on the right side of your page, right under your donations.
Linking your Instagram is a great way to add visual interest to your page and give a fuller picture of the work your nonprofit does.
Donation Report: As a nonprofit admin, you’ll have access to your full donations report through your organization page’s admin panel. But you can also pull a simple report on donors right from your page by clicking the “Donation” section on the sidebar and selecting ‘Donation Report”:
You’ll see an abbreviated report of everyone who has donated to your fundraiser. This report will show the last 30 days by default, but you can set the date range for whatever dates you’d like:
You can see who donated, how much and when, whether the donation is recurring, and whether the donation was an offline donation. You can also see donors’ comments and email addresses. This report can be exported as a spreadsheet and uploaded into any CRM, donor database or email program you use to manage your contacts.
This is also where you can enter offline donations. Just click the “Add Offline Donation” button:
And enter the details of the donation:
Editing the Donor Experience
Donor Experience: This section allows you to craft the checkout process for donors.
This tool allows you to customize the suggested amounts displayed when a user clicks on the Donate button, and also allows you to add descriptions of those amounts for your donors to see. Setting custom donation suggestions makes it easier for donors to choose how much to donate by pre-loading options for them, and helps push donors to these levels. (For instance, donors giving at a lower level may bump their donation up to $25 from $10, simply because the option was presented to them.)
All ColoradoGives.org pages have Suggested Donations turned off at first; they can be enabled by going to Donor Experience, click the checkbox, and entering the information. You can use Suggested Donations without amount descriptions by clicking “Use custom donation suggestions” and leaving the “Add amount descriptions” box unchecked. If you wish to use both donation suggestions and amount descriptions (which is recommended), click both boxes, and enter the information. You must click “Save” to insert these customized fields into your checkout process.
You are limited to four custom donation suggestions, to avoid offering too many options (which negates the purpose of offering suggested amounts) and to keep the look of the window clean, user-friendly, and uncluttered. You also have a 60 character limit for the amount descriptions.
Users will always still have the option of entering custom amounts if they do not wish to use a suggested donation amount. (The minimum donation on ColoradoGives.org is $5; there is an upper limit of $100,000.)
Dedications and Designations
Nonprofits have the option of allowing donors to dedicate their donation to another person, as well as designating their donation to a purpose, program, or fund of their choosing. These are optional for nonprofits. (You do not have to allow dedications or designations.)
Please note that if you would like to add designation options, you will need to add that from your organization page Donor Experience, not from your fundraising page.
Donors will choose whether to leave a dedication and a designation at the beginning of the checkout process.
When a donor leaves a dedication or designation, a column will be added to your Donation Report indicating their choice to ensure you can properly account for their wishes.
Dedications are made in honor or in memory of another person. You can enable dedications in the donation process by checking the box that says, “Show the option to make a dedication with their donation.”
When a nonprofit has turned on dedications, the donor will be able to choose whether they’d like to dedicate their donation on the first section of the checkout process. Once a donor selects "Add a dedication" a dedication area will be added below where they can enter the information for their dedication.
The dropdown menu for “Dedicated To” looks like this:
Nonprofits can also allow donors to designate their donation to a particular purpose, program or fund.
Your nonprofit enters in the possible designations, so donors can only choose from the designations you have entered.
If you would like to add designation options, you will need to add that from your organization page Donor Experience, not from your fundraising page.
You can add the choices for donors who wish to designate their donation in this field.
You’re limited to 25 characters per designation, and you are limited to five different designation options overall. When your donor opts to designate their donation, they will be able to choose their designation from a dropdown menu:
If donors do not wish to leave a dedication or designation after all, they can simply skip this area since it is not required.
If the fundraising page was created by an organization administrator on the platform, you will have access to add a custom question. If the organization has already enabled a custom question through the organization dashboard, you will see that auto-populated on the fundraising page. To add a new section, simply select Add a Section.
The Post-Checkout tab allows nonprofits to customize what happens after a donor completes the checkout process.
Thank You Page
When a donation is completed, donors will be sent to a Thank You Page that contains a customize message from your nonprofit. You can build your custom message in an in-line text editor that allows you to add links, videos, images and more.
Please note that all video must be uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo.)
You can also make use of a CTA button that allows you to link to any page you choose, whether it’s your organization profile page, your website’s homepage, your blog, your Facebook page, etc.
You can click the "View this page" button to view your customized Thank-you Page.
Email and Receipt Customization
One of the benefits of using the ColoradoGives.org platform is that we handle distributing tax receipts to your donors, allowing you to focus on what’s most important. You can insert a customized message into the receipt your donors receive on in the Email and Receipt Customization section of the Post-Checkout tab.
Simply add your message and save! You can also preview the receipt your donors are sent by clicking the Preview button. (Please note you cannot add videos or images in your receipt thank you message)
If you’re able to secure a matching grant, this is where you’ll enter it.
If your nonprofit is able to secure a matching grant for your campaign, this is where you’ll enter it. Please note that if you enter a matching grant on a fundraising page, the match will only be calculated based on donations to that page.
Click the blue button on your matching grants dashboard that says “Continue.”
Then, you’ll need to enter the details of your grant.
First enter the grantor's name. If the grantor would like to remain Anonymous, simply check off "Hide this name publicly" underneath the name of the sponsor.
You'll then want to add the amount of the match. Underneath the value amount, "Include match value in page metrics" will automatically be checked off. This signifies that the Total Raised on your fundraising page will include your grant.
The most important thing to consider is how your grantor will be providing the grant. If you’re working with a grantor who prefers to pay by check, it’s a good idea to include the grant value in your metrics. However, if the grantor is willing to pay online through ColoradoGives.org, you won’t want to include it in your metrics. In fact, that could throw your totals off.
Including Image and Title
You will also have the opportunity to add a photo and title to your matching grant. Adding an image and title provides a great opportunity to share more information on the match and the sponsor. To add an image, simply click into the image area.
Setting the Terms of the Matching Grant
The matching grants tool on ColoradoGives.org is versatile and can suit many different types of matching grants. In the next area, you’ll enter the details of your match.
Set When Your Grant Is Active
You can set the start and end date for your matching grant for any time, future, present, or even past. If you forgot to set up your match, no problem! We will automatically include eligible donations against the match if you set the start time in the past.
Also, you can run as many matches at one time as you would like. If you have a grant you want to become active as soon as another one ends, just check the box that says “Queue this grant to begin immediately after another grant completes.”
Set Your Match Type
The most common type of grant on ColoradoGives.org is a 1:1 match, meaning that each donation is matched in full until the grant is fulfilled.
However, there are other options you can choose if you’d like to set up your matching grant a little differently.
Match a specific percentage of each donation
When you select this option, you’ll be asked to enter a percentage. This option will be automatically be set to 100% (1:1 match). However, this can be a handy tool if you’d like to stretch your grant further by matching only a portion of each donation, such as 50%, or if you’d like to be generous with the grant money and match at a 2:1 ratio (which is 200%).
Match a maximum dollar amount per donation
This tool will allow you to “cap” the amount that can be matched. This helps ensure that your $1,000 grant will not be fulfilled too quickly with a few large donations. So, if you have a $1,000 match available, and have set your “cap” to $100, you can prevent a few big donations from wiping out your grant.
Cumulative threshold match
Cumulative threshold matches allow you to create different styles of matches if you are looking for something different than a standard 1:1 match.
- Apply total match when cumulative donations equal the match value
This is an all or nothing match. For example, a grantor agrees to give $10,000 only if you can raise $10,000. For all or nothing matches we do not include the match amount in your fundraiser or organization page amounts until the total value is met. If the total value is not met before the end time then nothing is matched. This can be a risky strategy that pays off in dividends to motivate your supporters to donate!
- Apply total match when a certain quantity of donations is received
This option creates a match that is based on the number of donations you receive. For example, you can set up a match that will only be fulfilled once you receive 20 donations. Please note, this is not based on unique donors. So if a donor donates twice, that is considered two donations towards your match.
This is great option to utilize if you are participating in a giving day that has power hour prizes.
Set Match Conditions
There are a couple of match conditions you can include on your match.
Set a minimum per donation amount before match is applied
This option allows you to create a minimum donation amount before a donation is applied towards a match. For example if you would like to motivate donors to donate at higher amounts, you may want to set up your match so that only donations over $50 will go towards the match.
Please note that the lowest donation amount available for donors on the platform is $5.
Include offline donations in the match
This option will be automatically enabled. Any offline donations in you enter in ColoradoGives.org will count towards your match.
Creating the Match
Once you have completed entering your match information, it's time to create it by selecting "Create Match."
Editing a Matching Grant
If any point you need to edit your matching grant while it's live or if it's upcoming, simply head back your Matching Grants area and select the pencil icon on the right side of the corresponding match.
Additionally if you need to close your matching grant pre-maturely, simply select the stop icon.
Reviewing Your Match History
You can always access your match history through the Matching Grants area.
If you would like to download a full report of your past matches, simply select "Download full report" on the top right corner of your Past Matches section.
You can always download a singular report on a past match by selecting the download icon to the right of the corresponding match.
If you would like to hide a match amount from page totals, select the crossed out eyeball icon.
In addition, your donors will see that a matching grant is live with a badge on your donate button.
A grant summary block will appear on your fundraising page listing all live matching grants and showing the amount still available. (Clicking the badge on the Donate button will take users to the grant summary.)
But wait! There’s more in your page’s Settings:
At the bottom of your sidebar, there’s a link to your page’s Settings.
There are even more options for customization here that will help you get the most out of your ColoradoGives.org page:
Social Sharing: Customize the image and text social media networks use when someone shares your page.
Custom URL: When you create your page, your page will automatically be given a URL. It’s a boring series of letters and numbers. But you can jazz things up and make your page more memorable, customized, and shareable by giving it a Custom URL. Keep it short and obviously make sure it’s relevant to your page.
Event & Team Participation: This is where you can join or leave an event or team.
Discoverability: When Discoverability is “on,” users can easily find your fundraiser using our search feature. When it’s “off,” only people with a direct link to your page will be able to access it — it will be hidden from searches on ColoradoGives.org. In most cases you want this to be “on,” but this can be a useful tool if you want to hide an older fundraiser.
Turn off Donations: To disable donations on your fundraising page, click "Turn off Donations"
Delete Fundraiser: If you want to delete your fundraiser, this is where you do it.
Metrics Calculation: By default, your fundraiser will display the amount you’ve raised and how many donors have made contributions from the date you publish your fundraiser. But if you want to set your amount raised and number of donors to zero, or ensure that you only count donations and donors from a specific date, you can do that by changing the date in this field.
Change Fundraiser Owner: Assign ownership of your fundraiser to another user. Please note that if the fundraiser was created by an administrator, then all other administrators to your organization will have access to edit it.
Social Sharing Options and ColoradoGives.org Donation Widget
When your fundraiser is complete, published, and you’re ready to start sharing, we have some great social sharing tools right on your page, underneath the “Donate” button:
The first two buttons are obviously for Facebook and Twitter.
You can use the Facebook button to share your fundraiser on Facebook. (Remember, you can’t link your Facebook brand page to your ColoradoGives.org account, so this will post to the Facebook account linked to your ColoradoGives.org account.) You can preview what your Facebook link post will look like here to make sure it’s in working order, share with your friends’, and everyone who visits your fundraiser will also be able to use this button to share your page with their Facebook friends:
The Twitter share button will generate a shortened, Twitter-friendly link to your page:
The email icon will generate an email with a link to your fundraiser. (Whatever email service program is your operating system’s default will be used.) You’ll obviously want to use email marketing programs to spread the word about your fundraiser, but this can be a handy tool you can use to send personal emails to board members and your big donors.
And the last share button we have available is the donation widget.
You can choose whether you want a widget that will allow users to donate directly to your page, a donate button on your Facebook Brand page, a widget that shows your progress toward your goal and links to your fundraiser, or a donate button.
Note that you can only use the Facebook donate button on your Facebook Brand page, not a normal Facebook profile. As well, you must have 2,000 or more likes on your Facebook page to install the widget per Facebook's requirement.
Simply copy and paste the embed code and insert on your website or blog.
If you have any questions about the features on your ColoradoGives.org fundraising page or would like help making it as amazing at it can possibly be, contact us here.