Advice and answers from the CauseVox Team

You've created a campaign on CauseVox, but you're still not sure you have everything ready to go.

Maybe this is your first campaign and you're just getting started in online fundraising, or maybe you've hosted a lot campaigns on CauseVox and you're looking for some best practices.

Whatever the case, follow this checklist before you launch your campaign, and you can be sure your campaign goes off without a hitch.

How To Ensure Your Campaign Is Ready To Launch In 3 Steps

1) Take A Final Look At All Of Your Site Settings

To start off, you're going to want to login to your account and navigate to your Site Settings.

Once you're in your Site Settings, turn your attention to the menu on the left side.

You'll want to go down the line and click on every single tab. In each tab, ask yourself the following questions:

General

Basic Info

  • Is my desired URL in the Site Address tab? OR Is my custom domain set up correctly? You can have one or the other filled in.
  • Is my Timezone accurate?
  • Is my organization's address and contact info correct?

Notifications

Display Options

Funding Goal

  • Have I set my fundraising goal? If you don't want to have one, be sure to turn it off.

*Tip: We recommend you set a fundraising goal. This helps your donors know what they're working toward! Not sure what goal to set? Take a look at our tips here.

End Date

  • Have I set my desired end date for the campaign? If you don't want an end date associated with the campaign and are going for a long term fundraising site, be sure to turn off your end date. 

*Tip: Short-term campaigns help create a sense of urgency for your supporters to donate to your cause. Consider creating a campaign around 30 days.

Impact Metric

  • Can I directly tie dollars to impact? If you're funding something quantifiable (ie: a number of meals, people reached, etc), we recommend setting up an Impact Metric.

Tip: Make sure the grammar of your "Item" box makes sense as the impact metric counts up. For example, if $5 provides a meal for low income families, make sure your item box is in the format of "3 Meals Provided For Low-Income Families" after someone donates $15.

Social Sharing

  • Have I entered in a picture that is representative of my campaign?
  • Have I accurately put in a title and description for my campaign that both states my organization name and identifies the cause funds are going to?
  • Does the post intrigue readers to click on it and inspire them to share?

Donation Form

Donation Processor

  • Have I selected a processor, attached a bank account, and made sure the processor account is verified?

Tip: Stripe and PayPal both offer discounted rates for nonprofits. Make sure your nonprofit is registered with Paypal or seek out Stripe's nonprofit pricing (highly recommended) at nonprofit@stripe.com.

Donation Tiers

*Tip: We typically recommend no more than 6 donation tiers, and the average donation on CauseVox is around $75, so we encourage you to create a tier around that amount.

  • Have I done my best to specify the impact that the suggested dollar amounts create? 

Tip: Try your best to quantify the impact of each donation in the description of the donation tiers. 

For an example, see the screenshot below. If you can't tie dollars to impact directly, try assigning a title to each donation tier (ie: For an environmental nonprofit, $25 = Friend of the Forest $50= Tree Hugger, etc), create perks, or specify how you plan to thank donors based on their level of giving.

Recurring Donations

Tipping

*Tip: We've heard about 3/4 donors will choose to cover transaction fees for the organization.Have you added both your CauseVox transaction fee and your donation processor fee as the tip amount? Our pricing page is here and standard PayPal and Stripe pricing is 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction.

Donation Receipt

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Personal Fundraising Pages

  • Am I using personal and team fundraising pages? If not, turn off personal and team fundraising in the upper right corner of the page. 
  • If so, have I uploaded a default fundraiser photo? This will help fundraisers be able to set up their page if they don't have a photo handy. 

Tip, try and upload an image (usually a logo) that's about 400px x 400px

  • Do I only want certain people to be able to create a fundraising page? If so, set up an invite code so that only those you give the code to will have access.
  • Have I input a default fundraising appeal that conveys the basic information about the campaign?

*Tip: Try creating a fundraising appeal that's around 200 words that's broken up into several paragraphs, introduces the core information about your campaign and tells a story. Read more tips for creating a successful fundraising appeal.

Team Fundraising Pages

  • Am I interested in using teams, letting fundraisers set their own end date, and/or having a recommended goal? Choose settings as you'd like.
  • Have I input a default team appeal that conveys the basic information about the campaign?

Welcome Email

*Tip: Your welcome email goes out to all your personal fundraisers who sign up, and this is your chance to give them the inside scoop about your campaign. Include any important dates they should be aware of, additional details about your campaign, and provide a toolkit that can help them fundraise on your behalf.

Custom Fields

Custom Donation Fields

Is there any additional information I'd like to collect from my donors or fundraisers?

  • For example, if you're hosting an event for donors, you can ask questions like "How many spots would you like to reserve?" with a dropdown menu listing "1, 2, 3, 4." 

Custom Registration Fields

  • Do I want any additional information from my fundraisers?

*Tip: Like the custom donation field, you can ask your fundraisers if they'd be interested in volunteering for an event, asking them for their t-shirt size, or for additional contact information, the options are endless!

2) Make Sure Your Site Is Completely Designed In Your Site Editor

Next, you're going to navigate to your Site Editor.

Once in your Site Editor, turn your attention to the Colors/Background section on the left and go click on all tabs in the section to make sure you've completed  designing your site.


Header Background

  • Have I changed the color of the heading to coincide with our branding, or have I uploaded a background image?

*Tip: Make your header background match your website's exactly by putting in the hex color code. Not sure what the Hex code is? Take a screenshot of your nonprofit's website and use this tool to get the hex code.

Stats Background

  • Have I changed the color of the stats background to coincide with our branding?

*Tip: Not sure what colors would go with your header background? Use one of these tools.

Content Headings

  • Have a chosen a color for content headings?

Buttons

  • Have I chosen a color for the buttons on my site?

*Tip: While you should try and get these buttons to match some of your branding, generally brighter colors help the buttons stand out.

Progress bar

  • Have I chosen a color for the progress bar? Hint: try and get this to match another color on the campaign

Links

  • Have I chosen a color for the links in my content?

Next, turn your attention to the content sections on the campaign site.

Logo Box

  • Have I uploaded our nonprofit's logo? 

Tip: While the max dimensions are 175px H x 1100px W, typically a rectangular logo looks best. Additionally, try to use a logo with a transparent background if possible.

Media Section

  • Have I connected a video to my campaign? If not, have I uploaded a photo that represents my campaign? 

*Tip: Any way you can provide a visual that helps tell your campaign story will help engage donors. Don't have a picture? Try picking something from Unsplash.

Button Text

  • Have I adjusted the button text to my preferred phrase?

About Section

  • Have I input a fundraising appeal that conveys the basic information about the campaign?

*Tip: Try creating a fundraising appeal that's around 200 words that's broken up into several paragraphs, introduces the core information about your campaign and tells a story. Read more tips for creating a successful fundraising appeal.

Sidebar

  • Have I input text or media in my sidebar?

*Tip: Consider using this section to highlight important information or dates relating to the campaign or include more information about your organization.

3) Ensure You Have Your Communications Ready To Go

Once you have checked all steps above, your campaign is ready to be turned online, and here's how to do so. However, there's a few best practices you should do before the start of your campaign. Consider the following:

  • Create a blog post with the announcement for the campaign and a warm welcome.
  • Create a toolkit containing promotional materials you can send out to your fundraisers and/or supporters that will help them fundraise on your behalf.
  • Before you officially promote your campaign to a broader audience, do a soft launch and send an email out to a group of your most consistent and reliable donors asking them to kick it off. Once you gotten some donations through the site so that it looks active, then send it out to your larger donor base.
  • Gather a list of strong supporters that you think would be enthusiastic about creating a fundraising page, and ask them to do so. Include the toolkit, information about your campaign, and the "How To Create A Personal Fundraising Page" support article to help them get started. This will ensure your campaign starts off with a strong group of supporters.
  • Create a large email list of all your supporters. On your desired campaign start date, email blast it to your email list (and see if some partners can send it out as well) promoting the campaign. Here's few tips on creating engaging email appeals.

*Tip: Be sure to follow up with email communications to this list throughout your campaign with any other milestones, blog updates, and stories to drive more donations and traffic.

With your campaign site set up completely and your communications prepared, you're all set to officially launch your campaign!

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