Press Coverage of 2019 Numbers

Small-dollar donors were fired up in 2019, raising more than $1 billion through ActBlue for Democrats and progressive organizations! This achievement signals the powerful momentum of grassroots donors heading into the elections. They are building the foundation that Democrats up and down the ballot and advocacy organizations will need to win this year! And their unprecedented participation did not go unnoticed by the press — many outlets highlighted the more than $1 billion raised and other achievements of grassroots donors on ActBlue. Read some of the stories here:

Democrats’ contempt for Trump fuels an online cash surge, by Brian Slodysko of The Associated Press, Jan. 9

6 million Democratic donors gave $1 billion in 2019 through ActBlue, officials say, by Michelle Ye Hee Lee of The Washington Post, Jan. 9

ActBlue says it raised $1 billion for Democrats in 2019, by Reid Wilson of The Hill, Jan. 9

Introducing “Small Dollars. Big Change: The Webinar Series”

Introducing 'Small Dollars. Big Change: The Webinar Series'

At ActBlue, we work hard every day to make sure that our grassroots fundraising tools are as accessible as possible and that campaigns and organizations have all of the strategy and expertise they need to create winning small-dollar donor fundraising programs. Why? Because we know that digital fundraising tools enable anyone to build a people-powered campaign and make it easy for millions of people to donate to their favorite candidates or causes!

That’s why our team travels across the country, connecting with folks who are working hard to transform our democracy and giving them in-person trainings on digital fundraising strategies and how to best use ActBlue’s tools to engage with small-dollar donors. In 2019, our trainings helped hundreds of first-time candidates and growing organizations understand the power of small-dollar donors and how to sustain their fundraising for the long term. To continue that momentum into 2020, we’re doing something big!

Introducing Small Dollars. Big Change: The Webinar Series! This series takes a dive into the most frequently asked questions we receive from fundraisers, giving your campaign or organization all the strategies and tools it needs to run a strong grassroots fundraising program!

Each month, our online fundraising experts will show you how campaigns and organizations of any size and digital skill level can use ActBlue’s fundraising platform to build people-powered movements. From learning how to write smart, effective fundraising emails to creating polished, professional contribution forms that attract more supporters, this webinar series will help your campaign or organization hit the ground running from the moment it announces all the way through Election Day and beyond!

We’ll be holding our first webinar for Democratic candidates and progressive political organizations, Digital Fundraising 101, on Wednesday, January 29 at 7:00 p.m. EST. During this session, ActBlue’s digital fundraising experts will teach you about the power of small-dollar donors and the best practices for starting and running your digital fundraising program. Sign up here to attend!

ActBlue's webinar begins on January 29, 7pm EST

If you’re interested in learning more about Small Dollars. Big Change: The Webinar Series, check our Twitter account for updates or reach out to our training experts at training@actblue.com!

This webinar series is just one of the many ways we’re working to meet our users where they’re at and spread the tips and tricks we’ve learned since 2004 with the folks that are working to democratize power. If you’re interested in more resources, check out our support site and the rest of our blog!

Introducing “Building a People-Powered Movement: The Webinar Series”

Introducing 'Building a People-Powered Movement: The Webinar Series'

At AB Charities, we’re all about helping nonprofits fundraise better by building grassroots donor bases that bring more people into their cause and make their work more sustainable. We know that grassroots digital fundraising has the potential to revolutionize the way nonprofits work by enabling them to build people-powered movements that have the community and financial support to last for the long haul! That’s why we train nonprofits of all sizes on how to use AB Charities’ online fundraising platform and the strategy needed to engage with small-dollar donors.

Our team travels across the country, connecting with folks who are working hard to transform our communities, to give in-person trainings on digital fundraising strategies and our tools. In 2019, our trainings helped hundreds of nonprofits understand the power of small-dollar donors and how to sustain their fundraising for the long term. To continue that momentum into 2020, we’re doing something big — introducing Building a People-Powered Movement: The Webinar Series!

This series will tackle the most frequently asked questions we receive from nonprofit fundraisers and development professionals, giving you all the strategies and tools you need to run a small-dollar fundraising program! Each month, our online fundraising experts will show you how nonprofits of any size and digital skill level can use AB Charities’ fundraising platform to build more sustainable and inclusive organizations. From learning how to write authentic, effective fundraising emails to creating beautiful contribution forms that attract more supporters, this webinar series will help your nonprofit build a fundraising program that is ready for everything from rapid response to Giving Tuesday!

We’ll be holding our first webinar for nonprofits, Digital Fundraising 101, on Thursday, January 30 at 7:00 p.m. EST. During this session, AB Charities’ digital fundraising experts will teach you about the power of small-dollar donors and the best practices for starting and running your digital fundraising program. Sign up here to attend!

AB Charities' webinar begins on January 30, at 7pm EST

If you’re interested in learning more about Building a People-Powered Movement: The Webinar Series, check our Twitter account for updates or reach out to our training experts at training@actblue.com!

This webinar series is just one of the many ways AB Charities is making sure that we’re meeting our users where they’re at and sharing the tips and tricks we’ve learned with the folks that are working to advance progressive causes. If you’re interested in more resources, check out our support site and the rest of our blog!

2019 in Review: A $1 BILLION year!

Small-dollar donors set a new standard for civic engagement in 2019 and built the foundation Democrats and progressive groups need to win in 2020. Together, the small-dollar donor community raised more than $1 BILLION for over 13,000 candidates and organizations fundraising on ActBlue, with an average contribution size of just $30.50! A milestone like $1 billion raised in one year takes massive people power — 6 million people gave on ActBlue to campaigns or causes that mattered to them (the most donors ever in a year!), and over 3 million of those people were first-time donors! That’s as many first-time donors as in 2017 and 2018 combined, and 40% of these first-time donors gave multiple times in 2019.

first-time donors

In total, grassroots donors made 35 million contributions on ActBlue in 2019, the most ever in one year and more than double the number they gave in 2017. And in a historic presidential primary year, folks did not ignore other crucial causes: Nearly 40% of all 2019 donors gave their first contribution of the year to one of the thousands of non-presidential candidates or groups raising money on ActBlue.

These numbers wouldn’t be possible without ActBlue Express, which allows donors who’ve saved their payment information to give with a single click. By the end of 2019, we reached a total of over 8 million ActBlue Express users. This is a powerful community of donors ready to take action at a moment’s notice, and 29% of these users signed up for their account in 2019, making this our largest year ever for ActBlue Express adoption!

2019 was also a breakout year for mobile contributions: 57% of all contributions on ActBlue were made on mobile devices. This was the first year ever that over half of all contributions came via mobile, which shows just how engaged folks were in 2019. More people took action than ever before and are now poised to change our country — from organizing their local communities to electing a new president — in 2020. Keep reading to see all that small-dollar donors accomplished in 2019!

total dollars raised

CYCLE-TO-CYCLE COMPARISON

2016 Cycle through Q4 2015 2018 Cycle through Q4 2017 2020 Cycle through Q4 2019
Contributions 6,245,551 16,359,129 34,697,054
Total Amount $206,898,155 $522,834,271 $1,058,107,046
Average Contribution Size $33.13 $31.96 $30.50
Unique Campaigns, Committees,
and Organizations
3,590 7,894 13,314

2019 also ended strong: Small-dollar donors gave 11.2 million contributions in Q4 for a total of $343 million. Over 3 million donors chipped in to more than 10,000 campaigns and organizations this past quarter, with an average gift of $30.53. And plenty of records were set in Q4:

  • Most contributions ever in a single quarter

  • Biggest quarter of 2019 by dollars raised

  • Biggest quarter ever for number of groups fundraising on ActBlue

  • December 31 was the biggest day ever by dollars raised (more than $20 million!) and number of contributions (525,000!)

Q4 TOPLINE NUMBERS

Q4 ’15 Q4 ’17 Q4 ’19
Contributions 2,401,784 4,396,559 11,237,913
Total Amount $74,510,083 $167,858,508 $343,075,461
Average Contribution Size $31.02 $38.18 $30.53
Unique Campaigns, Committees,
and Organizations
2,615 6,286 10,468

STATE AND LOCAL IMPACT

The big numbers from this year just skim the surface of the impact small-dollar donors had in 2019. Not only did they support a slate of 2020 presidential candidates and nonprofit organizations across the country, small-dollar donors were also a driving force behind the impressive wins Democrats racked up in crucial down-ballot elections this fall. Grassroots donors raised $100 million for state and local candidates across the country on ActBlue in 2019: 36% more than 2017! And twice as many state and local candidates raised money on ActBlue in 2019 compared to 2017.

The state-level work is particularly important now, because we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to organize around redistricting in a presidential election year, when voter turnout is highest! At ActBlue, we made strategic investments in organizing at the state level in 2019 by growing our team that works directly with state and local candidates and committees and partnering with organizations and training programs from coast to coast to make sure we were pairing our tools with the strategy Democrats need to build successful grassroots programs. In 2019, members of our team attended 187 events in 39 states and the District of Columbia, building relationships with candidates and organizations or providing in-person trainings.

Small-dollar donors also continued their activism beyond elections in 2019 by showing up for rapid response moments and raising their voices for issues that mattered to them. Outside of presidential fundraising and traditional fundraising deadlines (which typically see very high mobile rates), the day with the highest mobile contribution rate in 2019 was August 4, following the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. On that day, 61.6% of contributions (excluding the presidential race) came through a mobile device.

PAYMENT METHODS

2016 Cycle through Q4 2015 2018 Cycle through Q4 2017 2020 Cycle through Q4 2019
% of Contributions via Mobile 30.6% 40.5% 57.1%
% of Contributions via PayPal 11.9% 12.6% 18.0%
% of Contributions via Apple Pay Not offered 3.4% 7.3%

ACTBLUE EXPRESS

2016 Cycle through Q4 2015 2018 Cycle through Q4 2017 2020 Cycle through Q4 2019
New ActBlue Express Users 815,108 1,004,919 2,357,895
% of Total Contributions via ActBlue Express 66.2% 64.7% 63.1%
% of Total Volume via ActBlue Express 59.3% 58.3% 58.3%

RECURRING CONTRIBUTIONS

2016 Cycle through Q4 2015 2018 Cycle through Q4 2017 2020 Cycle through Q4 2019
Recurring Volume $48,802,559 $125,598,472 $176,556,404
% of Total Volume 23.6% 24.0% 16.7%

CUSTOMER SERVICE

2020 Cycle through Q4 2019
Incoming Calls 115,677
Email Conversations 346,183

The 2018 elections proved that small-dollar donors could fuel campaigns to victory, and in 2019, folks across the country were eager to be a part of this people-powered movement. 2019 was our second billion-dollar year in a row, with more people making more contributions than ever before.

Small-dollar support has become a key indicator of success for candidates up and down the ballot, and grassroots donors are ready to organize and fight for their candidates in 2020. We can’t wait to see what this movement accomplishes this year!

Why Campaigns are Emailing You

Campaigns have fundamentally changed over the last twenty years and are more people-powered than ever! While candidates still need compelling ideas, the ways supporters get involved with a campaign have totally changed. The barrier to entry has been lowered, and there is space for more people to be involved in the political process. Technology has greatly contributed to this shift, bringing candidates and issues right to a person in a way that works for them — mainly through email! This means that campaigns are spending more time talking to you.

Here at ActBlue, we are all about strengthening the horizontal relationship between campaigns and their small-dollar donors. There’s no denying that during an election cycle, our inboxes can be full of emails from different candidates and organizations encouraging us to get involved. However, behind every email there is a purpose, and it’s not always to get a donation! Many email programs are centered around cultivating a real relationship with their subscribers. Email provides a direct connection between candidates and supporters, creating an accessibility that simply wasn’t there before email programs and digital fundraising became popular. Here are some emails you might recognize!

Messaging Emails:

Running a grassroots campaign means candidates have to authentically and regularly keep supporters informed and engaged with their campaign. Messaging emails are centered around updating their supporters on what is happening on the campaign trail, a new policy rollout, big moments in the news cycle, and other important topics that subscribers might want to know more about. These emails give supporters an opportunity to learn more about a candidate and why they deserve support. And sometimes, messaging emails are about hearing from you! Many campaigns will ask supporters to share their stories, give their input via a survey, or sign a petition regarding a specific policy.

Grassroots Fundraising Emails:

Small-dollar donors are essential to the infrastructure of grassroots campaigns. Fundraising emails are used to bring more supporters into the fold, giving them a stake and a voice in important races. Campaigns can be expensive, and candidates need money to pay their staff, travel all over to meet the people they are hoping to represent, and cover many other expenses.

More and more candidates are looking to supporters to invest in their campaigns so they can build an inclusive movement that has the community support it takes to win. Here’s what Laticia, a small-dollar donor from Florida, has to say about fundraising emails:

I never gave to campaigns, but now I’m contributing regularly, albeit in small amounts. I feel connected with the candidate when I contribute. I receive their emails of gratitude and notes of campaign progress. I appreciate the honing of their ideas into policies and can witness the strength of their campaigns. By giving small amounts through ActBlue, I remain connected.

These relationships with grassroots donors also free candidates from big money and having to spend significant amounts of time courting one or two mega-donors. This means candidates can spend more time connecting with and serving constituents! Small-dollar donors have made our political landscape more representative and diverse than ever before, and this movement is only going to continue to lower the barrier of entry to politics! But don’t take it from us — check out what other grassroots donors across the country have to say about why they chip in.

Organizing Emails:

Grassroots campaigns rely on more than just small-dollar donations — they need people-powered support in every aspect of their campaign. Organizing emails let supporters know about opportunities to get involved in the campaign through events, canvassing, and phone banking. There are endless ways to support a candidate, and organizing is a great way to create a community within a campaign and meet other people who are passionate about the same issues as you!


Emails are an important way to stay informed about a candidate and the causes they care about. Every campaign email you get has a specific purpose, and that is to provide you with information and opportunities. That being said, if your inbox is overwhelming or you are no longer involved in a cause anymore, you can always unsubscribe. Campaigns want their supporters to feel excited when they get an email, and passionate supporters are the key to a healthy email list! It’s also important to note that ActBlue does not send fundraising emails (or texts) on behalf of any other candidates or groups.

Accessibility to a candidate is integral in ensuring they are fighting for you, and email is breaking down barriers between supporters and campaigns. We know how important it is to include all people in the political process and make sure everyone can be engaged and informed. So the next time you get an email from a campaign, take a moment to remember how far campaigns have come and the progress that has been made to ensure transparency and inclusion in the political process!

Taking a moment to celebrate small-dollar donors!

2019 was a historic year for the small-dollar donor movement! More donors have given on ActBlue this year alone than in all of 2017 and 2018 combined, and grassroots supporters helped power big wins on the state and local level in November. So before we hit the ground running in January, we want to take a moment to thank the small-dollar donors who have chipped in to their favorite campaigns and organizations through ActBlue in 2019! Millions of folks across the country invested in people-powered movements this year, and this momentum is critically important going into 2020.

This year we asked small-dollar donors why they give through ActBlue, and we can think of no better way to celebrate them than by sharing their stories. Here’s what motivated a few grassroots donors, in their own words.

Alison from Oregon:

I became a grassroots donor because I feel money — huge amounts of money that I don’t have — greatly distorts our political process. I want my members of Congress to listen to the great majority of Americans, not a few billionaires. So I donate my small amounts to Democrats when I can and volunteer my time.

Mary from New York:

My husband and I did not understand just how powerful our small donations could be before this grassroots movement began. A small donation is like a single vote. It can swell to become a loud, impactful voice in a crowded field. The rich individuals and corporations that have been dominating our politics and our elections now have competition. I hope it inspires hope in others who have given up on their ability to participate in our democracy.

Rebecca from California:

I am a life-long voter, but after Trump got elected and politicians started putting their own careers as more important than law, country, and Constitution, one of my only comforts has been to back candidates who still respect humanity and society as a whole. I know a LOT more about civics now. I know we owe it to our democracy to be informed, speak truth to power, and use our pocketbooks to force them to listen.

Mary from Virginia:

I just wanted to do anything I possibly could to help. When I compared the cost of this to what I might be spending on coffee, it was simply a no-brainer. When I am reminded about my contribution each month I have a feeling of satisfaction.

Pat and Jack from Colorado:

We believe in doing our part to make this world a better place. We try to donate and act locally while thinking globally. Every person can do their part, no matter what their resources might be. If someone can’t contribute, they can still volunteer their time to help a favorite cause.

We work every day to empower small-dollar donors because millions of folks taking a stand is the only way change will happen in our democracy. So on behalf of all of us at ActBlue: Thank you for contributing and making your voice heard. We can’t wait to keep building people-powered movements together in 2020 and beyond.

Fall training wrap-up: Across the country and back again!

At ActBlue, we believe grassroots fundraising is essential to democratizing power. Small-dollar donors make it possible for more people to run for office, even without a wealthy network behind them, and help make nonprofits more sustainable. Plus, candidates of all types can use grassroots fundraising to run winning campaigns! That’s why we build easy-to-use digital fundraising tools that empower small-dollar donors and meet them where they’re at. But often, these tools are not enough on their own: It’s on us to make sure that these tools are accessible and that people have all of the knowledge and strategies they need to build the strongest people-powered programs possible.

That’s why we send staff members across the country to empower campaigns and organizations to engage with small-dollar donors! And this fall, we were able to refine our strategy and up the ante on our training program, thanks to our first-ever Training Director, Ruby! With new worksheets and presentations in tow, dozens of team members have completed 23 trainings since August 2019. In that time, we’ve trained over 350 staffers, organizers, volunteers, and nonprofit professionals on how to use our tools to grow grassroots movements all across the country.

Why train people on digital fundraising tools in person? In trainings, we can come out from behind the screen and build real connections through hands-on activities, practice sessions, and one-on-one conversations with the folks who are laying the groundwork to transform our democracy. We understand that digital fundraising can be unfamiliar and intimidating to many people, but it’s a lot less scary when you can ask questions in person and learn from other organizers working through the same challenges. These in-person opportunities are particularly important as we see more and more first-time candidates and brand-new organizations using ActBlue!

It’s so exciting to be in the room when someone has an “aha moment” — you can see it in their face when they learn something new or connect a dot that will make their lives easier. Whether it’s when attendees write their first fundraising email or when they figure out how A/B testing can help their email program be more successful, every training has these moments. These moments are why we work every day to build new partnerships and create inclusive curriculums that bring as many people into the small-dollar donor movement as possible.

So where have we been so far this year? Many of our trainings are for new candidates, volunteers, nonprofit professionals, and other folks who are at the beginning stages of their campaign or digital fundraising program and are looking to learn as much as possible. Back in August, we traveled to Phoenix to talk small-dollar donors with Progressive Change Campaign Committee candidates.

Bold Progressives

That month, we also talked to a cohort of future Democratic campaign leaders at New American Leaders’ Ready to Win training about the digital fundraising strategies they need in order to run strong people-powered campaigns.

New American Leaders

In September, we traveled to Arena Academy in Houston to talk to aspiring campaign staffers about one of our favorite topics: email fundraising! (Spoiler alert: Email is how the vast majority of grassroots money is raised online! It is an incredibly effective way to tell compelling stories and engage with your small-dollar donors.)

Arena

And recently, our nonprofit experts flew to Chicago to talk about how every group can benefit from a robust grassroots fundraising program at Upswell 2019, a gathering for the nonprofit and social enterprise world.

Upswell

When we’re not traveling, we often host webinars with partners and publish other online resources here and on our support site! Our webinars focus on best practices for starting or expanding a digital fundraising program that has diverse and robust community support. If you’re interested in participating in a future webinar or training, check for updates on our Twitter or drop us a line at training@actblue.com!

Everything our training experts do, whether it be online or in person, is focused on empowering the folks on the ground to build digital fundraising programs that center small-dollar donors. We travel the country to make sure our tools are as accessible to as many people as possible, and we’re not planning on slowing down in 2020: Look out for our team members as we partner for more trainings, travel to even more cities and towns, and launch a new webinar program in the upcoming year!

It’s past Giving Tuesday! Now what?

Grassroots Your Giving Tuesday!

You did it! You grew a fundraising program that empowers donors to support your work during and far after Giving Tuesday. December 3 is officially over, but you’ll continue the grassroots momentum for the rest of giving season and beyond! So even though you’re keeping up the nonprofit fundraising, don’t forget to think about the nonprofit fundraiser (you!). Here are some steps for taking care of yourself during and after giving season, so you’re in a good place to foster this important work for the long term!

1. After Giving Tuesday: Some self-care for you, by you.

In these immediate days after Giving Tuesday, remember that your nonprofit’s work is a long fight for change! So while nonprofit fundraising often involves hustling to hit goals, it’s also important to take care of yourself in ways that work for you. This way you’re ready to meet any fundraising moment throughout the year.

We know self-care means different things to different people. Whatever it means to you, give yourself what you need to feel recharged and to take care of yourself!

Some self-care for you, by you

2. When giving season winds down, celebrate:

Your achievements! Before giving season gets too far away, pat yourself on the back for the important groundwork you’re laying for sustained fundraising success in the new year. This is just the beginning: You’re ready to further nurture your community of supporters up the ladder of engagement and continue growing your program so any season can be your nonprofit’s giving season.

Your donors. As the year winds down, say thanks to the amazing supporters who gave to you throughout giving season! You can send an email dedicated to showing your gratitude for their end-of-year gifts and explain how their donations will be put to good use by your nonprofit next year. You can also recap and highlight some of your nonprofit’s achievements so far this year, made possible by the sustained generosity of donors like them!

Your team. Finally, express gratitude to your fellow organizers and colleagues! This work of change takes so many people, and you can show appreciation for their hard work and hours of care this past year. Say thank you at your team meeting, or better yet, write each team member a personalized thank you note! You can always take your team out for coffee or lunch, or you can bring the treats to your staff. Our nonprofit often hosts a hot chocolate bar – sprinkles, whipped cream, marshmallows, toppings galore — after busier moments for our work. It’s a delicious and low-lift treat for our team that makes us feel loved and appreciated when we need it most!

Celebrate your achievements, donors, and team

3. After the end of the year: Reflect and debrief (before jumping back in)

After giving season has come to a close, you’ll get back to your day-to-day and focus on continuing giving season momentum into the new year! But before you jump back in, take the time now to make time for the future. Janice Chan, from our friends at Wethos, wrote a guest post for us about pressing pause after heavy lifts like year-end fundraising to prevent burnout. As Janice says, you can take a necessary breather now and reflect on how to move work forward in the new year with more efficiency and a little less stress.

You’ve put energy into building a healthy fundraising program that will drive your cause for the long term — and it should be the same for you, the nonprofit fundraiser. Put some energy into making sure you have sustainable work processes that can support you this upcoming year, too! And rest assured that automation has been running on AB Charities this whole time to help you clean up after end-of-year, like our automatic gift receipts.

Reflect and debrief

Hooray! Along your journey to grassroots your Giving Tuesday, you started to grow a program that can fuel your work year-round and picked up digital strategies you can pull out any time to boost your fundraising. We’re excited to keep this momentum going with you, so here’s a big grassroots cheers from us to you!

Introducing the ActBlue Glossary!

Welcome to the ActBlue glossary! Whether you recently started using ActBlue as an admin or you’re new to digital fundraising altogether, this is a helpful list of technical terms you’ll see all over our platform.

This blog will focus on basic ActBlue terms that you’ll find across our platform. If you’re looking for more detailed instructions or an answer to a specific question, check out our support site!

Our tools and features:

  • Dashboard: The hub for all of your admin needs on ActBlue, including your contribution forms, donor data, account settings, and more.

  • Contribution forms: The building blocks of ActBlue’s platform: Our forms are where small-dollar donors give to you! You can find all of your forms in your Dashboard menu under the “Contribution Forms” tab.

  • Community form: Contribution forms that anyone can create to fundraise for their favorite group! As an admin, you have access to the donor data for all community forms fundraising on your behalf.

  • Tandem form: A contribution form that allows donors to split one contribution between multiple groups with a single click. Make a contribution form Tandem by adding recipients in the form editor!

  • Form editor: Where you’ll find all of the options for customizing your contribution form! When you click “Edit” on a contribution form, either while viewing the form itself or in the “Contribution Forms” tab of the Dashboard, you will see the form editor pop up on the left.

  • Branding: A custom design you create for your forms and receipts using our form editor.

  • Social share: The text and image people see when your contribution form link is posted on social media! You can customize this in the form editor. Here’s an example:socialshare

  • Refcode: Short for “reference code,” a refcode is a short word or phrase you add to the end of your contribution form link as a reference, so you can easily track where your donations are coming from on the form’s Stats page!

  • ActBlue Express: Our saved payment feature for donors that enables them to give to any group on ActBlue with a single click.

Other helpful terms for fundraising on ActBlue:

  • Topline numbers: These stats, which you can find in your Dashboard Overview, give you a basic rundown of how your digital fundraising program is doing. The big three at the top are contributions, dollars raised, and average contribution size, and we break them all down here. 

  • CSV: CSVs are a popular and universal document format that work with all donor tracking software. You can download all sorts of donor and contribution form data in this format on ActBlue, including the data you’ll need for compliance.

  • Conversion rate: A term that refers to the percentage of people who take some sort of action on a form, email, ad, or other media. On a form’s Stats page, your conversion rate shows you what percentage of people who landed on your form ended up making a donation!

  • Merchant account: A merchant account is required by some state and local jurisdictions for campaigns raising money online. We have an easy system for getting groups with merchant accounts set up on ActBlue, and you can still use all of our tools seamlessly! If you have questions about reconciliation for your merchant account, check out this support article.

And a little bit about us:

  • ActBlue: We are a nonprofit dedicated to empowering small-dollar donors. Our tools make it easy for grassroots supporters to chip in to their favorite Democratic campaigns, progressive organizations, and nonprofits, creating people-powered movements and transforming power structures across the country.

  • Small-dollar donors: What we call donors who engage with their favorite candidates and causes at the grassroots level by chipping in! Together, they’ve contributed over $4 billion to groups on ActBlue since we opened our doors in 2004. Read why small-dollar donors give in their own words here.

Still have questions? Schedule a one-on-one strategy call with us! Our experts are always available to help with a specific feature or talk about what digital fundraising strategy will work best for your group.

Sharpening your form: Your 6-step checklist

Grassroots Your Giving Tuesday header image

In a couple of weeks, you’ll be inviting a bunch of folks to join your movement and invest in your cause. With excited donors making a beeline for your contribution form this giving season, update and streamline your form so folks can give as easily as possible!

We put together a checklist with six high-impact customizations you should make on your form. Found right in your AB Charities form editor, these quick customizations will make all the difference in empowering donors to give now and support you past giving season. Take a few minutes to make these final touches, and you’ll be ready to send your form to grassroots supporters taking action this Giving Tuesday!


Checklist for sharpening your contribution form

1. Title and donation ask:

  • Personalize the text on your form. Keep the messaging simple and motivational, asking your supporters to chip in as key members of your community and drivers of your cause!

2. Branding:

  • Use our branding editor to design a special form branding for Giving Tuesday that looks different from your other forms! Through design, you can emphasize giving season as a unique, exciting moment for your cause and inspire folks to click the donate button!

  • A great form branding can be as simple as customizing your form’s header image. Include a Giving Tuesday logo next to your logo in the header image like NARAL does, or try designing a special header image that matches your giving season theme as seen on Grist’s form.

3. Pop-up recurring:

  • Our pop-up recurring feature asks people who make a one-time donation to you if they’d like to turn that one-time donation into a monthly one.

  • It’s turned on automatically for all AB Charities forms, but it makes all the difference for you to personalize the pop-up’s text and explain in your own voice how important recurring donations will be to continue your work in 2020!

  • You could also opt to use our Smart Recurring pop-up feature, which asks donors who make a one-time contribution to start a smaller monthly gift. Just like pop-up recurring, customize the text and empower donors to make a long-term investment in your cause!

  • Feeling creative? You can use an image or a GIF instead of text in the pop-up!

4. Remarketing:

  • Our remarketing feature sends a reminder email encouraging supporters to finish their incomplete donations.

  • Personalize the text in this email to emphasize to folks one last time why their year-end donation is so important in making sure your work continues!

5. Thanks message and email receipts:

  • Recognize and value your donors by customizing the thank you text included in email receipts that are automatically sent to your donors! Explain how end-of-year gifts like theirs will make a lasting difference for your nonprofit.

  • Don’t forget: In the “Branding” tab of your Dashboard menu, you can customize the design of email receipts sent to donors, like adding your logo as the receipt’s header image.

6. Social share:

  • Finally, customize your form’s social share! This is the image and text that automatically appears on Twitter or Facebook when supporters share your form’s link. With folks excited to share their giving season support, it’s important that your social share stands out, matches your messaging, and invites more folks to give!


Now is the time to get your form ready for your giving season fundraising asks. Armed with this checklist, you can update and sharpen your AB Charities form in minutes so you can convert more donors! Here’s where the customizations you need live in your form editor:

Form with form editor opener, with numbers marking which customization is in which tab of the form editor

Have some remaining end-of-year fundraising questions? Our team of nonprofit fundraising experts is all ears!