Our new navigation bar’s best features

ActBlue users of all types (organization admins! candidates! donors!) will see a brand-new navigation bar (navbar) on ActBlue starting today, pictured below. We wanted to run through a few of the reasons why we made this change and how we think it will make your workflow even better!

Nav1

A better mobile experience

First off, we wanted to make the experience better on mobile for everyone. In the old version of the navbar, there were a few different nested menus, which didn’t lead to a very quick or userfriendly experience. The new navbar makes it much easier for users (especially campaign and organization admins) to navigate to the pages they need.

Nav2
The pink circles show the many nested menus in the old navbar on mobile.
Nav3
The new navbar is much simpler on mobile!

Better support for multi-group admins

We also know there are a lot of admins who work with more than one candidate or organization on ActBlue. We wanted to make that multi-group experience as smooth as possible. To that end, we got rid of the old gray slideout menu and replaced it with a “My Dashboards” tab where you can see the last five Dashboards you’ve accessed or use the search function to quickly find the Dashboard you’re looking for.

Nav4

An easier way to get back to your favorite pages

We’ve added a “Recent” menu to the header, which will bring up a donor or admin’s recently visited pages. For admins, that means you can easily access the contribution forms and Dashboards you’ve been working with. And for donors, it means you can find your way back to contribution forms for your favorite candidate or organization, or use the link to the directory to find the cause you’re looking for.

Nav5

Access to the navbar on contribution forms for entity admins

If you’re a cookied entity admin, you’ll now be able to log in to ActBlue while you’re on a contribution form! This should make it easier for you to access your contribution form data or Dashboard while preserving the regular contribution form experience for donors.
Nav6

We know this is a big change, but we designed this new tool with faster workflows and a better mobile experience in mind, and we hope it will help out entity admins! We’ve also heard from many donors about needing an easier way to find favorite candidates and organizations, and this is a big step toward that goal. If you have questions or concerns, let us know at info@actblue.com.

Introducing our new support website!

Exciting news: Today we’re launching our redesigned support website for ActBlue admins and donors! We completely overhauled the site to make it more user-friendly for everyone who uses ActBlue, from people running for office for the first time to seasoned fundraisers to folks making their first political donation in response to Trump and the GOP.

When you visit https://support.actblue.com now, the site is clearly split into two sections: For Donors and Supporters and For Campaigns and Organizations. This way you can immediately know where to look for the information you need!

Overview

The different categories within these two sections are full of helpful articles and how-to guides. If you’re not sure which category to look in, just use the search bar at the top of the page!

Search

We’ve also linked to related topics at the end of every article to make it as easy as possible for you to get the answers you need.

Additional

Of course, our friendly Customer Service Team is always available to help you if you can’t find what you need online. If you are a donor or a supporter with a question, email us at info@actblue.com. If you work for a campaign or organization that uses ActBlue, reach out to us at support@actblue.com. Or you can always give us a call at (617) 517-7600! We return every phone call and email we receive, typically within 24 hours.  

New Two-factor Authentication recommendations

ActBlue admins will notice something new on their Dashboard starting today: A message regarding two-factor authentication.

2FA Message

Two-factor authentication (2FA for short) is a security protocol that requires users to provide two different, independent pieces of verification to confirm their identity when logging into an online account. A common form of 2FA requires users to enter a username and password combination AND an authentication code that is randomly generated by a separate app on a phone. We’ve offered 2FA on ActBlue admin accounts since 2016. Today, we’re releasing new 2FA recommendations and options to reflect current best practices.

1. We strongly recommend setting up 2FA with Google Authenticator for your ActBlue account today, even if you are already using a different 2FA application (and especially if you are not currently using 2FA). Google Authenticator is a Time-based One-Time Password (TOTP) app. TOTP apps are the most secure 2FA option because they use algorithms to generate authentication codes. When you use Google Authenticator with your ActBlue account, you will not receive text messages or voice calls as part of the verification process as those methods can be vulnerable to social engineering.

To start using Google Authenticator with your ActBlue account, simply log in to ActBlue and then follow the link in the message at the top of your Dashboard (pictured above). You’ll be brought to a page where you can download Google Authenticator on your phone or tablet.

2FA Page

Open the app and select “Begin Setup” and then “Scan barcode.”

Google Authenticator

Scan the barcode on our page. The app will then show you an authentication code, which you should enter in the “Confirmation code” box on our page. Please note that every code will disappear in the app after a few seconds, but the app will constantly generate new ones (so don’t worry if you are too slow entering it the first time).

Click the orange button at the bottom of our page to complete the setup process! From then on, you will be asked to enter a Google Authenticator code when logging in to your ActBlue account on an intermittent basis or any time you log in on a new device.

2. If you currently use the 2FA application Authy and do not want to switch to Google Authenticator, we strongly recommend disabling the Authy Multi-Device feature. This feature leaves your account vulnerable to social engineering. See number three — “Enable (or disable) Authy Multi-Device” — on this page for instructions. Or just set up Google Authenticator instead. It only takes a few minutes!

3. We are excited to now support YubiKeys for 2FA! While using an app on a phone like Google Authenticator will be easiest for most ActBlue admins, we’re always striving to be on the cutting-edge. Now, if you have a YubiKey (a physical device that you insert into your computer, similar to a USB drive), you can use it with codes generated by the Yubico Authenticator desktop application for your 2FA.

Two-factor authentication is one of the best ways you can protect yourself and your organization from attacks. If we can help you deploy 2FA to your entire campaign or organization on ActBlue, or if you have any questions about these recommendations, contact us at support@actblue.com!

Announcing a brand-new integration with Salesforce

In order to run an effective fundraising program, we know it’s essential for organizations to have access to their donor and contribution data where and when they need it.

That’s why we’re excited to announce that we’ve just rolled out an integration with Salesforce! If you’re using AB Charities to fundraise but using Salesforce as your CRM, you’ll now be able to sync data across both platforms in real time. And it’s free!

Salesforce is a leader in the nonprofit space and we’re very excited we could build this integration. Now folks using their tools and ActBlue will have access to all the details of a contribution (like whether it was recurring, the amount, and the refcode), as well as donor info including email addresses within Salesforce, all in real time.

Using this new integration will help nonprofit organizations run data-driven fundraising programs and build workflows that are best for their budget and their goals. If you’re interested in setting up a Salesforce integration with AB Charities, or have any questions about this new feature, you can email us at support@actblue.com.

For those organizations that might be using other CRMs, we offer integrations with several other platforms, and we offer open webhooks. These can provide more flexibility in the way your organization retrieves and works with your data. If your organization wants to hear more about using webhooks, you should reach out to our team and we can provide you with the details.

And we’re happy to continue integrating with new platforms — if there’s a specific integration you’re interested in, please get in touch with us!

New year, new contribution form editor

Big news: We totally overhauled the way you edit contribution forms! Why? Creating contribution forms is the most central part of using ActBlue to raise money from small-dollar donors. The new contribution form editor is a more streamlined, user-friendly way to make changes to your forms. Now you can preview any edits you make in real-time, so you can test out what adding a branding or more text looks like. You can also view your form as different types of ActBlue users, so you can get a clear picture of what your form will look like for donors who land there. But rest assured that even though you can see your form changing as you make updates, your edits won’t be visible publicly until you save them.

Here’s how it works:

You can still create or duplicate a new form in the same way, but once you’re viewing your form, this is what it will look like:

 

menu

 

You’ll see a form menu on the left with options allowing you to edit your form, duplicate it, or visit the form’s Stats page where you can track donations for the form. You can also set contribution alerts for the form, add refcodes and build links using the Promote function, or head back to a list of all your contribution forms.

Clicking the Edit button will open up the new form editor. While the layout has changed, you’ll still find all of the tools you’ve always had access to. With the new form editor, each section of tools is broken out into its own tab in the menu. Clicking on any one of these titles will open up all the tools within that section. Here’s what it looks like:

 

editor

 

You can now preview changes as you make them, making it easier to customize your form in a way that makes sense for you and your supporters. You can see how this will work in the gif below:

 

 

As you make edits, you’ll see an orange dot appear next to the item that you updated. When you finish making edits, you’ll need to click “Publish changes” at the bottom of the editor menu to make them live. The form editor will be time-stamped so you know exactly when your last changes were made and saved. If there are unpublished changes you’ll see an orange dot indicating that some edits haven’t been saved.

If you click off of a section but have unsaved edits, you’ll see the orange dot next to the section title in the editor, to help you keep track. This way you can make multiple changes across sections in the editor, and when you click “Publish changes” all of those edits will go into effect.

If you make a change and try to close out the editor before clicking “Publish changes,” you’ll see a pop-up prompting you to either save your edits or close the editor and discard them.

 

pop-up

 

If you’ve made changes and decide you don’t want to publish them, you can click “Discard changes” at the bottom of the editor.

 

discard

 

One of the biggest changes we made in this update is giving you the ability to view the form as different types of users — a first-time donor, a returning donor, or an ActBlue Express donor. At the bottom of your form editor menu, you’ll find buttons for these three options. Toggle between them to see the different views, and click “Yourself” to go back to viewing the form as you normally would.

 

different views

 

As for accessing all of your forms, you’ll still do that in the Form Management tab on your Dashboard, or within the form menu on any contribution form.

 

forms

 

forms

 

We hope these changes will make the form editing process easier than ever. Please don’t hesitate to reach out at info@actblue.com if you’ve got questions or comments.

New and improved daily update emails

At ActBlue it’s always been our mission to help people across the country run the most effective small-dollar fundraising programs. One of the ways we do that? We make sure the groups using our tools have easy, real-time access to their fundraising data, so they can budget, plan, and strategize.

If you’re an ActBlue admin user you’ve probably gotten used to receiving a fundraising update from us every morning. And you might have noticed that we recently gave those fundraising updates a makeover. We want to hit your inbox every day with stats that make the most sense for you and your team because we know it’s critical (especially right now) that you have meaningful, actionable data to work with.

The change that’s probably most noticeable in your inbox is the new subject line for the update emails. We switched out “You’re making a difference” for the total dollars the group or groups you work with raised on the previous day. You can see an example of the new subject line in the screenshot below. Rest assured, you’re still making a difference — we just won’t be telling you every day.

 

subject-line

 

With the new subject line, even if you don’t have time to open your email during a busy morning, you’ll still get an important topline stat in the notification you receive first thing — your most recent day’s fundraising total.

Here’s an example of what the daily update email will look like once you open it up:

sample-email

 

Your daily update email includes data like month-to-date fundraising stats, the percentage of contributions that came in via specific payment methods — including ActBlue Express, Apple Pay, and PayPal — as well as a table listing each of the groups you manage, the percentage of contributions that were recurring, and the percentage of contributions that came in via mobile.

Please note that the stats you receive in your daily update email will vary depending on the number of groups you manage on ActBlue.

At the bottom of your daily update email, you can click on “Get Help” to send us an email if you have questions about your recent fundraising, or if we can be of assistance in any way.

contact-us

You can also click on the link just below that to change your email preferences.

email-settings

You can choose to receive daily update emails every morning, or opt out of receiving them altogether. If you want to receive an email every morning, choose “Nightly” in the dropdown menu next to Site Activity Emails. This means that our system will analyze your fundraising activity every night, compile the data and send it out to you in the morning. If you don’t want to receive any updates, just choose “None” in the dropdown.

We hope you and your team will find these insightful, and that the new data we’ve incorporated will help you hit the ground running each day! If you have questions or comments about the daily update emails, you should feel free to drop us a line at info@actblue.com.


 
 
 

Finding your active recurring donors just became really easy

Recurring fundraising programs are important because they allow groups using ActBlue to budget, plan, and build for the future, so they can do more (and better!) organizing work.

Recurring fundraising benefits donors, as well, because they can commit to supporting your work for the long haul and really feel like they’re investing in the movements and causes they care about.

To make the most of a recurring program, campaigns and organizations need to be able to figure out how much recurring money is slated to come in. And a part of that process is being able to answer the question, “who are my recurring donors?” That’s why we now have a CSV available to every group using ActBlue that provides them with the data they’ll need.

How to download a CSV of active recurring contributions:

Navigate to the Recurring tab of your Dashboard menu, where you’ll see an option to “Download active recurring contributions CSV report.”

download-csv

Our system will generate a CSV with a detailed look at your currently active recurring contributions, including info like the date of the initial contribution, the date of the most recent recurrence, and the amount. Please note that for most groups, we expect the spreadsheet will download quickly, but if a group has a lot of active recurring contributions, it could take a few minutes to download (and it could take ~30 minutes for an especially large recurring program).

There are a lot of potential use cases for the data you’ll find in this CSV. You can use the CSV to help target future fundraising asks, like excluding donors who already have recurring contributions running. You can also use the CSV to keep track of your active recurring contributions over time to help make projections and plan ahead. Or, you can use the list of email addresses to send recurring donors updates, keeping them engaged and excited about the work they’re helping you do.

We’d love to hear about how you’re using the active recurring CSV to better your fundraising program, and as always, we’re happy to answer any questions that come up. You can reach out to a member of our team at info@actblue.com.


 

Q2 2017: More campaigns and organizations raising than ever before

Back in April, we published some record-breaking numbers for Q1. It was a powerful sign that the resistance was fighting back against Trump. But it wasn’t a one-off moment. In Q2, as we got farther away from Trump’s inauguration and marches across the country, which were rallying points for many people, those record-breaking numbers only got bigger. It’s a sign that the resistance isn’t slowing down, but deepening and organizing to win. There were some big moments during Q2 — special elections and the House healthcare vote — but those were only small parts of the story. Thousands of groups took action (in fact, more campaigns and organizations raised on ActBlue than in any quarter before!), and more supporters chipped in to support the candidates and causes they believe in.

Topline Numbers

Q2 ’13 Q2 ’15 Q2 ’17
Contributions 529,614 1,273,348 4,654,994
Total amount $22,236,309 $48,155,781 $137,415,552
Unique campaigns, committees,
and organizations
1,610  1,970 4,293

We handled 4,654,994 small-dollar contributions and helped campaigns and organizations bring in $137.4 million, which is nearly three times our Q2 2015 total (the best year for comparison, given that it was the first year of the most recent election cycle). It’s also larger than our Q2 2016 total ($133 million), and that was during the height of the presidential primary!

total-dollars

One of the biggest reasons for this huge growth is the increase in the number of campaigns and organizations that are fighting back and using our tools to engage with supporters and fundraise. We helped 4,293 groups raise money in Q2 — that’s the most ever in a single quarter, and it by far exceeds the number of groups that would normally be raising at this time during an election cycle.

 

campaigns-and-orgs

Of those groups, 1,374 raised their very first dollar on ActBlue in Q2 (909 campaigns and 465 organizations). Oftentimes candidates wouldn’t have declared at this point in the cycle, especially if they’re running for local office, but people are fired up right now. And that early money is going to help them build powerful campaigns down the line.

The last quarter wasn’t successful because of any one of these groups, or because of any handful of big days. If you look at the fundraising totals of the biggest, smallest, and average days in the quarter as compared to past years, you start to see just how steady the fundraising was from day to day, and how so many groups, from small organizations to high-profile campaigns, have come alive and have worked hard to build people-powered movements.

We certainly had some big days in Q2, but that wasn’t what ultimately led to a record-breaking quarter. As you can see below, the smallest day in Q2 2017 was 43% bigger than the average day in Q2 2015.

big-small-avg-quarter

ActBlue Express

Q2 ’13 Q2 ’15 Q2 ’17
Total ActBlue Express users  580,428 1,472,007 4,006,198
New ActBlue Express users  43,361 196,899 241,672
Total ActBlue Express dollars $9,444,376 $27,479,026 $81,121,920
% of total contributions via ActBlue Express users 52.8% 64.0% 65.7%

ActBlue Express continues to be one of the most powerful tools for campaigns and organizations. We hit 4 million ActBlue Express users just a few days before the quarter wrapped up, and those ActBlue Express users made 65.7% of the contributions in Q2. The chart below shows the incredible growth that got us to 4 million ActBlue Express users.

express-growth

Recurring Contributions

Q2 ’13 Q2 ’15 Q2 ’17
% of total contributions via recurring  13.9% 41.8% 41.6%
Total recurring dollars $1,333,927 $9,695,615 $32,867,432

Recurring contributions remained strong this past quarter, accounting for 41.6% of all contributions (that includes recurrences of pledges that were initiated before Q2 2017). Recurring programs continue to help campaigns and organizations build sustainable operations and plan for the future, and they allow donors to give a small contribution each month and have a big impact on the causes they support.

Mobile

Q2 ’13 Q2 ’15 Q2 ’17
% of contributions via mobile 8.8% 27.2% 41.0%
% of contributions via mobile for
ActBlue Express users
12.2% 29.7% 42.0%

Mobile contributions account for nearly half of all contributions made via ActBlue. We’ve worked over the last few years to ensure that the donation process is as smooth as possible for supporters, and that campaigns and organizations have access to the most advanced mobile technology, whether they’re a presidential campaign or a small upstart nonprofit. Apple Pay — one of our latest advancements for mobile — accounted for 6.2% of all mobile donations this past quarter, and helped bring in $3.2 million. We’ve been working to roll Apple Pay out to as many campaigns and organizations as possible since October, and we’re very close to being able to make it available to everyone, from local candidates to national nonprofits.


While 2018 and 2020 are still a ways off, and there is much more work to be done, it’s been inspiring to see so many people take their anger and frustration and turn it into action. Across the country, people are jumping into the fray and running for office, starting new organizations, and chipping in as a way of fighting back.

We’d love to hear how you’ve been using ActBlue’s tools to fight back. Let us know at info@actblue.com.

Randomize your Tandem Fundraising

One of the most beloved features on ActBlue is Tandem Fundraising, and lately it’s been hugely popular. It’s a feature that is exclusive to our platform and allows folks to raise money for multiple groups on a single form. Organizations and small-dollar donors alike have been hard at work in recent weeks, building forms with multiple Democratic nominee funds or candidates they’d like to support, and giving millions of dollars to Tandem forms to help oust House GOPers in 2018.

Meanwhile, campaigns and organizations have been using ActBlue’s Tandem Fundraising feature to raise money for multiple candidates running in elections across the country. And as the election cycle heats up, Tandem forms will be a great way for campaigns using our tools to team up and raise money together.

We just introduced a new feature to make Tandem Fundraising forms even better. Now, when you’re raising for multiple groups on a single form, you can opt to have us randomize the order of the groups on the form each time it reloads.

When a donor lands on the form, they’ll be able to pick one contribution amount to split evenly among all the groups listed on the page. If they want to give individual amounts to certain groups, they can do that by clicking the linked text on the form.

default

 

The list will expand and donors will be able to see every group on the page. At that point, they can enter an amount in the “Split it!” box to divvy their contribution up evenly, or enter individual amounts next to the groups they want to support.

In that case, it can turn out that the first couple of groups on a form will receive more funds, simply because that’s where the donor lands first. But we know it’s important that each group on a form gets exposure to donors, so this new feature will shuffle the list that donors see each time the form is loaded.

list

 

What this means for campaigns, organizations, and donors creating contribution forms:

Randomizing the order in which different groups display on your contribution form is easy! Once you’ve created your form just head to the Edit tab:

edit-tab

Click on Options to see a dropdown menu with customizations and edits you can make to the form. Check off “Randomize the order of the groups on your contribution form.” Scroll down and hit save. It’s that simple!

check-box

With the box checked, every time the form is loaded, the groups on the form will randomize in a different order.

If you don’t want to randomize the groups on your form, just leave the box unchecked and the groups will appear in the same order in which you added them.

You can also scroll to the bottom of your form’s Edit tab and manually drag and drop the groups you’re working with to shuffle them in a different order.

reorder

Tandem Fundraising is proving to be a key tool in the resistance movement. With tandem forms, donors can give quickly to multiple candidates and organizations they care about, or they can build their own contribution forms listing groups they want to support and rally their networks to give. And it’s also a great way for candidates and organizations working toward the same goals to work together and maximize their fundraising.

We hope this will help make the Tandem Fundraising process even easier and more effective, especially in these unpredictable times. If you have questions or comments about this new feature just drop us a line at info@actblue.com.

You can use nominee funds right now to fight back

When the House GOP voted to repeal the ACA, they jeopardized the health and security of millions of Americans. In many cases, the Republicans who voted for Trumpcare don’t have a challenger yet, or have several primary candidates going up against them. But when the results came in, small-dollar donors were clamoring to take action and do whatever they could to fight back and defeat them in 2018. We heard them loud and clear and quickly came up with a powerful solution to help them amplify their voices.

Our team was all hands on deck on the day of the Trumpcare vote, working to get nominee funds set up for every congressional district that had a Republican incumbent. Nominee funds are a tool from back in the early days of ActBlue, and they allow people to donate to the eventual Democratic challenger in a district. That means that once the primary is over, the Democratic nominee will receive all of the money raised into the fund. In the meantime, we’ll hold the money being raised in escrow. After the primaries, we’ll get the funds out to the Democratic nominee within 10 days of the results.

We created a single contribution form listing all of the nominee funds in response to interest on Twitter, and helped groups like Daily Kos and Swing Left create similar forms with specific slates of vulnerable districts. All together, these nominee fund pages raised more than $2 million in under 24 hours. Contributing to nominee funds allowed supporters to channel some of their anger, and those donors helped bring our sitewide total for the day up to $4.2 million.

There’s a lot of work to be done to help Democrats set our country back on the right path, so starting today, you can create your own fundraising page with all the nominee funds you’d like to support — including Senate campaigns — and organize your own network. And you can find a page that includes all Senate seats with a Republican incumbent here, for you to share as you’d like. This is just one more way that we can put power into the hands of small-dollar donors, and help concerned citizens like you have an impact on the future of our country.

How can you create your own page to raise money for Democratic nominee funds?

To create a fundraising page with nominee funds, you’ll want to head to our directory.

directory

First, select “Nominee Funds” under “Groups and Funds.” This will bring up the master list of active nominee funds. Then, you can choose a state.

state

 

The directory will refresh, and you’ll see a list of all the nominee funds for the state (federal campaigns only) you selected in the style of “CA-45 2018 Democratic Nominee Fund.”

 

list

Just click the orange “Create page” button to get started.

You’ll be prompted to sign in or create an account, so you can come back and make edits to the page after it’s created, as well as track the page’s performance.

Next, you’ll be asked to fill in some basic information, like a page title and a pitch to supporters.

create

You can also add a goal thermometer so your supporters can see how much your form has raised. If you include a goal, a thermometer will automatically be added to your contribution form, like the one below.

thermometer

 

We recommend choosing amounts that are reasonable and that donors feel like they can help you reach. You should also include a couple of different amounts so that if one goal is reached, the thermometer will automatically update to show the next highest goal you’ve chosen.

You have the option of adding higher goals for when your initial goal is met under “Additional amounts.”

goals

If you want, you can also skip that step in the bottom right corner and make these customizations at a later time. On the next page, you’ll select your preset contribution amounts, which will determine which buttons are available on the form. Of course, your donors can always type in a custom amount. You should also choose whether or not your form will be able to accept recurring contributions.

preset-amounts

Once you’ve finished customizing your form, you’ll be brought to the Promote page, where you’ll be given a link to share with your network, as well as options to share the form on Facebook and Twitter. To find out more about social share, click here.

promote

If you want to add more nominee funds or candidates to your page so you can raise for a group of funds at once, head over to the Add tab of your form.

add

 

Search for the group you want to fundraise for just like you did in the Directory, and click “Add” to add it to your page.

 

add-button

 

After you’ve finished adding groups to your form, you’re ready to start spreading the word and raising some money! You can post your link on social media, or email it out to your friends and family and encourage them to share it with their own networks.

If you’re going to be posting your link in many different places, we recommend using refcodes to keep track of where your donations are coming from. For example, with refcodes you can easily see if a supporter made their donation from Facebook, Twitter, or an email you sent out. To read more about refcodes, click here.

When you want to check in and see how fundraising is going, you can head to the Statistics tab of your form to see a breakdown of all the contributions you’ve brought in so far.

We hope you’ll find these nominee funds helpful in organizing folks in your communities and taking part in the resistance movement during this critical time. And as always, you can find us at info@actblue.com to answer any questions.