Add social sharing options to your donation forms
Posted December 7, 2016 by Timi Paccioretti

Nonprofits spend lots of time and energy perfecting their online donation pages—and for good reason. According to a 2011 Blackbaud/Convio study, online-acquired donor gifts are twice the size of those gained via mail.

Your donation page, when well designed, ensures your donor makes an emotional connection to your cause, motivating them to give. How can you capitalize on that emotional connection and harness their enthusiasm at the time of the donation? Make sure their post-donation experience is just as meaningful as your donation page.

One cool way to do this is to make it easy for donors to share their contribution with their social circles. Using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest can really make your organization shine and build exposure for your fundraising efforts. The great thing is, you don’t need any expensive tools or special expertise to make it happen.

This short guide provides step-by-step instructions for helping your donors share their contributions on their social media networks using a free tool from M+R and a donation form created in Little Green Light.

These 3 steps make all the above possible:

  1. Create a donation form and locate the form’s “Publish” link
  2. Turn your form’s URL into code that can be shared on social media
  3. Insert the social share code into the text of your confirmation page or email

Follow these steps:

  1. Create a donation form and locate the form’s publish link

To start, you’ll first need to create a donation form in Little Green Light. Once you have created  the form, locate the direct link (or URL) for that form or locate the URL of the website page you’ve embedded the form in.

Note: Little Green Light provides you with a unique URL for every form you create, as well as iFrame and JavaScript code for forms you want to embed on your site. Just navigate to the Publish tab to find them.

 

Image: The Publish tab in an LGL Forms account

 

 

  1. Turn your form’s URL into code that can be shared on social media

Once you have located the URL of the form or the page the form is embedded in, you’re ready to turn that URL into a code that will enable it to be shared vial social media. This is where M+R’s free tool comes in handy. M+R’s share code generator is an easy way to suggest content for your followers to share on Facebook, Twitter, email, Pinterest, and Tumblr. By providing the URL or webpage you want to promote and the Facebook post, tweet, email, Pinterest, or Tumblr content you want your supporters to share, the Share tool will generate the code snippet for your pre-populated share links.

 

Here’s how to generate sharable content using M+R’s tool:

Image: M+R’s social share code generator

 

 

How to complete the form for sharing on Facebook:

URL: Insert the URL of your form or the website where your form is embedded. If your URL is too long, click ADD BIT.LY once you’ve copied and pasted the URL into this field.

Headline: Write a catchy headline that will autofill for your donor when they share it in their Facebook page. Note: headlines can be a maximum of 100 characters long.

Image: Make your message stand out by adding an image to the Facebook post. M+R recommends using an image that is 560 x 292 pixels. Facebook will reduce images that are smaller than this to 100 x 100 pixels. The image will then display above your Post Copy. Note that you need to provide a URL for your image file. If you need to convert your image file to a URL, you can use http://tinypic.com/.

Post Copy: Enter copy for the Facebook post you’d like your supporters to share. Post copy can be a maximum of 300 characters long. You have exceeded this limit if the text turns red.

 

Here’s an example of a completed form:

Image: Completed Facebook share code generator form

 

Once you’ve completed the fields, select the “Get Mobile-Supporting share code link” to generate the Facebook share code:

 

Image: Long version of Facebook share code

 

To make all this gobbledy-gook a bit more manageable, click on the MAKE BIT.LY link to shorten the URL:

 

Image: Shortened version of Facebook share code

 

Whew, that’s better!

Note: If you wish to allow social sharing on other social media sites, complete the additional code generator forms provided by M+R.

 

  1. Insert the share code into the text of your confirmation page or email

Now that you’ve created the code, it’s time to insert it into the confirmation page that your donors will be directed to after completing their online donation. Make sure to be thoughtful about the content you include on this very important page—it can make or break a relationship-building effort with a new donor and impact whether they’ll give again! (Need some ideas on what content to include? Here’re some handy ideas on how to improve your online donation page.)

Next, copy and paste that shortened Facebook share code into your form’s confirmation page. In the following example, we created text to read, “Click here to share your gift on Facebook!” and linked the Facebook share code to that text:

Image: Confirmation page content created in LGL Forms

Note: If you prefer, you can add an image of a Facebook share button and link the Facebook share code to the image instead.

 

That’s it! Now let’s see it in action…

 

See social sharing in action

Now that you’ve completed the setup process, let’s take a look at what your donors will see once they’ve completed your donation form and landed on your confirmation page:

Image: Example confirmation page text with Facebook share link

 

When your donor clicks on the “Click here to share your gift on Facebook” link on your confirmation page, they’ll be taken to their Facebook page where they can write a personal message and share their post on their personal timeline.

Image: Example Facebook Share page

 

By following the 3 simple steps, you’ll soon be making it possible for your supporters to share their gifts with their circles of influence and encouraging them to support you as well.

Here’s one additional bit of wisdom from fundraising expert Beth Kanter: “If you aren’t urging your donors to post about you when they donate, you’re missing a huge opportunity.”

So, what are you waiting for? Give it a try today!

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