A note of congratulations to Tell Every Amazing Lady About Ovarian Cancer, on the launch of their new design, www.tealwalk.org, and their virtual fundraising initiative, www.tealwalk.org/virtual. I hope these sites raise awareness and support for this worthy cause.
When T.E.A.L. came to us with the idea of creating a site where supporters would be able to start and manage their own fundraising initiatives, we knew CFAF was the perfect match. Unlike Sphere’s standard FAF, this tool has the flexibility in design and layout we needed. Vital to the success of the fundraising pages are making them visually appealing and easily found.
Because the ultimate presentation of CFAF uses Blackbaud Sphere® CMS, we, as designers, have 100% control over what elements appear on the personal pages and where they’re positioned. We can apply our own formatting to text and imagery to truly make unique experiences for the supporters. In T.E.A.L.’s case, we combined the ability to add pictures and video. We also integrated the Facebook “Like” button with the more standard honor roll and thermometer elements.
Making the pages look good was the easy part. I ran into a couple of issues with making them easy to find! I figured, if there are any other developers out there using this tool, they’d appreciate what I found.
Having registrants create a friendly url upon sign up is extremely important. This makes it easy for them to give out that link via email, by posting it on another site, or even verbally telling donors where they can find the page. Turning this on seems easy enough on the backend, it’s a radio button under the Advanced settings. But if you don’t also set a couple of key elements in CMS properly, it won’t work. The input box won’t even show up on the registration form. The two major steps aren’t really that intuitive either!
First, you must find the “Search Personal Page” webfeature in the CMS. Open it, and under the Advanced Tab, expand the Link Options area to add the friendly url. This will be used as the base or beginning of what url the registrants can create. Second, you must click the “Set Default” button. I have to confess. I don’t know why this works, but it does. Now, on to why we ended up not using the Search Personal Page webfeature! Although, never delete it. It has to be there with the steps above applied!
The “Search Personal Page” doesn’t display results by default, so we opted to use another CMS feature, the “Contact Lookup Tool”. It allows you to add a small parameter to the end of the url (submit=submit), to return a list of all participants. It’s like having a “show all” button. This seemed like a much more streamlined solution than having to enter any kind of search criteria before seeing a list of names, making personal pages easier to find.
I’m excited to see all of this in action and look forward to T.E.A.L.’s ongoing fundraising success. If you have any questions of comments feel free to let me know!