Donation Forms Step 3: Confirmation View, Auto Responders, and Other Messaging

The Basics

Whenever you deal with Fundraising pages, the lines of communication are important to confirm that the donor gave, that they gave what they wanted to give, and that your organization can respond if they weren't successful at giving, or need to be refunded the gift amount.  All of these means of communication are handled in this section.

The Confirmation View

What would you like your donors to see once they've clicked the Submit button?  The Confirmation View tab towards the top of the Compose section will help you answer that question. The tab is located to the right of the Content tab, where you'll do most of your work in the Visual Editor:

As you can see, the first question under Confirmation View is where you'd like your supporters to end up once they've given to you via the Fundraising form. By default, Salsa Donate selects the "Show them a message" option. This option presents you with another Visual Editor that is pre-formatted with a text field and some sample language to get you started.

You're also presented with the option to "Send them to a new page". If you'd like your donors to head over to your own home page or some other destination instead of a "Thank You" message on a built-in Salsa Donate page, then you'll choose this option.

"Show them a message"

You're probably already familiar with how the Visual Editor works by now, but here it is again in case you'd like a refresher:

The Fundraising Form Step 2: Layout, Composition, and the Visual Editor.

The steps are very much the same here, save for the fact that you cannot create a Form on this page. Everything else is fair game: You can use any of the Rows, Elements, or Design choices of any other page you can create in Salsa Donate.


The important thing to remember is simplicity. You don't have to overdo it design-wise, but you have all the tools you need to keep your Confirmation page thematically aligned with your Fundraising form.

"Send them to a new page"

If you'd like to make sure your donors are sent to a different online destination than a built-in Salsa "Thank You" page, you have the option to do so by clicking the radio button next to "Send them to a new page".

You only need to provide the desired destination webpage's URL in full. This means to be sure you type in the appropriate http:// or https:// prefix. Click the "Update" button whenever you've added your URL. Once you've done so, Salsa Donate will take you right back to the Content tab. You can then Save your progress, create an emailed Auto Responder, or Publish your form using the button bar at the bottom of the page.

Auto Responders

It's probably a good idea for donors to get an email confirmation of their gift to your organization.  This can act as a receipt for their donation, and can set up another line of communication with them.  The Auto Responder is where you can accomplish this.

There are a few ways to get to your Auto Responder section.  When you're creating your Fundraising form, you'll spend quite a lot of time in the Compose section.  You'll see the Auto Responder tab next to the Confirmation View tab above the Visual Editor:

Another way is to go right from your Dashboard to the Auto Responders link under the Fundraising section along the leftmost side of the screen:

You can also see that you can simply click the Auto Responders tab when you're in the main Fundraising section.  The tab is between "Donations" and "Exports".  Whichever road you take to get to this destination, you'll see the following screen:

You should already see an entry in your list of available autoresponse emails called, "Donation Receipt".  Clicking this link takes you to where you can fine-tune the messaging.

The Donation Receipt's edit page starts with a non-editable field, which is the name of the autoresponse:

The field is auto-populated for you.  The "Add a Description" field is neither public-facing, nor mandatory.  It's simply informative and has been placed there to give you a space to make notes or give directions to other Team Members in your account.

The next fields should be auto-populated with your account defaults:

 Note that all three fields are mandatory.  You can change these from your account defaults, however.  Keep in mind that we do not recommend free email addresses, especially or email domains.  Often, these will get disregarded as spam.  It's best of you can have an organizational email address that's in good working order.

The next section is the Subject Line for your autoresponse email.  This is the public-facing subject that will be sent out to your donors.  The button at the end of the Subject Line that looks like a silhouette is called the "Insert a Personalized Field" button. This button brings up a window that allows you to personalize your message with a merge field (or fields) of your choosing.

Say, for instance, you wanted to send someone a message and really make their name stand out in ALL CAPS. Well, here's your chance! Scroll down to find First Name, or use the Search field to quickly locate it among the other choices. Select your ALL CAPS radio button, and then decide if you want any messaging to be placed in lieu of missing data on the supporter's record.

Once you're done, click the green "OK" button, which will take you back to finish the rest of the email.

A Few Items of Note on the Auto Responder's Visual Editor

You're familiar with this part of the content creation process if you've already made your Fundraising Form.  If not, and would like a refresher, take a look at the documentation about Donation Form creation.  Skip down to the section called, "Configuring Your Fundraising Form's Content".

There are a few other items worth highlighting in the Visual Editor, as well:

The actual "receipt" part of this autoresponse email is in a merge field window that looks like this:


We don't advise that you alter this content, as it provides all the necessary tidbits to make this autoresponse email a full receipt.  However, some advanced users will notice that this is an HTML field, and could be altered if you really know your stuff.

Further down, you'll see a "Contact Us" section. This is the default field provided at the bottom of your email.  If you added an "OrgInfo" element in your Fundraising form, you're already familiar with this.  This element can be re-positioned, if you'd like.  You'll notice these are all merge fields. Remove any you don't want, or click and drag to reorder them to your liking.


There's no need to overwrite your contact information; these merge fields will pull your information automatically as it's sending the blast.

If you find you need to update your organization's contact info., you can do so by going to your Settings, which is the tools icon in the upper right-hand corner.

The first tab you'll see upon arriving on the Settings page is the "Set Org Details" tab. Here's where you can edit your address, phone, and email. You can click the "Save It!" button in the lower right-hand corner when you've made your edits.

Spam Checker: What's Your Score?

At the bottom of the page, you'll see a button called "Request Your Score" which is situated under a field that will at first read "Not yet scored".

Clicking the "Request Your Score" button will result in an evaluation of your email's content: it's links, images, and verbiage. Certain phrases, keywords, link types, and other components of your message may trigger spam traps on the receiving end, so we try and provide you with a little data to help clean that up if needed. Salsa uses SpamAssassin for it's spam scoring. We've tried to make the spam messages more friendly to actual humans, as the actual codes that SpamAssassin produces are decidedly cryptic. If you do have email content that's considered spam-ish, Salsa will try to give you some guidance on what needs to be changed. You'll see a message similar to this rather extreme example:

Of course, you'll more often than not pass with a simple Good score, which means you're safe to proceed.

NOTE: A general rule of thumb is to note that a cumulative score of 5.0 or higher means you'll more than likely hit spam traps. A lower score doesn't mean you won't hit certain email clients' spam triggers, but the odds are less that they'll be routed into junk folders. No score means you're sitting at a comfortable 0.0.

Send a test message

The next step is to send yourself a test message to confirm what it looks like when you actually get it in your inbox. Type in an email into the box and click the Add button to add that email to the test. If you leave the Save these addresses for future tests checkbox checked while adding emails they will be saved so all future auto responders will automatically have those test emails added.

After you have all the emails added click the Send the Test! button to send a test message to each of the emails listed. After confirming the message looks good, you can either hit the "Save and Publish" button in the lower right-hand corner of the window or abandon your word entirely by clicking on the primary account menu items on the left-hand side of your screen. 

NOTE: You cannot delete your autoresponse.

Failed Donations and Refund Messages

Going back to your account's Settings menu, you have a couple of message-related items dealing with your Fundraising form:  "Donation Failed Message" and "Donation Refund Message."  As usual, you can head over to the "Hammer and Wrench" icon in the upper-rightmost corner of your account's screen.  Select the "Switch to..." menu to find these two categories:

Donation Failed Message

In the event that a supporter has filled out everything correctly into your Fundraising form, but the transaction fails to complete at the Payment Gateway level, it's a good thing for them to know right away. 

Once you've selected "Donation Failed Message" from the "Switch to..." menu, you'll be taken to a page where you can edit this autoresponse email.  You'll recognize the layout for editing this email: it's nearly identical to how you make the "Donation Receipt" Auto Responder.  As with your receipt email, the Name of the Auto Responder is not something you can change.  The rest can be altered.

Donation Refund Message

If you need to issue a donation refund, this is the the autoresponse email that will be sent out.  Refunds are issued from the Donations section of your account.  You'll use the same workflow as the other Auto Responders.  See above for further information.  Once you're finished, click the "Save and Publish" button.

Donation Forms Step 4: Publish


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