Shorten your online donation page's address

Written by on June 12, 2009 at 12:47 pm

As you solicit donations, remember to make use of your online participant center, which lets donors contribute using their credit cards. It's a valuable tool that will increase the quantity and quality of your fundraising. For example, in 2008, 33% of my donations came via my online page, and those donations were 50% larger than those made by check. Apparently, people love to "charge it!"

To make donating online as easy as possible, you should consider abbreviating the address to your page. For example, my default, my donation page is found here:

http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR?px=1866672&pg=personal&fr_id=10051

That's a mouthful! Your participant center has instructions on how to shorten it. For example, the alias for my personal page is

http://main.nationalmssociety.org/goto/kgagne

This method has some problems, though. First, that's still a pretty long address that's not very memorable. Second, each shortcut can be used for only one event at a time. Since the above address was created for the 2009 MS Challenge Walk, until that event is officially "closed", I can't reuse it in 2010.

Instead, try using an online tool with the dedicated function of chopping up long addresses. I recommend either bit.ly or snipurl.com. Both are free and let you define your own short and easy addresses, like mine:

http://snipurl.com/ms-gagne

Should your online donation page's address change (which it does with each MS Challenge Walk you do), you can update your bit.ly or snipurl.com shortcut to point to the new address, meaning you can use the same shortcut every year. That's one less part of your solicitation letter you have to worry about revising! These services also give you statistics on how many people click the link to visit your site, in case you're wondering how popular your page is.

Snipurl.com lets you define an alias and track its usage.

Snipurl.com lets you define an alias and track its usage.

If you need any help getting your shortcut to work, please contact me.

Here's to small addresses and large donations!

Ken joined the MS Challenge Walk in 2005, more than a decade after his mother was diagnosed. After walking for three years and 150 miles, he switched to the support crew and now rides his bicycle along the trail, providing whatever encouragement (and snacks!) he can to the 600 walkers. He is also an alumnus of the event's steering committee and is this site's webmaster.

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