Fundraising Blog

Step-by-Step Guide: Creating Your Own Custom Fundraising Website

Peter Hair
Fundraising technology expert, Co-Founder of GalaBid

In today's digital age, the power of online fundraising is undeniable. Whether you're a non-profit organization with a specific cause or an individual championing a personal mission, having a dedicated fundraising website can amplify your efforts and connect you with supporters from around the world.

This guide will walk you through the step-by-step process of creating your very own auction website using our platform.

Step 1: Setting Up Your Organization and Campaign

The journey towards a successful fundraising campaign starts with setting up your organization and creating a compelling campaign. Here's how you can get started:

1. Create an Organization: The organization allows you to have and manage unlimited campaigns whenever you wish. You can create yours by clicking here. It takes less than a minute to set up an organization and the shell of your first fundraising campaign.  

2. Choosing the Campaign Name: Your campaign's name will be used in automated notifications sent by GalaBid to campaign notifications, for example this winning bidder notification:

Choose a name that succinctly captures your cause and resonates with your audience.  

3. Campaign URL: Your campaign's web address is its virtual home. Select a memorable and straightforward URL extension that encapulsates your campaign name and makes it easy for supporters to find you online. Remember to keep it simple and short so it's easy to share and remember!

For example: for a campaign named Weymouth and Portland Annual Gala

Or for a campaign raising funds for ocean conservation

Step 2: Customizing Your Website's Appearance

Your fundraising website should reflect your brand and message effectively. Here's how you can tailor its appearance:

1. Showcase Your Identity: Begin by uploading your organization's logo and a banner image that represents your mission. These visual elements establish immediate recognition for your cause.

2. Colors that Matter: Select a color scheme that aligns with your organization's branding. Consistency in colors throughout the website creates a professional and cohesive look.

3. Advanced Customization with CSS: For those well-versed in coding, take advantage of the custom CSS feature to fine-tune the design elements according to your vision.

Step 3: Designing Your Home Page

Your website's home page is the gateway to your cause. Make it engaging and informative with these strategies:

1. Widgets for Engagement: Utilize a widget home page to organize different parts of your website in a visually engaging way.  A widget page also enhances your website’s navigation.  Different types of fundraising can be easily categorized, from a silent auction to a raffle and donations, along side sponsor information and event tickets.

See this example for a stunning widget home page

Step 4: Diverse Giving Options for Supporters - Auctions, Raffles, and Donations

Diversifying your fundraising methods can greatly enhance engagement and maximize the funds raised for your cause. Your fundraising website should provide a range of options for supporters to contribute in ways that resonate with them. Let's explore the  most popular types of online fundraising :

  1. Auctions: Auctions are an excellent way to generate excitement among your supporters while raising funds. You can add your own items or simply use our auction items on consignment catalog, which offers a no-risk list of tried and tested high-value items.
  1. Run a Raffle: Raffles add an element of anticipation and offer participants a chance to win exciting prizes. Raffles are a great way to provide an affordable price point for supporters to get involved. Select prizes, set-up raffle packages with discounts, and draw a winner (or winners) using GalaBid’s certified random number generator
  1. Facilitate Direct Donations: While auctions and raffles can be engaging, it's important to provide an easy way for supporters to make direct donations to your cause. Donors invoices are automatically allowing donors the option claim a tax deduction.  

By integrating online auction items, raffles, and direct donations into your fundraising website, you're offering a range of giving opportunities that cater to different personal preferences and motivations. This inclusivity can significantly enhance the engagement and excitement surrounding your campaign. Remember, a well-rounded approach to fundraising not only raises more funds but also creates a dynamic and supportive community around your cause.

Step 5: Customizing the Navigation Menu

Streamline the user experience by customizing your website's navigation menu:

1. Buttons for Navigation: Carefully choose the buttons you want to feature in the navigation menu. Typical options include "Home", "Silent Auction ", "Donate", "About Us", and more.

2. Tailored Additions: Integrate custom buttons that link to specific pages like FAQs, Sponsors, or vent details. These additions provide easy access to vital information.

3. Text and Order: Customize button text and their order to ensure a logical flow of navigation for your visitors.


Step 6: Creating Custom Info Pages

Enhance your website's value by offering detailed information through custom pages, such as:

1. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Address common queries and concerns to provide clarity and build trust among potential donors.

2. Spotlighting Sponsors: Devote a page to acknowledge and appreciate your campaign's sponsors and partners for their invaluable support. See this example of a visually engaging Sponsor page

3. Event Insights: If applicable, create a dedicated page to offer a preview of upcoming events, schedules, locations,.


In Summary

Creating a compelling fundraising website is now more accessible than ever. By following this comprehensive guide, you will be equipped to establish an online platform that not only helps you gather funds but also communicates your mission, values, and impact effectively. Your website serves as a bridge between your cause and potential supporters, and with our user-friendly platform, you can maximize its potential and reach. Begin your journey today and propel your cause towards success through the power of digital fundraising.

BONUS! Maximizing Your Fundraising Impact: Sharing and Engaging Supporters, and Amplifying Your Campaign 

Congratulations on taking the step to create your own custom fundraising website!

Now that your platform is ready, it's time to rally your supporters and spread the word about your cause. Engaging your audience and encouraging them to share your campaign can lead to exponential growth in funds raised. Here are some creative ways to promote your fundraising website and inspire your supporters to contribute: 


1. Leverage Social Media Power 

Social media platforms are goldmines for reaching a wide audience. Utilize these platforms to their fullest potential: 

- Facebook: Create a dedicated page for your campaign, regularly posting updates about progress, milestones, and upcoming events. Encourage your supporters to share these updates on their own timelines. 

- Instagram: Share visually appealing content related to your cause. Utilize Instagram Stories, IGTV, and Reels to showcase the impact of donations and engage followers. 

- Twitter: Use hashtags related to your cause to increase visibility. Tweet regularly about your campaign progress, behind-the-scenes insights, and urgent calls for support. 


2. Craft Compelling Email Campaigns 

Email remains a powerful tool for reaching out to your supporters directly. Craft engaging emails that highlight the importance of your cause and provide easy ways for recipients to donate and share: 

- Personal Stories: Share personal stories of individuals or communities benefiting from your cause. These stories resonate deeply with readers and evoke empathy. 

- Call-to-Action: Include a clear call-to-action button that leads recipients directly to your fundraising website. Make donating a simple and immediate process. 

- Social Sharing Buttons: Add social sharing buttons in your emails, allowing recipients to share the campaign with their contacts at the click of a button. 


3. Collaborate with Influencers and Partners 

Influencers and organizations with aligned values can significantly expand your campaign's reach: 

- Influencer Partnerships: Collaborate with influencers who believe in your cause. They can promote your campaign on their platforms, lending their credibility to your cause. 

- Corporate Partnerships: If applicable, team up with local businesses or corporations willing to support your cause. They can help promote your campaign to their customers and employees. 


4. Engage Through Video Content 

Video content captures attention and conveys emotions effectively: 

- Campaign Launch Video: Create a compelling video introducing your campaign. Explain your cause, share your passion, and let your supporters know how they can contribute. 

- Progress Updates: Regularly post videos that show the impact of the donations received. Highlight the positive changes your campaign is making. 


5. Host Virtual Events 

Virtual events are engaging and provide opportunities for supporters to interact with your cause: 

- Webinars: Host webinars discussing the importance of your cause, featuring guest speakers and experts in the field. 

- Live Q&A Sessions: Address questions and concerns directly through live Q&A sessions. This fosters a sense of community among your supporters. 


6. Provide Easily Shareable Content 

Make sharing your campaign seamless by providing ready-to-share content: 

- Social Media Graphics: Design eye-catching graphics that supporters can share on their profiles. Include compelling visuals, campaign details, and the campaign URL. 

- Sample Social Media Posts: Offer pre-written posts that supporters can use to spread the word. This reduces the effort required on their part. 


Remember, engaging your supporters and promoting your campaign is an ongoing process. Regularly update your content, respond to comments, and express gratitude for contributions. With these strategies, you're well-equipped to not only create a successful fundraising website but also build a community of dedicated supporters who are eager to champion your cause.

Good luck, and let's make a difference together! 


About GalaBid

Ideal for donations. Perfect for Raffles. Awesome for Live and Silent Auctions! GalaBid’s online fundraising platform is designed for fundraisers of all types and sizes. For over 10 years we’ve been helping non-profits, charities, community clubs, churches, schools, and individuals to raise more and make a difference.

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