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A Guide to Getting Started

Welcome to GiftTool Pledge-a-thon service - providing powerful web-based tools to help you raise more money from your peer-to-peer fundraising events and campaigns. This guide will introduce you to many of GiftTool's features and help orient you as you begin to set up and manage your Pledge-a-thons.

Create Pledge-a-thons - quickly and easily!

  1. Create the privacy policy to be displayed on all Pledge-a-thons.
  2. Add a Pledge-a-thon Coordinator: Confirmation emails will list your coordinator's contact details and, as well, use their email as the 'From' email address displayed in each participant's inbox.
  3. Create an optional waiver to outline the Terms & Conditions for your Pledge-a-thon. The waiver can be displayed to your registrants in two ways: as a link embedded in your registration pages which they can click on to view, or as a separate page in the registration process where they must click "I accept.".
  4. Now you're ready to Add a New Pledge-a-thon!

    The wizard will walk you through each section and page, step-by-step.
    1. Logistics: Set up the details surrounding your Pledge-a-thon event or campaign:
      • When participants register to help raise funds, you can set up the logistics to let them sign up as an individual, join a team, or participate as a team leader. Each participant and team will get a fundraising page that they can personalize to create excitement about your event.
      • Allow teams to be organized under larger groups. Useful for corporate groups who would like to sponsor multiple teams. Group members will be able to view their team progress versus the other teams in their group. Group peer pressure is a great way to raise more pledges!
    2. Participants: Create the sign-up form for your volunteer fundraisers & their teams:
      • You must create at least one registration option that participants can check off when they sign up to be part of your Pledge-a-thon.
      • Once your participants select a registration option, they can set their fundraising goal and make a personal donation as part of the registration process.
      • You can also sell or offer items to participants as they register - such as clothing, badges, or equipment - or use the form to let them sign up for an event-related meal or reception.
      • If you wish to gather some information about participants during their registration process, you can ask questions.
      • The next step is to set up payment options for any registration fee charged to participants.
    3. Sponsors: Customize the online donation page and confirmation emails shown to sponsors
      • Increase donations through monthly giving: GiftTool makes it easy for sponsors to join your monthly giving program when donating on a personal website. Studies show that one of the best ways to build donor loyalty is through monthly giving clubs – recruiting donors to make modest monthly donations ($15, $25, $50, $500…) each month, as opposed to single annual gifts. It's convenient for the sponsor because the funds are withdrawn automatically from their credit card, and equally convenient for your organization thanks to the automated processing using GiftTool.
    4. Web Pages: Customize the default settings for personal & team fundraising pages
    5. Email Messages: Create email templates that participants can customize to send emails to friends and family. Templates include: "Make a donation"; "Thank you for your support"; "Join my Team"; "Join my Group". Participants will also be able to send message that they create from scratch. Links to their personal & team donation pages will be included at the bottom of each email.

Setup tips

  • If you have a very simple Pledge-a-thon, you can skip through many of the screens by clicking on the Update & Next button at the bottom to move to the next screen. Don't forget to click the Save as Draft button when you're finished.
  • You can preview your results from the Manage Pledge-a-thons > Draft > Profile section, by clicking on the green Preview link. Or copy the Main Pledge-a-thon Link and paste it into a new browser.

Update & launch your Pledge-a-thon

  • When changing a Pledge-a-thon once it has been saved, you must click on Update & Next before proceeding to another screen. And don't forget to click the Save button when you are finished with all your changes. NOTE: If you already have a web browser open displaying the old registration form, please close the browser and open a new browser so that you can see your changes to your online form. Otherwise, your browser session will still exist, continuing to show the old settings even though you have hit the refresh button. Hint: If the input fields are already filled out, this means that data continues to exist from the last session.
  • When you're ready to launch your draft Pledge-a-thon on your web site simply activate the Pledge-a-thon from the Manage Pledge-a-thons > Draft > Profile section. Then, insert your Pledge-a-thon URL link(s) into your Web site.
  • Your account is live. So if you would like to step through the registration process to test your form, please stop the process at the payment page. Otherwise, your registration will be processed using your credit card number, your account will be charged the transaction fees and the month will be considered active, thus triggering the monthly fee.
  • Test your links once you go live.

Easily manage online and offline pledges

Tracking the fundraising status of each participant and team is made easy with GiftTool. Participant and Team pages are automatically updated with the latest status of their confirmed fundraising efforts. Additionally, your latest list of top 5 fundraisers and teams are prominently displayed on your Pledge-a-thon Description page shown to the public.

  • All your staff needs to do is confirm receipt of the offline pledges when the cash/cheques arrive in the mail. This moves a pledge from pending to confirmed and is added to the participants totals shown on their fundraising page. Keeping on top of pending pledges keeps your fundraisers motivated.
  • Should your volunteer fundraisers forget to record offline pledges into their account before sending the money to your office, your staff can easily input the information into an Excel document, and import the list of offline pledges into the system with a click of the button.
  • Manage recurring monthly or quarterly pledges with no effort from your staff. As a recurring donor, their pledge will be automatically processed by GiftTool each month or quarter. Your sponsor can cancel or change their recurring pledge at any time by contacting your organization directly. When a recurring credit card pledge is processed, the amount will be added to the Total Credit Card Donations Collected To Date column in your reports.
  • Run reports. See how successful your participants' fundraising efforts are by running the latest Honor Roll reports. Your data is updated instantly when a donation is processed, with both confirmed and pending donations listed in your reports. Download your data into an Excel spreadsheet at any time.

Easily manage Pledge-a-thon registrations

Planners know that tracking the registration fees collected and the participant lists, is hugely time-consuming, and that tracking all the details eats into your day’s productivity. GiftTool takes the stress out of managing your Pledge-a-thon:

  • Set early or late registration rates. Set up the GiftTool Pledge-a-thon, in advance, as to when the early registration rates are supposed to change, then put it out of your mind. The rates change on the appropriate date, without manual intervention.
  • Copy a previous Pledge-a-thon. No need to start from scratch. With a click of the Copy button, you can create a new Pledge-a-thon by simply changing the dates, times, prices and anything else that has changed.
  • Track offline payments for any registration fees. Record full or partial payments received, keeping the Balance Due report column up-to-date.
  • Run reports. Keep on top of your Pledge-a-thons by running up-to-the-minute reports in ways that help you stay organized. Your data is updated instantly when a registration or donation is processed. Download your data into an Excel spreadsheet at any time.

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