Salsa Scoop> tag: ”blog:tipsheet“

Salsa Commons Debuts

Salsa Commons, a new common site for all organizations using the Salsa toolset whether through DemocracyInAction or anywhere else, debuted today. At the moment, what you'll see is a user manual, which is (in ascending order of importance):
  • A massive update from the previous manual available, which had become dated in several key areas;
  • An easily updatable wiki that will serve as a living document we can update and add to as we build;
  • The kernel of a much larger project to build in other kinds of documentation, peer-to-peer knowledge sharing, and a panoply of other resources.
We've been talking about launching this vessel so long, it's sweet to smash the champagne. It comes with a new feedback address -- documentation at salsacommons.org. Tell us there, here, or anywhere what you think!

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Why are my pages not secure? (Un)locking the mystery.

Salsa automatically generates a secure URL for pages involving monetary transactions - donations, paid events, storefronts, etc.  However, just because those pages' URLs begin with "https://" doesn't mean they are secure - if you are loading nonsecure files or images anywhere on the "secure" page, the whole page will become nonsecure.  This manifests through a "broken" lock symbol in Firefox, and through pop-ups or other warnings in IE. You don't want potential donors or supporters scared away because they think their transactions won't be secure - so what you can do?

1.  Find out which template your nonsecure-soon-to-be-secure page is using.  You can do this by looking at  the number after the /t/ in the page's URL - this is the template key - or checking  which template is highlighted on Step 1 of your page creation workflow.  If no template is highlighted or there is no /t/ in your URL, you're using your site's default template. To see a list of your templates, go to dashboard -> manage templates.

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Theming your Profile pages

Theming your profile pages is a great way to customize one more aspect of your Salsa pages. Customizing your profile pages can be very rewarding but requires use of CSS. Here I'll go over some common requests. I'll try not to assume you have knowledge of CSS, but I will assume some HTML basics. I'll introduce some important CSS terms and techniques, but also provide working examples that are ready to be cut and pasted into your templates.

If you aren't interested in learning CSS, or already know it and just want some code snippets, look for the blue boxes. The HTML in the blue boxes is code ready to be pasted into your template.

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Basic HTML E-mailing: Setting up a Template

As we've mentioned before getting email design from the interface to your member's inbox is not as simple as one might hope. Luckily, a well designed email template can not only help you deliver an email that more closely resembles your vision, but can also lead to consistency between emails and speed up the time each blast takes to create.

Use a Template

The over whelming majority of users need to use an email template. We want to use a template to 'protect' some parts of our HTML for both consistency and to ensure critical parts of the HTML are not altered during the creation of a blast.

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Basic HTML E-mailing: The Domains Senders Must Test

Tags: blog:design  |  blog:dia-lysis  |  blog:email  |  blog:html  |  blog:nptech  |  blog:tipsheet  |  Email
A recent conversation about the vagaries of HTML e-mail on the Progressive Exchange mailing list prompted some good conversation about a perennially vexing topic: how do you keep your hard-won html design rendering properly in your recipients' mailboxes? Short answer: you probably don't. For coders who like to get into it, I've been in the habit of recommending the exhaustive sleuthing done by sorta-competitor Campaign Monitor (for instance), which blogs the bejeezus out of the issue and has great resources like 30 free design-compliant templates that might shortcut the process. The thumbnail version for the rest of us is that there's no orthodoxy. Like 4th century heretics, every e-mail provider has its own slightly different standard which on pain of hellfire and junk filtering is incompatible with every other provider's standard. What's a small organization without the luxury of coding line-by-line styles to do?

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Tuesday Tips, Tardily: Wikis in Plain English

Another charming creation of Common Craft: Wikis in Plain English. A worthy successor to last month's RSS in Plain English screencast.

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Tuesday Tips: RSS in Plain English Screencast

This isn't an original creation -- it's courtesy of Common Craft by way of Michele Martin -- but it's so good ...
There are two types of Internet users, those that use RSS and those that don't. This video is for the people who could save time using RSS, but don't know where to start.

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Tuesday Tips: The God of Small Gifts

I referred the other day to the rising importance of small-dollar fundraising online. So how important are they? Can nonprofits really adopt smallball as a development strategy? More than one might think. A breakdown of online contributions received by all our organizations in 2006 by gift range reveals, unsurprisingly, that smaller gifts are by far the most frequent -- with gifts of exactly $50 (the most frequent donation amount) or less accounting for over two-thirds of all contributions.

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Tuesday Tips: A Dozen Tips for Sprucing up Your Website

(Susan Finkelpearl of former DIA roommates Free Range Graphics has this week's Tuesday Tips entry on a little spring cleaning for the web site. This post is also available as a .pdf, and will be one of her handouts at the Nonprofit Tech Conference this week. We could probably stand to take note of a few of these tips ourselves ... thanks, Susan! -jrz)
Have you given your website some design love lately? Here are some fast tips for taking your site to the next level. 1. Don’t forget the fold. Just as old-fashioned newspapers have a fold line, if a web page gets too long, people will have to scroll to see all of the content on the page. When designing your home and interior pages, make sure to put important items such as news features, donate buttons, and e-newsletter sign-ups above the fold, where they can be seen easily. 2. Be a creative conformist. The web works because key site elements appear in consistent locations across all well-designed web sites. While you want your website to have a look and feel that is unique to your organization, make sure you also follow design conventions. For example, people have come to expect that search bars be placed in the top right of a webpage while logos are most often in the top left position. Nine times out of ten you should stick with these conventions. Groups like Amazon play with these conventions, but again it’s generally wisest to plunk key navigational elements where people expect to see them. 3. Make your asks contextual. Don’t let isolated "donate buttons" do all the fundraising legwork on your site. Work donation asks into areas where you are telling the most compelling stories about your accomplishments. 4. Let thy people donate! When someone does click a donate button, reward them immediately with a donate form. Don’t make them click more or wade through a lot of copy before letting them help you. In fact, it’s highly recommended that the form be the default first page of your donate section.

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Tuesday Tips: Mistyped Email Addresses

Training -- though sometimes stressful -- is one of the best parts of my job, largely because of what I get to learn from people with completely different outlooks who pose incisive questions I would never think to ask. On the orientation-to-Salsa webinars we've been running for current clients, I got a great question the other day about running reports to help campaign managers identify possible mistyped e-mail addresses so that they could manually correct them in the headquarters while the relationship was still retrievable. A perfect occasion for both our custom report builder and a forehead-smacking "why didn't I think of that?"

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