Contest Start Up Tips

Monday, July 10, 2017

So you’ve started your photo contest fundraiser. Great! There are some basic settings to get taken care of once you have your username and login information. After that there are other items that need attention based on other factors of your fundraiser. The following options are found by clicking the “Edit Contest” button when logged into your account.

Customize Your Contest
Contest title, URL, and rate

This information is the name of your fundraiser and it’s URL. This is what your visitors will see first when viewing your fundraiser when it is shared on social media or in a browser window.

Contest dates, time zone, entry & voting fees, goal

These settings will be found under the “Options” tab in the “Edit Contest” area. These settings will layout when entry and voting periods will be, any fees for entering the photo contest, and what your fundraising goal is. Having these settings in place beforehand will prevent miscommunication and misunderstanding with visitors during the fundraiser.

  • Timing is important Choose dates of the year when people have less on their minds.
  • Planning is key Have your contest ready to go before you create a start date.
  • Keep it simple Sticking to one color scheme will draw more viewers in and draw their attention to the main target of the contest.
  • Know your donors Pick entry fees that make sense to your demographic to increase votes.
Banner and Body text

The “Banner” and “Body” tabs will have settings available for a graphic banner and editor to tell your story about your fundraiser. Banner images should be kept to 1024 by 537 pixels with a file size under 40 kilobytes. An effective donation page text should be short and descriptive (3-4 paragraphs) and can include rich media such as YouTube videos. If you need a banner created or copy written for these areas please contact us and we’ll get you set up!

  • Create a visually appealing image Visitors will process image information more quickly than text.
  • Capture visitor attention Think of the Body as a first impression and don’t forget to include your organization’s mission. This will help to generate entries and votes.
  • Who, What, Why Questions to answer in the Body section: who are you helping, what do you do to fulfill your mission, and why your organization is worth of donations.
  • Layout and styling Keep Body section text simple and straight forward. Avoid using too many colors and stick to one font style. To use bold letters, underline, and italic text to build contrast in your content.
Prizes and Rules

Having prizes set will create an incentive for visitors to enter your contest. Rules will give visitors guidelines to follow when entering and an understanding on how the fundraising contest works. Make sure both prizes and rules are carefully defined.

  • Offer quality prizes Prize offerings can draw in more entries and donations.
  • More is better Having a variety of prizes can increase the chances of visitor entry if they think they have good odds of winning.

Setting up a message to send out to visitors who have entered, on the “Email” tab, is a great way to express thanks and to give them a chance to share the URL for your fundraiser.

Other settings to assign
Entry questions

Creating entry questions help to build a story behind the photo. If visitors have a personal connection with the photo they may be more likely to vote on the entry. Having at least 3 questions is a good starting point.

  • Get more votes Encourage your entries to tell the story of the photo in a compelling manner as it will appeal to voters’ emotions.
  • SEO rankings Accurate and consistent messages will increase your views and boost your search results positioning.

Use the editor under the “sidebar” tab to enter staff or volunteer recognition for the fundraiser, past winners (if it is an annual contest), or a short description of your non-profit along with a URL to your website.


Much of the content ideas that could apply to the sidebar tab can also be used for the footer. The footer is also a good place for any sponsor information along with URLs for each.

Next steps
Share your contest on social media

When sharing your fundraiser on social media be sure to always include the URL of the fundraiser, general ideas for entries, and mention prizes that are being offered. You will definitely want to share the URL during voting periods of your fundraiser along with a reminder of how much time is left to vote.


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