National Parks Online Giving Tools: FAQ's

For stations participating in the National Parks Online Giving project, we thought we would share a few of the station questions and answers that have recently surfaced during widget implementation. If you do not see your question below, please feel free to post it here. 
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1. How will you know if a donor is contributing by using the form on a station's local web page?

All funds generated by widgets/forms placed on local sites are automatically designated to that station and that station only. The Kimbia backend generates reports that correspond to each form or widget that is published, tracking exactly how many gifts and donors--among other datapoints--come in for each form or widget.

This is also true on the national site, as a localized form is pulled in according to the station the user designates as the beneficiary of the gift.  In non-overlap markets, the user's IP address is used to automatically pull in a donation form that is designated for the PBS station in that market.  For overlap markets, the user is forced to localize before making a gift if 1) the user has not previously told us their preference for a station and 2) if they are not automatically localized to a station via station2PBS code coming from that station's local site.  This is the only time when the user will be forced to choose one station over another.  Once they choose the station on the national site, the form corresponding to that station is delivered. Like with the local forms and widgets, the Kimbia reporting functionality tracks donor activity for each localized form delivered on the national site.

2.  Facebook Crawler. Why is my Facebook widget showing random images or misspelling things?  

Facebook sharing associated with the Kimbia widget, has some glitches. Please be aware that if you do not specify meta tags within the page on which the form/widget is hosted as to which title, text and image Facebook should pull when people click on the Facebook logo to post to their profiles, then Facebook randomly crawls the page and pulls the image and text it thinks is the best, so you may want to catch this.  

Here are instructions from Facebook as to how:

3.  The local donor widgets are just to donate money in support of the National Parks by Ken Burns, but not to buy the program?
The local donation forms and widgets are tools intended to help stations raise money and cultivate donors online in the context of an online environment around the National Parks film. 

The widgets are not designed to sell DVDs or to make a "premium-based" donation ask around the Parks.  In fact, this project deliberately does not involve thank-you gifts or premiums, as it is not about traditional membership.  Instead, we 1) hope to gain some learning as to the propensity for our online users to engage with low-level, premium-free support asks and 2) want to complement existing local fundraising efforts around the Parks that may involve premiums, including the Parks DVD.  That said, the auto-acknowledgement donors receive once donating via the Parks forms does include a link to shopPBS if the donor wanted to go there to buy the DVD, but donors are not forced to do that, nor is it tied to their gift level. With station input, this approach may be revised going into the December pledge drive, when episode 6 of the film is available as a pledge program.

4. We would like to use the National Parks Widget with Video on our site
When I placed this code on a test page it reads ... Donate Now: Support ABC
Can you make this say... Donate Now: Support WABC?

Yes.  If the station call letters or other aspects of the messaging on your online donor widget are not correct, please send us an email, letting us know and we will change it for you.

5. For those donors specifying our station, are the funds distributed weekly once the drive is underway?  How are the funds coming back to our station?

The cumulative funds will be distributed at the end of the project, which will be at the end of December/early January. More than likely, this will be in the form of a physical check, accompanied by a final donor report for each station.  We have sent your station's OawvInRaf4 contact reporting links for both local and national donor activity, which refresh data every time they are accessed.  When you click on the link, it will download an excel spreadsheet with the respective local and national donor activity designated for your station.  Please contact us if you have not yet received this link or with further questions about the report.

6. We'll be delaying the National Parks series until later.  Are these tools viable for us- or is it just for the national launch?

The forms and widgets, both local and national, are available to all stations. The national forms went live on with the launch of the Web site on September 23. The timeline for implementing locally is at the discretion of your station.

7. Is it necessary to manage the widget?  What happens to the information when people use the National Parks widget on my site?

Once the widgets are placed on your page, and you have developed and implemented your promotion strategy, you can just sit back and relax. The activity coming through the forms and widgets is managed by PBS and shared with stations via the reporting links already distributed. As you receive donor information, we have some tips to follow up with donors.  You can access these on Connect here:

For additional frequently asked questions, surrounding the larger project policy and process associated with the online giving project, please view the document posted on PBS Connect:

If you cannot find an answer to your question here,   Please feel free to post a comment below.


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