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Salsa Blog

Some FAQs on Donation Pages

With the end of the year upon us, many organizations are doing heavy fundraising pushes and creating new donation pages. To help you in your fundraising journey, I present to you the 9 most frequent questions we've received in the past month.  As always you can check SalsaCommons.org for additional information.  Happy organizing!

  1. When I visit my donation page, why do I see a broken lock image in my Firefox and Chrome browser (or, in IE, this very intimidating security error)?

    Salsa’s donation pages are “secure”—meaning that transactions are made through an encrypted connection. However, all browsers will display a warning or an icon to caution users when they visit a secure page that contains unsecure elements, such as an image or stylesheet residing at an address beginning with http://, rather than https://.  You don't have to worry about links, only images, videos, or files that are used to render the page itself.

    More often than not, the image or stylesheet is being called to the donation page by your template. The templates section of your Salsa HQs (found in the Website Management tab) provides the option to "Download Template" – this one-click option will often handle the problem in one stroke. "Download Template" takes a Salsa template that you've created, stores the images and stylesheets in Salsa's directory, and rewrites the links to those elements so that the template uses the versions stored in Salsa, rather than those stored on your site.

    In addition to images and files embedded in your template, images saved in a donation page Header, Footer, or other custom text area of the page will also need to be secure. To secure such images, be sure to press the “Toggle Secure” button before clicking choosing the image in Salsa’s WYSIWYG-editor. Doing so will add the necessary “s” to the http://

    After taking these steps, you can check the HTML by hand for any "http://" elements still persisting, and change or replace them by hand. You can upload your stylesheets or images individually to the file directory under the Website Management tab and replace the necessary links in your template by hand. Any image or file you upload to Salsa will have a secure "https://" equivalent.

    Note: YouTube or other movie files embedded into a donation page will also trigger the security warning unless the host can provide a secure pathway for the video.

  2. Is there an option for anonymous donations?

    The built-in option to mark a donation anonymous was removed from Salsa by our developers. However, if you want to know whether someone intends for their donation to be recognized as an anonymous donation, You can create a BOOL custom field that your supporters can check yes or no regarding whether they want to be donating anonymously.

    Then, you can then use the API Name of the custom field in an autoresponse in this format: which you can look up here. When you receive the autoresponse, it will tell you whether they checked the box or not. Here are some tips on creating autoresponses.

  3. When I test my donation page with a $1 donation, it appears to go through. However, the thank you page doesn’t look right—it just says “Thank You!” without the messaging I saved in the donation page workflow—and I don’t receive any autoresponses. What gives?

    Salsa's donation pages require a minimum $2 dollars to successfully process. To thwart spammers and save you money, we implement a random refusal strategy for donations less than $2.00. At random, you can submit small donations less than $2 and appear to work. By making it random, it's harder for spammers to isolate why donations are failing. In addition, by setting a minimum, it stops you from losing money with processing fees on donations less than $2.00. Autoresponses and the actual thank you page will not be used when a donation is less than $2.00 because such a donation isn't actually processed. 

  4. I have two or three different donation pages. How do I track which donations were made through each donation page?

    The easiest way to track donations made on a given donation page is to apply a Tracking Code in the Options tab of the donation page workflow. 

    This code will be added to any donation made through your donation page.  You can run reports on your donations by Tracking Code which will help you drilldown on the success of each page.

  5. I want to use a custom Thank You page. However, when I add the URL to the redirect field, the fields don’t seem to merge correctly. For instance, should give me the donor’s first name but it is coming up blank. Help!

    When you are adding a redirect URL to a thank you page you’ve created in Salsa, you need to be sure that you are appending the URL with the fields you want to merge in this format: &Field_Name=.

    For instance, if the custom Thank You page URL is:


    and you are merging the to that page, you need to add &First_Name=:


    Here’s a an additional blog post on setting up personalized Thank You pages.

  6. I want to get a receipt-like autoresponse each time I get a donation through a donation page. Any suggestions on setting one up?

    Sample autoresponse for a donation Page receipt:

    Donation Page: 
    Donation Page Tracking Code:
    Transaction Type:
    Amount: $
    Confirmation code:
    Pay Period (if Recurring):
    Term (if Recurring):


    Credit Card Info:

  7. What if I want to use other fields, like custom fields in an autoresponse?

    The fastest way to see all available merge fields is to check "append" all values in the third step of the autoresponse workflow - then submit a test donation yourself

    You will then see at the bottom of the autoresponse you receive a bunch of code. You can look through that to identify which information and fields are being pulled from the page to determine the fields you need to add to the trigger. Add them in this format: where field name is the field you want in the autoresponse.

  8. What about autoresponses for storefronts?

    I recommend the following autoresponse, which separates billing and shipping addresses so if your supporters choose not to include a shipping address, you will still have the billing info:

    Storefront donation receipt

    Storefront Tracking Code: 
    What was purchased:

    Billing Info:

    Shipping Info:


    Transaction Type:

    Purchase Amount: $

    Confirmation code:

  9. When I submit a donation to a donation page, I get a Processor Error message, i.e.,  “Processor Error: User authentication failed”. Help!

    These sorts of errors show up when the gateway details entered in your Salsa account are no longer up-to-date or are incorrect. If you are a Super Admin in your account, you can update your gateway settings in Salsa by clicking on “account” on the top right hand corner of your Salsa HQs, then Merchant Gateway Accounts, then on the “details” of the merchant gateway account in question. Be sure that you’ve followed the steps required to set up your gateway in Salsa.

Topics: Fundraising