Our Family 2017

Important Changes to Your Cru Give Site


Your Cru Give Site

(This post is for Cru staff.)

You should know about important changes impacting your Cru give site. I’m recommending all Cru staff take ten minutes and check their Cru give site, especially since Digital Products and Services made some improvements for us and for our ministry partners. Check to see how your site looks and whether you need to make changes to take advantage of some new features.

If you haven’t done anything before with your give.cru.org site, it’ll take at most thirty minutes to post current photos, an introduction to your ministry, and a link to your ministry website, if you have one. It’s essential to have something on this page. In a sense, you have a “free webpage” on Cru’s online giving site. If you don’t have (or want) a blog or ministry website, you do have this one page to direct people to. Please don’t leave it blank. I’ll give you all the steps you need to update your Cru give site in this post.

Check Your Site

Follow this link to give.cru.org and enter your name or account number to see what your free giving page looks like. Here’s what ours looks like.

Before the recent changes, I had our family picture as the cover photo with our “portrait” photo under it. Because of a new feature you may want to do as I did and change your cover photo to a close up.

NEW: Thumbnails

Your cover photo is now used as a thumbnail. Because of this new feature, I felt it was important to use a close up of Mike and I for our cover photo. Here’s why. Your thumbnail photo shows up:

  1. in your ministry partner’s giving history,
  2. throughout checkout AND
  3. when someone does a search for your name.

In light of that last point, take a look at this screenshot of a search I did just now.

This was just a random test. In this case, six staff had no photos at all (and actually nothing written on their give site, either). One had a ministry photo. Two of us had photos of ourselves. Mike and I showed up the best because it’s a close up.

I hope the three points and the screenshot convince you of the importance of getting a good close up photo for your cover photo on give.cru.org. It won’t take long. Update your site today.

Here’s How to Update Your Cru Give Site

Follow these steps:

  1. NEW: Go to give.cru.org to update your page.
  2. Be sure to sign in to see the edit button in the upper right next to the gold give button.
  3. Click on “Edit Page.”
  4. Use the text editor for headers, bold, etc. (TIP: keep your cursor within the window of the text editor or you’ll lose all your work before you save.)
  5. The camera icons help you upload one or two photos.
  6. Click on “Done Editing” when you’re finished (if you’re on a public computer, don’t forget to log out)
  7. It never hurts to check your spelling and your links. Read through and test your giving page as if you are a donor.

About Photos

I’m not sure what the official size could or should be for your cover photo. I used a size of 1500 x 843 to crop our cover photo.

Also, let’s say you have a photo you really want to use, but when you upload it, someone’s head is cropped off. I have a tutorial post, Easy Tips for Cropping Photos with Paint.net, to help you so your photo looks the way you want it to before you upload it. I highly recommend Paint.net for photoediting for your prayer letters and other uses. (Did I say it’s free?)

For the second optional photo, consider using an action photo that shows you doing ministry. In our case, we went with the family photo. Our ministry partners mention our family frequently and will appreciate this photo more than a photo of us at our computers.

What (and How) to Write about Your Ministry

Keep your introduction relatively brief; a short changed-life story from your ministry would be a great added touch. You could link to the story, but that will take the donor away from the giving site, so you’ll have to decide if you want to do that. I recommend against it. Try to summarize the story right on your giving page.

Keep in mind, too, that your donor is possibly visiting your giving page through their mobile phone. Put your most pertinent information in your first paragraph and don’t get too wordy. They may stop scrolling at some point.

If you want to use your email address in the text for people to contact you, I recommend using firstname.lastname at cru.org. (See Notes.)

The text editor provided for you is all you need to format a bullet list, hyperlinks, headers, bold font, and italics.

Many Ministry Partners Are Giving Online

The majority of Cru’s donors are giving online. Your site WILL be visited. Make it a great one.

Check this site regularly and update it with current photos and ministry changes. I usually check every January. This year, I was surprised to discover our fonts and spacing were inconsistent and my job description was inaccurate, so I was glad I took the time to fix it.

If I still haven’t convinced you to make updating your page a priority, your give site is an opportunity for you to present a brief summary of your ministry and also to make a good first impression for a new donor. Your give site is a vital tool for your ministry.

Help your friends! Not everyone reads eQuipping for eMinistry. Think of one or two staff, check their giving site, and then share this blog post with them if you’d like to encourage them. Let’s get close to 100% of Cru staff with attractive, up-to-date giving sites. 

NOTES:

  • If you’re on MDP Sharing of Ideas, I’ve put up an image for you to “Like” so we encourage each other by how many of our sites are current. If you’re not on this Facebook group, it’s an great place for Cru staff to do MPD together. Contact me at e4e at cru.org and ask to join.
  • If you want to know more about why to avoid using your email address on a site, read Cutting out the Spam: Disguise Your Email Address (and Phone) to learn how to discourage spammers from sending email to your inbox.
  • The image is of our giving site as it looked in 2017 with current family photos.

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