Designing an Online Fundraising Website

by Mar 3, 2020Websites

I love a good challenge and when client Happy Valley Soup Company presented one for a online fundraising website, I was excited to think it through and take it on. 


Fundraising Fundamentals

The parent company, Cooke Tavern Soups already had a fundraising program for groups to sell soups face-to-face with paper forms. Taking the fundamental program to the next level, they decided to launch the Happy Valley Soup Company Fundraising program, which in addition to traditional paper order forms, offers the ability for groups to sell and raise funds online, as well. This meant that family and friends hundreds or thousands of miles away could support a fundraiser and have their order mailed directly to their home while the proceeds would benefit the high school band, soccer team, church mission trip, or association they care about.


The Thought Process

A simple request, but it turned out to be a complex design with a lot to consider. Each aspect of the process needed to be thought out to ensure its success. Here’s a list of questions we needed to consider for the project:

  • Would there be a seperate website?
  • How would purchases be credited to a fundraiser?
  • How would groups market their fundraiser?
  • Could we “open” and “close” the shop on certain dates?
  • How could fundraisers watch their progress?
  • How would they place face-to-face orders?
  • What would the “Help” process look like?
  • How would payouts work?
  • How could we redirect buyers to the retail shop when fundraisers are over?


Fundraising Set-up

We settled on creating a subdomain where the Happy Valley Soup Company Fundraising site would be set up. We found an application to integrate with the site that allowed us to create a unique “shop” for each group wanting to hold their fundraiser online. Each shop displays the group name and fundraising dates. And Happy Valley Soup Company fulfills the order mailing soups as they come in.


Fundraiser Friendly

Group leaders can log in and see how their fundraiser is fairing. They can see when orders have been placed and watch their earnings increase with each purchase. We designed a Help page that gives friendly advice on how to use various marketing tools, distribute their unique website link, and get in touch when needed. 


Earning 50% Payouts

Fundraisers earn 50% on orders whether placed face-to-face or online. The website keeps track of all orders placed by supporters that use the group’s unique shopping link. When the fundraiser comes to an end, the group leader can place a “Final Order” online that includes the totals from all paper order forms the group collected locally. We look at the 50% they earned from online orders and credit their bill so they only pay the difference. If they make more online that with face-to-face sales, they know to payout to the group via check for the remainder. 


Launching the Happy Valley Soup Company Fundraising Site

After beta testing the Happy Valley Soup Company Fundraising site in early 2020 and working out the kinks, they’re ready to launch. The next phase of the project includes marketing it to groups around the country, like church groups, sports teams, high school bands, college fraternities and sororities, and more. We’ll also be integrating their store with accounting and inventory management systems.


View the Fundraising Example Page

You can view an example of how supporters view the site here:


Start a Fundraiser

If interested in starting a fundraiser with Happy Valley Soup Company, check out the Fundraising Information page on the Happy Valley Soup Company website:


Start a Project

Reach out via the contact page to start a project with Freewheel Creative.