A Guide to Pass-through Parameters

Last Updated: Dec 18, 2018 11:25AM PST

Pass-through parameters allow you to pass information from your website to your Classy donation page. In that sense, they are useful tools for creating seamless donation experiences. But before using pass-through parameters on Classy, it helps to review how they work.  

In this article, you will learn about pass-through parameters and how to use them with Classy:

  1. What are pass-through parameters
  2. How to create pass-through parameters
  3. List of Classy supported parameters
  4. How to use pass-through parameters

What are Pass-through Parameters? 

In simple terms, pass-through parameters are tags that carry information from one webpage to another. With Classy, you can add pass-through parameters to the end of your donation page URLs—this allows you to carry information from your website to your donation page. For example, in the image above the pass-through parameter is amount=50. This parameter or tag tells Classy that a $50 donation should be pre-selected on the Donation Page. You could copy the URL with this parameter and use it as the link for a $50 donation button on your website. When a supporter clicks the button, they will be taken to the donation page and $50 will be pre-selected. The benefit is an easy and seamless donation experience for your supporters. 

How to Create Pass-through Parameters

To learn how to create pass-through parameters, it’s best to walk through an example. To do so, use the following steps: 

1. Pull up our example donation page
2. Type a ? symbol after the end of the URL in your address bar
3. Write amount=50 after the question mark in your address bar without any spaces
4. Reload the page with the new URL and $50 should be pre-selectedNote: The question mark is essential because it separates the rest of your URL from the Query String. In simple terms, that means a question mark notifies a page you are adding parameters such as pass-through parameters or source codes. 

You only have to add the question mark once whether you're adding pass-through parameters or source codes. But if you
 use source codes in conjunction with passthrough parameters, make sure your pass-through parameters are at the end of the URL—they must come after source codes. To learn more about source codes, view our guide. 

Adding multiple pass-through parameters

You can add more pass through-parameters if you want. To do so, use the following steps:

1. Write the & symbol after each pass-through parameter (example: amount=50&)
2. Write recurring=1 after the symbol
3. Reload the page with the new URL and $50 and monthly donations should be pre-selected Pro tip: If you want to add more parameters simply repeat the steps using the parameters you want. Look to the next section for the parameters you can add. 

List of Classy Supported Parameters

Now that you know how to add parameters, we recommend reviewing the list of parameters that Classy supports. The parameters are listed below and we recommend trying each out with your Donation Page URL to see the effects.

  • amount= : Passes a donation amount to your donation page—the number you enter after the equals sign will specify the amount.  

  • recurring= : Sets whether a donation will be one time or recurring. Enter 0 for one-time donations and 1 for recurring donations

  • preset= : Updates the amounts listed on your four donation amount buttons. For example, preset1=100 would make the first donation amount button display $100. 

Parameters that Require Developer Assistance

The following parameters require assistance from a development team to use. This is because the information that the parameters pass through is very specific and requires development knowledge to work properly. With assistance you can pass additional supporter information using the following parameters:  

  • first= : First name appears in the checkout form

  • last= : Last name appears in the checkout form

  • email= : Email of the appears in the checkout form

  • phone= : Phone number appears in the checkout form

  • street= : Street address appears in the checkout form

  • city= : City appears in the billing part of the form

  • state= : State appears in the billing part of the form

  • zip= : Zip appears in the billing part of the form

Note: Classy does not provide code development services. In any case, we recommend starting with the parameters that don’t require coding—they have a more direct impact on donations.   

How to Use Pass-through Parameters

To use pass-through parameters you will need to have a donation page URL with your pass-through parameters handy. Once you have one, the potential uses are nearly endless. That said, we will describe two common uses below. 

Standard Links

The easiest way to use pass-through parameters is to use them as simple links. For example, you could create URLs with pass-through parameters for different donation buttons on your website. When a supporter taps your $25 donation button, you could take them your Classy checkout form and have $25 pre-selected. If they tap on your $50 button, you could take them to your form and have $50 pre-selected. 

Target Different Audiences 

You can also get a bit more creative and use pass-through parameters to optimize donation pages. For example, you can use the same donation page with different parameters to target millennials who generally give in smaller amounts as well as heavy contributors. To do so, use parameters to create two links with customized donation amount buttons: 

You could send the first link to your millennial supporters and the second link to heavy contributors. Donations made to either URL will all apply to the same campaign for easy tracking. In any case, we recommend shortening URLs with pass-through parameters using Bitly. The parameters will still work even if you shorten the URL. 

Need extra guidance or want to share a creative use for pass-through parameters? Contact our Care Team

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