How to Customize Blackbaud TeamRaiser to Run Successful Events

I just finished building out another instance of a Blackbaud TeamRaiser event with one of our amazing clients, Children’s Health Fund. If you are a seasoned veteran of using TeamRaiser, you may notice something different about this TeamRaiser event: it doesn’t look like a regular Blackbaud TeamRaiser event because we implemented some complex redesigns of the user-experience and the functionality.

Let me explain.

We had some objectives for this event that the TeamRaiser tool doesn’t offer out of the box. TeamRaiser is a great system that enables organizations to raise money for worthy causes. We had a few additional requirements, such as:

  • Reduce the number of registration steps for participants
  • Ensure that the full site is mobile responsive
  • Enable participants to easily create shortcut urls during registration, and
  • Make dynamic social sharing easily available throughout.

In addition, we wanted the focus of this event to be directed more toward enlisting constituents in the cause of providing health care to vulnerable children rather than subjecting fundraisers to the limitations of TeamRaiser.

Here is a closer look at a handful of items that helped us to meet our objectives:

Multiple Steps for Blackbaud, One Giant Leap for Fundraisers

We all fill out forms online. There’s nothing too exciting about that process. Many good sites have realized (through testing and good ol’ common sense) that users want to get from point A to point B in as few steps as possible. Amazon “1-Click Ordering” is one example.

It is well-established that having fewer pages, fewer form fields, and fewer clicks when a web visitor is making a transaction will increase conversion rates. And we all want more conversions.

Thus, one of our objectives in building this TeamRaiser event was to decrease the number of things that our prospective fundraisers need to do in order to participate in our event.

Below is a quick breakdown of a typical TeamRaiser registration process compared with a Children’s Health Fund TeamRaiser registration process. (Both of these registrations are examples of an individual registration.)

Standard TeamRaiser Reg. Process* Children’s Health Fund TeamRaiser Reg. Process
  1. Greeting Page
  2. Register as an Individual
  3. New/Returning User
  4. Participation Options
  5. Registration Page (20+ fields)
  6. Registration Summary
  7. Thanks for Registering
  1. Landing Page
  2. Get Started (3 fields + 2 checkboxes)
  3. Details
  4. Thank You (doubles as donation form)

*NOTE: this example does not cover for the user making a donation during registration, which adds a couple of steps.

Hopefully it’s clear, from the comparison above, how conversions will improve.

A Search for Every Occasion

We made extensive use of the TeamRaiser API in this TeamRaiser build. This facilitated many of our objectives, such as reducing the number of registration steps, ensuring that responsive code worked more seamlessly to make the site look better on smartphones, etc.

One of the uses, which is an easier method to get started on when developing with the API (getParticipants), helped us accomplish a variety of things: customize our TeamRaiser search page; account for some conditional uses, such as changing how the search page functions if a participant is looking to join a team vs. looking to donate; and generally simplify the user experience.


Screenshots of the customized search page on an iPhone.

Screenshots of the customized search page on an iPhone.


Freshen Up and Simplify the Participant Center

Below are two examples of how a Participant Center may appear to a newly-converted participant to your organization’s TeamRaiser event:


"Out-of-the-box" Blackbaud TeamRaiser Participant Center

“Out-of-the-box” Blackbaud TeamRaiser Participant Center




Blackbaud TeamRaiser Participant Center with some front-end design polish

Blackbaud TeamRaiser Participant Center with some front-end design polish


I encourage anyone embarking on a new TeamRaiser development project to stand back and become a participant first. Participants want to help your cause. Thinking about how the process can be simplified for your willing participants will result in stronger recruitment and more money raised.

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