Great Fundraising Events…Powered by Software

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It’s estimated that every dollar you raise from your nonprofit fundraising event costs your organization a whopping 50 cents.

great fundraising events

This makes fundraising with events seem like eating soup with a fork.

But numbers aren’t everything. Events can be a very important and highly valuable part of your overall fundraising efforts. A well-managed event drives revenue by creating greater awareness, acquiring supporters, and bringing people together. Not to mention it can be a ton of fun for everyone involved.

So how can you make your next event the fun, lucrative, buzz-worthy kind, and not your big fat fundraising disaster?

Planning.

And what is your greatest resource in planning? The answer, of course, is software.

Event management software can make your next event the party of the year, all while saving time, cutting costs, and boosting attendance. Here’s how:

Saves Time

1. Automates busy work

Your staff and volunteers could use hours saved on data entry, emails, and phone calls to get better sponsors, promote your event, and create those special touches that could make your fundraiser the standout of the season.

2. Allows for real time collaboration

Remote access with a web solution keeps everyone up to speed throughout the entire process. Having pertinent information available online helps your staff and volunteers work together more effectively.

3. Makes any staff member an event planning pro

Most agree that to pull off a truly stellar event, you should start planning a year in advance. But who can you trust to stay on top of a year’s worth of plans? Let software organize tasks assignments, set reminders, and automate communications.

Software also holds the key to institutional memory. This means that, even as your staff changes, your plans don’t have to. You can easily access past event information to keep track of what has worked in the past and learn from what didn’t.

Great planning means accounting for every last detail. Whether those details are table cloths, bid sheets, or the phone number of your city’s best Elvis impersonator, software can keep track of all the bits and pieces of information.

4. Makes registering online a breeze

Create an event page on your website where attendees can register themselves and their guests. You can provide custom questions for registration about meal preferences and other special needs.

Online registration portals make it easy to set up discounts, early bird specials, and group rates. Stay on top of attendee numbers with a cap on attendees, an automatically updated waitlist, and up to the minute numbers on your guest list.

Make it easy (and secure) for attendees to pay for registration and donate online with integrated credit card processing.

5. Speeds up check-in time at the event

Streamline check-in at your event with self-check-in kiosks or mobile access (like on a smartphone or tablet) to help your staff speed through the lines.

Cuts Costs

1. Streamlines costs with budget module

A well-organized budget is an essential part of putting together a successful event. The budget module will keep track of projected and real costs, donations, and sponsor revenue. With all of this up to the minute information on hand, your staff will be equipped to make better financial decisions throughout the process.

2. Allows you to print materials in-house

Using an in-house software solution to design your event invitation, website, online registration form, agenda materials, and all other communications creates a comprehensive, professional look. You can even generate tickets, badges, guest lists, and place cards all from the same place.

Boosts Attendance

1. Gives attendees the tools to advertise for you

Attendees have the option to share your event across their social media accounts as soon as they register.

Registrants can download event flyers and share them with their friends and other community groups.

Events are a unique opportunity to win over new donors in the company of your biggest fans. There’s no better time to convince prospects of the importance of your mission than in a room full of believers. Event management software can tag your non-constituent attendees the instant they register so you can follow up with them effectively.

2. Sends out save the dates, reminders, and ‘get ready’ notices the day of your event

It also provides mobile communications with attendees and downloadable info packets with agendas, maps, and information about your organization and your sponsors. All tools help attendees get to your event on time.

3. Saves all of your contacts and integrates with your CRM

Don’t worry about data replication and searching through lists. Many solutions can integrate with your CRM and pull your existing members, donors, and prospects for your invite and sponsor lists. Conversely, all new attendees are uploaded to your CRM for follow up.

Planning a fundraising event is both exciting and overwhelming. A successful event is a great way to educate the public about your organization, gain exposure, recruit new donors and volunteers, and show appreciation for the people that make your organization run.

Looking for Event Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Event Management software solutions.

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About the Author

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Tiare Dunlap

Tiare Dunlap is a Software Analyst for Capterra, a company that loves connecting buyers and sellers of business software. She specializes in software for non-profits. When she’s not covering the industry, you can find her fidgeting, playing tennis, or reading (most likely on the metro--it's a long commute).

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