It goes without saying that here at Fundly, we’re all about the fundraising event. Whether you’re hosting an event to celebrate the success of your crowdfunding campaign or to push your peer-to-peer fundraiser to new heights, fundraising events can help you raise money and boost supporter excitement.
But before you can launch your next show-stopping event, you’ll be in need of event management software to help you stay on top of event logistics and track valuable guest data before, during, and after your fundraiser.
In this post, we’ll break down our 5 favorite event planning solutions, each with a unique take on event management:
- Fundly — For Peer-to-Peer Event Management
- Fonteva — For Salesforce Event Management
- BidPal — For Charity Auction Management
- DipJar — For On-Site Donation Management
- Firespring — For Event Marketing
1. Fundly: Top Choice for Peer-to-Peer Event Management
Peer-to-peer fundraising has become a staple in the nonprofit world. By mobilizing your supporters and inspiring them to raise money from their networks, your organization can quickly exceed your fundraising goals.
But to truly capitalize on the power of peer-to-peer, you’ll need to host a fundraising event to go along with your campaign—and Fundly can help!
Fundly’s peer-to-peer platform enables your nonprofit to build a main fundraising page as well as recruit teams of fundraisers with their own individual campaign pages.
You can also use Fundly’s user-friendly platform to stay on top of your fundraising event using features such as:
- Simple sharing. Promote your fundraising event directly from your campaign page! Send emails to invite your guests, post to social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, or update your page with photos, videos, and of course, an appealing event description.
- Merchandise sales. Want to add a fun twist to your event? Sell merchandise before, during, and after the event using Fundly’s simple product fundraising tool. You can offer items as fundraising incentives during the campaign or set up a merchandise table at the event.
- Hands-on assistance. For nonprofits who are truly looking to maximize their fundraising potential, Fundly offers a truly unique VIP service with one-on-one training, fundraising coaching, and more. A team of Fundly experts will be by your side throughout your campaign and help teach you skills to improve your fundraising long-term.
Fundly’s peer-to-peer platform is free to get started with. If you opt in to their Fundly Pro VIP services, you’ll be able to choose between two affordable options starting at $1,200 per campaign.
Interested in seeing more peer-to-peer options? Scope out all the best peer-to-peer platforms by reading our thorough list of the top peer-to-peer fundraising solutions.
2. Fonteva: Top Choice for Salesforce Event Management
For Salesforce users, you can plan strategic events without ever leaving your CRM. All you need is the perfect event management app—enter Assemble Events by Fonteva!
Fonteva is known for providing high-quality, completely comprehensive Salesforce solutions. Assemble Events is definitely no exception, as this powerful tool can help your nonprofit use your Salesforce data to design virtually any kind of event.
With Fonteva, you’ll be able to customize your event management from start to finish with features to help you:
- Create distinct registration forms. Whether you’re planning a multi-session conference, a series of events, or just a one-day fundraiser, you can build registration forms that allow individuals (or groups!) to sign up in a way that makes sense for your event.
- Set pricing levels. With Fonteva, you can set multiple price points for your tickets, including general admission, VIP tickets, members-only prices, or even individual exclusive offers. You can even segment your data to determine different prices for different constituent lists.
- Build event microsites. Fonteva’s platform generates unique event microsites to promote your event, share important event details, accept registrations, and even sell merchandise. You won’t need any web design skills, either; Fonteva makes setting up your site as simple as possible!
The best part about Fonteva’s event management app? It’s completely native to Salesforce, so it’s guaranteed to work seamlessly with your CRM, no integration required.
For pricing information and more, contact Fonteva via their website!
Are you a Salesforce user hoping to streamline your event planning? Learn more about managing events in Salesforce by reading Fonteva’s helpful guide!
3. BidPal: Top Choice for Charity Auction Management
Silent, live, online—BidPal can help you plan and execute fundraising auctions of any kind!
Though versatile enough for any type of event, BidPal’s event fundraising software is specifically designed to streamline and enhance charity auctions.
Not only can their solution help you bring in more bids, but it can also help you accept additional donations through their mobile bidding app or by using their text-to-give software! On top of all of that, take a look at these killer event management features:
- Unlimited event support. If your organization relies on events to raise money, don’t let your event management app slow you down! BidPal allows you to plan as many events as you need throughout the year, no additional fees or expansions needed.
- Online auction catalogs. Instead of spending money to print paper auction catalogs, file everything online so donors can access your auction items anywhere, anytime. You can even host online auctions so that anyone can browse and bid on items directly from your BidPal event site.
- Donor management tools. Keep track of donor interactions, including contributions, bids, and automated acknowledgements, within your software. You can also integrate their tool with your CRM so that all data is visible in one place.
For pricing information, you can view BidPal’s event fundraising packages on their website.
Planning a charity auction? BidPal can walk you through the process step by step with their foolproof guide to maximizing bids during a live, silent, or online auction.
4. DipJar: Top Choice for On-Site Donation Management
If fundraising is your event goal, you’ll want to give guests as many options to give as possible. One of the best ways to do that? Offer on-site giving kiosks!
DipJar’s simple, secure giving kiosk enables event guests to dip their debit or credit card into the kiosk to instantly make a donation to your cause.
But DipJar’s solution doesn’t stop at accepting in-person gifts. DipJar allows you to fully track all on-site donations, allowing you to manage these transactions using their intuitive dashboard. Additionally, you’ll have access to these great features:
- Custom pre-set donation amounts. You can adjust the pre-set giving amount on your kiosk from your dashboard to quickly adapt to different events or donor demographics. That way, you’ll always ask for an amount that’s feasible and profitable.
- Professional branding to your organization. You want your giving kiosk to stand out at your event, which means designing it to fit your nonprofit’s personality. Change the color, add a logo, or include additional marketing materials such as a branded sign.
- Full donation security. DipJar abides by Payment Card Industry standards, so your donors’ payment data will always be secure. Though there are always risks when making online transactions, DipJar takes all the necessary precautions to keep your donors safe!
DipJar’s products start at $399. You can also contact their sales department to work with their team individually to determine the best event fundraising solutions for your organization.
Want to learn more about giving kiosk best practices? Read DipJar’s helpful post on raising more with your donation kiosk!
5. Firespring: Top Choice for Event Marketing
Most event management software has some form of built-in marketing solution, but if you’re looking for a dedicated marketing service to help expand event attendance and revenue, Firespring has got you covered.
Firespring understands nonprofits, so they’ll help you get the word out about your event by taking a strategic approach to the marketing methods that will show you the best return on investment.
In addition to working with your organization to determine which marketing techniques will be most effective, Firespring can specifically help you fine-tune these areas:
- Email marketing. Learn how to design compelling email blasts to share the story behind your nonprofit’s upcoming event. Then, work with Firespring to develop an automation schedule that’s engaging and intentional.
- Social media marketing. Devise a social strategy that meets your donors and event guests exactly where they are, whether that’s Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Firespring knows how to craft purposeful social posts, and they’ll teach you how to promote your event online in the most effective way.
- Web design. If you’re putting together a dedicated event site or overhauling your nonprofit website on your own, it’s easy to get lost and overwhelmed. Firespring’s team of experts will work with your staff to put together a vision and then see it through.
Firespring’s basic plan starts at $89 per month and comes with a wealth of services to practically ensure a packed house at your next event.
Need some help cleaning up your nonprofit website? Check out these top nonprofit websites to get some inspiration for your own!
There you have it! With these tools, your organization will never worry about planning a lackluster event again.
Now that you’re all set with the perfect event management tool, get started planning by checking out these amazing event fundraising resources:
- The Ultimate Guide to Peer-to-Peer Fundraising. Learn why peer-to-peer fundraising is the strategy everyone’s trying by checking out our in-depth guide.
- Walkathon Guide. Perfect for all ages and all types of organizations, walkathons are a powerful way to raise money and bring the community together for your cause. Read our guide to planning your own walkathon!
- Charity Auction Guide. There’s a reason charity auctions are one of the most classic fundraising events. Learn how to bring in more guests (and bids!) at your upcoming silent or live auction.
Did you know that nearly a third of the world’s population made some kind of charitable donation in 2015? And that the amount of donations is growing every year (4.1 percent in 2016 and a projected 4.3 percent in 2017)?
Today there are more and more ways to get people engaged in your nonprofit’s cause and many different platforms where to engage with donors.
Mobile is definitely the latest craze when it comes to fundraising with mobile donations increasing 45 percent during the holiday season of 2014 and 2015. The popularity of mobile and its effectiveness in increasing donor engagement is the reason many nonprofits are focusing their fundraising efforts on mobile.
Channels like social media also help nonprofits connect with their donor base while live chat provides a personalized and professional way to respond to donor interest in real time. YouTube videos can help you create a compelling case for action and blogs can help build an organization’s story and increase donor engagement.
Here’s a breakdown of how and why to engage your donors on these channels:
1. Mobile apps
Mobile apps can have a great impact on donations. Consumers use them for a variety of purposes including learning about a social or environmental issue (56 percent) and making a donation (48 percent).
People who download mobile apps tend to spend more time on them than they do on mobile websites, giving your nonprofit more time to communicate with your potential donor and convince them to give to your cause.
Since downloading the app takes an extra step than visiting the website, app users tend to also be more committed. Nonprofits can tailor messages to their donors, send push notifications about upcoming events or fundraising drives and maintain their donor informed and engaged through their app.
The penetration of mobile phones worldwide means that mobile is an increasingly viable platform for fundraising. SMS messages have impressive 98 percent open rates and 91 percent of texts being opened within three minutes. Therefore, growing your SMS donor list is a smart investment for any organization.
The nonprofit SAWA-Australia changed their underactive email campaign to a text campaign and saw positive results including increased attendance at fundraising events. Covener Matthias Tomczak said that text messaging “is a valuable tool to increase our donation income.”
In addition to letting donors know about upcoming events through text, you can also launch a text-to-give program that allows donors to give by entering a text code. This is fast and for all the demographics.
3. Mobile website
As the whole world goes mobile and more and more donations are made on a mobile device, it’s crucial that your organization’s website is optimized for mobile use.
Mobile sites that are slow to load (more than two seconds) with broken text, confusing landing pages and poorly cropped photos will not instill much faith in your potential donors.
By the way, mobile-friendliness is also a factor in your website’s Google ranking – another reason to take mobile optimization seriously. Your website’s donation page should be easy to fill out on mobile by offering dropdown menus and enabling auto-fill.
4. YouTube for Nonprofits
Video is an effective way to get supporters engaged. It helps you tell the story of your organization and the people affected by it.
YouTube offers a nonprofit program that provides several tools to help nonprofits increase their outreach and meet their goals. Their program allows nonprofits to add donation cards to their video and to link to their website’s landing page. They also offer production and editing services and technical support.
The World Food Program’s YouTube fundraiser resulted in feeding 500,000 children at schools in one day and the video had half a million views.
5. Live chat
Using live chat to communicate with website visitors is a great way to increase donations. Live chat is especially relevant when you consider the rise of online giving over more traditional forms of giving.
LiveChat, Inc. CEO Mariusz Cieply explains that “…live chat provides the ability to target potential donors who are browsing the website and to address them by name with tailored messages.”
In addition, “Providing the ability to start a chat with a real person validates the entire experience and improves the credibility of the organization.”
A professional live chat agent can answer donor questions and effectively guide them through the donation process.
6. Social media
Social media is an important tool for reaching donors and its use is growing. By 2018, 33 percent of the world’s population is expected to be social media users.
Many nonprofits and organizations are aware of its influence, which is why 95 percent have a Facebook page, 83 percent have a Twitter account and 40 percent use Instagram.
There are lots of ways to use social media:
• Social media is an ideal place to post photos and videos that reflect your organization’s work and inspire people to donate
• You can create fundraising events and post them on Facebook where they can be viewed and shared by followers.
• Add the Donate button to your organization’s Facebook page to make it easier for donors to give directly through social media.
• Create a unique hashtag for your fundraising program on Twitter so people can find links and references to it easily as well as spread the word to others.
Content plays an important part in getting buy-in for your nonprofit’s cause. Posts with compelling stories about how donor contributions have made an impact, featured stories of people served by the organization and informational articles that include facts about why your organization’s work is so important can all contribute to a reader’s desire to donate.
Having a blog can also improve your nonprofit’s ranking in a search engine, making it easier for people to find you. Blogs are highly shareable on social media and also provide a platform for people to comment and discuss, increasing the buzz about your work.
By knowing how to make the most of each of these channels, you can significantly increase you donor engagement and attract new donors. Did you have experience with any of the channels mentioned above? Did you manage to improve the success of your fundraising efforts? Share your comments!
Fundly is dedicated to providing you with the tools you need to raise money for whatever your cause may be.