Fundraisers across nonprofit and community benefit sectors are always looking for ways to increase efficiency and gain more time to cultivate the all-important donor relationships. New fundraising technology is proving to be a powerful way to optimize, simplify and streamline fundraising tasks to raise more money and waste less time.
Take advantage of innovations in the fundraising technology space in your next fundraising campaign. Consider implementing online registration and ticketing, as well as mobile bidding into your events-based fundraising tactics.
Event Fundraisers with Online Registration
We’ll start with online registration and ticketing first because, typically, you will need to plan a bit further ahead for this part of your fundraiser given the role that attendance estimates play in event planning. Shockingly, many fundraisers and nonprofits rely on manual or paper ticket sales, forcing them to resort to shuffling tickets just before your fundraising event. This also typically results in added graphic design and printing costs that can easily be eliminated by transitioning to online registration.
Online registration and ticketing platforms allow you to quickly and easily create a custom event page online, describing your fundraiser and what it is supporting. More importantly, your online ticketing page makes ticket purchase extremely convenient for your busy parents. Rather than having to seek out tickets, they can simply navigate to your online registration and ticketing page in order to purchase their tickets. Saving time for your parents means they’re more likely to continue donating throughout your event!
Another huge benefit of online registration and ticketing is that you will collect your guests’ information prior to your event. There are two major advantages here:
First, you’ll be able to offer pre-registration for additional fundraising opportunities at the event. In the next section, we will talk about the benefits of mobile fundraising. In case you do plan on having continued fundraising at your event (donations, silent auctions, raffles, etc.), having your guests pre-register online during ticket purchase will make the process very easy for your guests.
You can reduce lines and wait times and increase engagement and personalization through a single platform, meaning the information will be integrated and will only need to be entered once. This development means a seamless ticket purchase and donation process for your guests, and it means higher proceeds for you!
Second, you’ll acquire easily accessible donor data. A more obvious benefit of online registration during ticket purchase is the value of the data that you will have collected from your guests. Not only will you have their contact information, but most platforms will also allow you to collect custom data that you may find valuable. This data can include:
- Number of children
- And more!
Having rich data on your attendees will allow you to build an effective communication plan after your event, lasting throughout the year. These power demographic metrics are coveted pieces of information that let you target your audiences more efficiently. With this info in hand, you can use email and social updates to thank your donors, update them on new developments with the school, and develop a stronger relationship with your donors so that they keep coming back each year.
Raise More Money with Mobile Fundraising
Just as online ticketing and registration will help you raise more money leading up to your event, mobile fundraising will help you raise more during your event!
Many seasoned nonprofit event planners know the downfalls of traditional silent auctions and raffles all too well. These disadvantages include paper bid sheets and raffle tickets, little interaction, and long checkout lines. People also are unable to explore the rest of the event experience and engage with more important cause-related elements of your fundraiser.
With mobile fundraising, you can bypass all of these, and provide your audience with a more accessible, easy-to-use, and engaging way to donate! Mobile fundraising options include:
- Mobile silent auctions
- Mobile raffles
- Fund-a-need campaigns
- Donation pages and text-to-give campaigns
When used effectively, these can add major gains to your yearly proceeds. Some of the major advantages of mobile bidding include:
Accessibility – Because mobile bidding is online, anyone can participate anytime, including those unable to attend your event. Those who support your cause, but may be limited by time, other commitments, or geography can still bid on your silent auction items, buy raffle tickets, or donate to your cause! Additionally, this participation can happen anytime, not only during the hours of your event. With mobile fundraising, you can begin accepting bids and donations prior to your event. This means people can start participating while they are purchasing their tickets online, which allows you to create event-related buzz over a longer period of time.
Engagement – Mobile fundraising is also more engaging and fun. Rather than guests having to write down their bids or keep track of paper raffle tickets, they can simply bid online or via text message, and will receive instant notifications if they’ve been outbid or have won an item. This means your guests do not need to walk back and forth to your item table and can enjoy your actual event. People will love being informed in real time, and this will also result in higher participation and proceeds for your school.
Ease – Finally, mobile fundraising is simply easier. Your volunteers can work with a fully integrated, centralized system that tracks and keeps information in real time. Volunteer managers and donor records teams alike will appreciate this efficient and accurate system.
For event checkout, your guests will instantly be notified when they have won, and can make payment directly from their mobile devices. This easy-payment process means event checkout will be much quicker and easier for your staff – those of you who have managed the checkout table at an event will really appreciate this! It’s a win for donors and fundraisers that enhances the simplicity of the donor experience.
Clay Boggess has been designing fundraising programs for schools and various nonprofit organizations throughout the US since 1999. He works with administrators, teachers, as well as outside support entities such as PTA’s and PTO’s. Clay is a Senior Consultant at Big Fundraising Ideas.