4 Ways to Use Technology to Boost Your Fundraising Event

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Posted on December 14, 2018 by Harbor Compliance in Nonprofit Compliance.

Your next fundraising event is an opportunity to get to know your supporters and introduce them to all of the wonderful work your organization does. The fun activity that you share with your donors, whether it’s an evening dinner or a morning run, helps them create positive associations with your organization.

Curious about how you can manage your events more smoothly and even increase donations before, during, and after the  event? Online fundraising and the platforms that facilitate it can be lifesavers in these situations. In this post, we’re going to show you how to:

  1. Leverage online event registration pages.
  2. Enable supporters to launch peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns.
  3. Create customizable online fundraising forms.
  4. Offer text-to-give fundraising to donors.

Once you’re equipped with the right online fundraising platform for your organization, you’ll be ready to maximize the rewards of hosting an event from the registration phase through the follow-up donations you’ll receive!

Read on to learn how online fundraising technology is sure to give a boost to your next event, beginning with the first page your participants are likely to encounter.

1. Leverage online event registration pages.

You already know that hosting an event in your community builds stronger connections between your nonprofit and your donors. Engage current and potential contributors from the start with an event registration page that’s easy for participants to navigate and encourages follow-through on registration and giving. Ideally, you’re looking for a registration page that:

  • Looks like your nonprofit’s website. Your donors want to be certain that their information and registration fee are headed toward your organization, which they care about and trust. Make this clear with an event registration page that uses your organization’s unique branding and color scheme where possible.
  • Helps your organization keep track of registrants’ information. The information collected on your registration page can tell you more than just how many people intend to show up for your event. A portion of those registrants will become new or more involved donors after your event, so look for event fundraising software that integrates with your donor management system to keep their information on hand.  
  • Any registrant will find easy to use. Make sure that your participants follow through on registering for your event by making the process as smooth as possible for them. Your registration page should allow participants to sign up for your event quickly and without having to navigate to other pages.  
  • Offers your registrants all the information they need. When your participants register for your event, will they be receiving t-shirts or other merchandise as part of their registration fee? Will they need to choose from different packages or food options? Make sure that your supporters know about this or about anything they’re getting in addition to participation in the event itself.
  • Provides a receipt. Participants will want confirmation of their registration for your event and for donating the registration fee, but a receipt serves an additional purpose as the first place you can thank your participants for their support!

A user-friendly event registration page benefits both your supporters and your nonprofit, leading the way to high turnouts and increased donor involvement. Simplifying the registration process is only your first step, however. With the right fundraising software for your organization, your supporters will have plenty of ways to give before, during, and after the day of the event!

2. Enable supporters to launch peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns.

A lengthy roster of registered participants is a great indicator of a successful event to come, but did you know that your supporters can contribute even more to your organization by becoming volunteer fundraisers themselves?

In peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, your donors create personalized fundraising pages and ask for contributions from their families and friends. The setup is similar to that of a crowdfunding campaign, with the main difference being that all of the proceeds from a peer-to-peer campaign go back to your nonprofit instead of remaining with the individual fundraisers.

Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns are a fantastic way to promote greater involvement with your organization, especially among your organization’s key donors and volunteers. It’s easy to connect your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign with your event: make the event the end goal of the fundraising campaign and see how many donations your volunteer fundraisers can bring in before the big day!

Like event registration pages or online donation forms, each volunteer’s peer-to-peer fundraising page can be customized to reflect their personal involvement with your organization and appeal to their circle of family and friends. Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns are also well-suited to:

  • Encouraging a little friendly competition. Gamify your peer-to-peer campaign using the fun competitive elements included with several peer-to-peer fundraising platforms. Leaderboards and badges track achievements among your volunteer fundraisers and show who’s bringing in the most donations as your event approaches.
  • Sharing your cause across social media. Social media sharing is central to an effective peer-to-peer campaign, so look for a platform that integrates well with popular sites. Don’t limit yourself to one or two–encourage your volunteer fundraisers to share information on your campaign and event on all the social media platforms they use!
  • Helping donors give wherever they are. Peer-to-peer platforms that feature text giving allow donors to contribute at any time, from any location. You’ll want text giving to be an option for your supporters throughout the event process, from registration to completion.

Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns are exciting for your organization, your volunteer fundraisers, and new donors alike, especially as the push for final contributions coincides with the date of your event!

Remember that the arrival of your event is only the beginning for successful fundraising. You and your reenergized supporters can keep the momentum going with online fundraising forms and text-to-give services!

3. Create customizable online fundraising forms.

Like your event registration form, your online fundraising form should be engaging for donors to look at and simple for them to use. The difference? You can use online fundraising forms throughout your event and at any time of the year!

Whether you’re receiving donations from new supporters introduced to your organization at an event or from the volunteer fundraisers whose peer-to-peer campaign efforts were instrumental to the big day, online fundraising forms can make the process smooth for everyone involved.

As you’re selecting the right platform for your organization, check out Qgiv’s list of the top online donation tools for options and keep the following pointers in mind:

  • Use your organization’s branding, including color scheme and logos, throughout. Your donors share your organization’s mission and care deeply about your cause, so ensure that they know their money is going to support your nonprofit as soon as they encounter your donation form.
  • Include suggested donation amounts to make giving easy. New donors may be uncertain as to the right amount to give. Make it easy for them with donation buttons offering pre-set amounts that they can select from, but don’t forget an “other” button for donors who prefer to donate a different amount.
  • Keep everything on the same page. Did you know that donors are less likely to contribute if they have to be redirected to a new page to do so? For best results, keep everything the donor needs to complete their transaction, like information fields and donation buttons, in one easily accessible place.
  • Make your form mobile-responsive. More and more supporters are donating via smartphone, so ensure that your online form is easy to read and use whether it’s being accessed on a desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone.
  • Don’t forget the receipt! The receipt is your first opportunity to thank the donor for their contribution and acknowledge the significance of their support to your organization. Look for online donation platforms that allow you to personalize receipts so that individual donors can see just how important they are to your cause.

An optimized online donation form will make the donation process pleasant for both your supporters and your organization, whether you’re accepting contributions at your event or benefiting from all the new supporters who had a great time. To expand your supporters’ giving options even further, look for an online donation platform that offers text-to-give services.

4. Offer text-to-give fundraising to donors

Are your supporters inspired to donate at your event and don’t want to wait to get home to their computers? Help your donors contribute during their moments of enthusiasm with text giving. Highly accessible and easy to use, text giving can boost donations throughout your event and event planning processes.

Here’s how it works in three easy steps:

Step 1: A supporter texts your organization’s keyword, a unique word indicating the particular campaign they’re choosing to donate to, along with the amount they wish to donate, to the number provided by your text-to-give platform.

Step 2: In just a moment, they’ll receive a link at which they can complete their donation.

Step 3: Once they’ve confirmed their donation, they’ll get their receipt!

Qgiv’s guide to text giving walks you through the process and reveals how effective text giving can be. When you choose a fundraising software that offers it, you’re giving your supporters the opportunity to donate anytime, anywhere. They can even give at your event! Encourage text giving on the big day with strategies like:

  • Posting signs featuring your nonprofit’s text-to-give number and keyword. Signs will remind attendees to give and provide them with all the information they need to do so!
  • Making announcements directing attendees to text their donations. Cheerful announcements from your volunteers or emcees are another great reminder strategy you can incorporate at your event.
  • Thanking text-to-give donors. If they’re giving from their phones, they may be checking social media as well! Have your volunteers update your organization’s event page or social media profiles with thank-yous recognizing your text-to-give supporters by name.

While text giving is perfect for impromptu giving during your event, it’s also a great way for new and returning donors alike to maintain their support for your organization long after your fundraising event ends and you’re ready to start planning the next one!

Fundraising events are wonderful for attracting new donors and re-energizing current supporters, but managing them requires quite a bit of coordination! Make the process smooth and find new ways to fundraise by choosing the right online donation platform for your organization before your next event!

Abby Jarvis is a blogger, marketer, and communications coordinator for Qgiv, an online fundraising service provider. Qgiv offers industry-leading online giving and peer to peer fundraising tools for nonprofit, faith-based, and political organizations of all sizes. When she’s not working at Qgiv, Abby can usually be found writing for local magazines, catching up on her favorite blogs, or binge-watching sci-fi shows on Netflix.