5 Tech Ideas to Make Your Next Fundraising Event Go Smoothly

This guest post was contributed by Pathable.

The events industry is changing, with the emergence of tech solutions changing event management for the better. At the same time, technology has infiltrated many aspects of nonprofit management, from donation collection to donor management and everything in between.

It follows, then, that it’s time the nonprofit sector benefits from event tech as well! We’ve gathered 5 ways your nonprofit can use technology to make your next fundraising event go to plan— or better! Check it out:

  1. Consider using a mobile event app.
  2. Host a dedicated event microsite.
  3. Employ a multi-channel marketing strategy.
  4. Capitalize on social fundraising methods.
  5. Collect digital donations on-site.

From convenient ticketing options to ways to supercharge your event’s fundraising potential, event tech has a solution to improve it all. Let’s dive in!

Consider using event technology to make your next fundraising event go smoothly.

1. Consider using a mobile event app.

Mobile event apps are revolutionizing the world of live events, from conferences to trade shows. It’s time to capitalize on this technology in fundraising events!

These apps take all event-related information and place it in supporters’ pockets, right within their smartphone or tablet. This includes:

  • An event agenda, outlining the day’s activities
  • Links to donation forms for easy access
  • Live polls and gamification elements to engage donors
  • Easily displayed sponsorship information, bringing in another revenue source for your event

If you choose to use digital ticketing processes, you may be able to house that within your event app. Then, instead of toting around paper tickets, attendees can simply show the ticket housed within their app.

If you’re in the market for a mobile event app for your next event, check out Pathable’s guide to the top event app providers to explore your options.

Use an event microsite to make your next fundraising event go smoothly.
2. Host a dedicated event microsite.

Your website is often the first place supporters look when it comes to getting involved with your cause. However, you don’t want to overload them with all of the information contained on your entire website! That’s where an event microsite and its targeted tools come in handy.

You may be wondering— what is an event microsite? Why should you be using one?

An event microsite is a dedicated mini-website, branded to your event and existing outside of your main webpage. It’s a place to host all of the pertinent information about your upcoming event. This prevents the information from getting lost in your main website, which covers a wider range of information and exists for an indefinite period of time.

Here are a few tips for making the most of your event microsite:

  • Target your messaging. Ensure your microsite’s messaging targets your event only, not your organization overall.
  • Include all pertinent event information. This includes ticketing information, the event’s timeline/agenda, and even specific details regarding the goals of your fundraiser.
  • Follow web design best practices. Don’t neglect basic design tenets, such as high-quality visuals and clear navigation, just because it’s a shorter-term site.
  • Engage donors with a call-to-action. Prominently display a donation ask and link to your organization’s digital giving solution for supporters to give before the event.
  • Share it far and wide. Share your microsite as the foremost resource for information regarding your event. Link to it from your main website as well as your social media channels.

Further, if your event is recurring, keeping your microsite year-round can bring value to your attendees long after they’ve gone home. Simply refresh it for each year and donors can continue donating to your organization through it well after the yearly event takes place.

Use a multi-channel marketing strategy to make your next fundraising event go smoothly.

3. Employ a multi-channel marketing strategy.

As technology evolves, the ways in which we connect do as well. Because of this, you’ll be best served by using a multi-channel marketing strategy.

Multi-channel marketing refers to using a variety of mediums to spread the word about your event in advance. Many event planners know that reaching a wide audience, from Baby Boomers to Gen Z, can be a difficult task. The best way to do so is to diversify your communications.

Use methods such as email newsletters, social media networks, and even physical methods such as direct mail, handouts, and bulletin boards. However, when using multiple channels, you need to do so tactfully and strategically.

Begin marketing your event well in advance so supporters have time to plan. Regarding methods such as newsletters and direct mail, make sure you’re using copy that’s comprehensive and concise.

Concerning social networks, narrow your focus to the platforms that will best serve your organization’s supporters. If your organization’s donors are largely on Facebook but hardly on Twitter, adjust your strategy accordingly.

Further, ensure all communications you make across social networks are engaging and easily shareable. Make sure your share settings are set accordingly and you’re creating digital content that’s interesting and informational.

A tactful multi-channel strategy is key to attaining maximum engagement with your event.

Use social fundraising methods to make the most of your next fundraising event.
4. Capitalize on social fundraising methods.

Social fundraising methods are all the rage in today’s nonprofit landscape, and with good reason. They allow organizations to solicit gifts from supporters near and far, as well as get in front of potential supporters that they may not have otherwise. Now, nonprofits are integrating them with live events to extend these benefits further.

This is because, generally, people that are interested in participating in social fundraisers are also drawn to live fundraising events simply for the interconnectivity of it all. There are a few popular social fundraising methods that pair well with live events:

  • Peer-to-peer fundraising. Create an overall peer-to-peer fundraising page for your organization and empower supporters to create their own pages in conjunction with it. Supporters share their personal fundraising pages with their greater networks, who give in support of their loved one. Then, these donations route back to your organization’s main fundraiser.

 

  • Pledge fundraising. Organize a pledge fundraising event, such as a walk-a-thon, and empower donors to create pledge pages in conjunction with it. Participants then solicit pledged donations, or donations promised for a later date, corresponding to their participation in the event. For example, a pledged gift of “X dollars for X laps walked” at the event.

 

  • Crowdfunding. Set up a crowdfunding page for your organization and share it with your supporters. Supporters then give to your page and share it with their greater communities, who also donate to your cause. Learn more about crowdfunding through this guide.

 

  • Challenge fundraisers. These are those social media-driven fundraisers, (such as the ALS “Ice Bucket” Challenge) in which participants complete the challenge, post it to social networks, and challenge a few of their connections to do the same. After completing the challenge, participants donate to the organization hosting the fundraiser.

Each of these fundraising methods pairs with live events differently.

For example, peer-to-peer and pledge methods would come into play prior to an event, with participants gathering donations corresponding to their participation in the live event. However, crowdfunding and challenge fundraisers are both useful during an event (such as a live crowdfunding challenge) or after an event, with the event kicking off the effort.

Consider using social methods to extend the fundraising ability of your event beyond those physically attending the event.

Collect digital donations on-site to make your next fundraising event go smoothly.
5. Collect digital donations on-site.

While cash and check donations are still a popular form of giving, if those are the only donations you’re prepared to accept at your fundraising event, you’re going to miss out!

Think of how frequently you’re caught without cash on hand, choosing instead to make credit/debit card payments for whichever transaction you’re completing. Operate with a mindset that many would-be donors at your next event are experiencing the same.

There are a few ways to accommodate digital donations at your event. First and foremost, optimize your online donation form so contributors can give via their own smartphone at any point during the event. Include this link in all of your marketing communications and consider using a mass text messaging service to send it to donors at the start of the event.

Beyond that, consider providing physical donation tools. This includes point-of-sale devices created with nonprofits in mind and dedicated tablets with your online donation form already pulled up. Place these devices around the event for card donors to access whenever they’re moved to give.

Check out Double the Donation’s guide to the top online donation tools to find the best solution for your next event.

The broader events industry has seen demonstrable success due to innovations in event technology. It’s time the nonprofit sector, which relies on tech solutions for many other processes, follows suit.

Consider implementing any of the above tech solutions in your next fundraising event. Ensure the event goes according to plan and maybe even reaches success greater than you hoped.


About the Author: Maggie Greene, Marketing Manager, Pathable, Inc.       

Maggie Greene is the marketing manager at Pathable.

Equal parts voracious reader and passionate writer, Maggie is an expert in communication principles and practices that help drive positive impact for business. As Marketing Manager for Pathable, Inc., she’s customer-obsessed, results-oriented, and dedicated to celebrating the value of highly customizable event app and web solutions for event planners across industries around the globe.

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