Best Strategies to Increase Your Nonprofit’s Event Revenue

Looking to boost your event revenue?

A well-executed event can help your nonprofit build stronger donor relationships, grow brand visibility, and of course, increase donations.

Here are a few simple yet effective strategies you can implement to generate more event revenue while improving donor and staff experience. Let’s get started!

Drive Giving Momentum to See Event Revenue Soar

When your most loyal and generous supporters are in one room, they’re engaged in your mission and feel more connected to your cause than ever before.

Creating a sense of community motivates donors to give. Seeing other people giving a certain amount to your cause increases the likelihood that others will donate, too.

So how can you build and maintain that excitement to give to increase your event revenue? We have you covered!

Introduce An Open or Tiered Donation Appeal

Over the last decade, two types of donation appeals have evolved: open and tiered.

With open appeals, everyone is giving on their phone. Your organization sets up the software for guests, and as you move from tier to tier, people can only give at that level. The purpose is to get everyone to feel like they are fundraising together toward a collective goal.

A tiered appeal is commonly utilized with higher-dollar events, where guests want to be seen doing good in front of others. This could be that the audience is focused on a stage or captivated by a speaker at the front.

With a tiered appeal, you have two ways to collect donations:

  • Paddle Raise: People raise their paddles in front of the crowd to say they will donate at that level. This takes a bit more work and preparation, but it draws a lot of attention to those large donors and creates an engaging atmosphere.
  • Mobile: People give at certain levels as you move from one donation tier to another. It is less work than paddle raising, and it provides a different experience for your event.

Can’t decide which type of tiered appeal to implement? You can combine both!

If you believe a paddle raise is the right solution, then you can use that for the higher tier levels. Afterward, you can encourage people to give any amount they can on their phone. Again, you know your crowd best, so ask yourself what appeal is right for your donors!

Use Donation Commitments as a Match

It’s a common strategy to have donation commitments, or agreements made by donors to make a gift to your organization, in place before the event. But did you know you can use them to rally even more donations during the event?

If you have a $20,000 donation commitment, encourage your event attendees to help you reach your goal so you can double it with another $20K match. A good rule of thumb is to have 1 to 2 matches during an appeal because anything more can be confusing.

Additionally, not having people ready to jump in and give at each level can cause the appeal and energy to shutter. Use your existing donation commitments as a guide for what donation appeal amounts will create and maintain momentum.

Being equipped with the right event fundraising software allows you to enter commitments months ahead of time so that you’re ready to recognize those donors at the right moment.

Complement Community Giving with Competitive Giving

Everyone at your event is there to support your cause. Utilize that sense of community to implement a competitive appeal.

If you bring competition into your donation strategy, you really draw another sense of motivation to raise money.

Here are three ways you can achieve this:

  • Top Donors Slide: Enable your donation slide to show large donors on a separate list. This is an effortless way to add a competitive appeal that pushes people to want to join the big donor list.
  • Top Tables Slide: Use tables as teams. Using fundraising software, you can showcase how much each table is contributing to your total amount raised. Take this a step further by offering prizes, like a fancy dessert, to create fun in the room for an extended period – meaning more time to drive in more revenue.
  • Donate to Vote: Produce a question with a few options and let people vote for their favorite by donating. For instance, ‘What should be next year’s event theme?’ or ‘What should we name the new dog adoption center?’

Remember, your supporters are there to invest in your mission, but they also want to have a good time. By adding ways for your donors to engage with one another, you can grow your community and deepen existing relationships.

Offer Multiple Ways to Give

One of the best ways to drive more revenue is to provide donors with multiple ways to donate.

Here are a few tools from the OneCause Fundraising Platform that help drive donor generosity:

  • Targeted Achievements: Offer a way for donors to give smaller amounts and band together to raise money for a specific goal. Even small goals will help drive your mission forward on top of your big donation appeal.
  • Impact Levels: Outline the impact of certain donation amounts to motivate donors to give. For example: Every $50 donation helps feed a family of four for a month.
  • Cover Costs: Allow the option for donors to round up their payment by a certain percentage to help offset costs. This goes beyond credit card fees and is customizable for your organization’s needs.
  • Recurring Giving: Add an option for supporters to make their gift a recurring monthly donation. The initial gift is contributed to the specific event’s proceeds and the remaining recurring gifts are allocated and visible at an organizational level.

While a person may not have thousands of dollars to donate to the event, they can still make an impact if you provide them with various ways to contribute. By doing so, you are increasing the number of people working toward your larger cause.

Save time with Auction AI

Auctions continue to be one of the most successful fundraising tactics and remain popular with guests, yet they take a lot of preparation to run smoothly.

What if we can significantly reduce the prep work and increase the return seen from an auction?

This is where Auction AI comes into play.

AI in Fundraising

Auction AI™ capabilities within the OneCause Fundraising Platform elevate the event guest experience and dramatically reduce the amount of time, energy, and creativity needed to create an event site

Here are a couple of AI features you can take advantage of with the platform:

  • Recommended Items: Offers personalized auction item recommendations that your guests might be interested in based on their interests and bidding activity. It works by looking for similar items based on category, keywords, and descriptions.
  • Suggested Sort Order: Adjusts itself for each bidder so they see things that are most interesting to them at the top. This keeps them engaged and makes it easy for them to find things scattered throughout the auction at the top of their screen.
  • Generative AI: Creates wow-worthy descriptions for your auction, raffle, and fixed-price items. This feature will save you up to eight hours of planning time!

There is so much potential with Auction AI™, not only with increasing revenue but also saving time and cutting costs.

Stay organized with Item Procurement

Procuring the perfect range of silent auction items is the best way to ensure event success. Your items and packages are the main attraction (and revenue generator), after all!

What if you had a tool that made it easier for your organization to manage the item procurement process?

The OneCause Fundraising Platform makes item procurement a breeze with a mobile-friendly tool where all your volunteers fill in auction item information and upload photos while they’re on the go! You still get to review the Items before you make them live on your site.

A few capabilities of Item Procurement include:

  • Consignment tracking: You don’t need to work hard to find amazing items! Shop our consignment vendors to find risk-free auction items that are sure to drive bidding activity. You can secure them with just a couple of clicks.
  • Image uploader: Upload multiple photos to display auction items in eye-catching image galleries.
  • Last Chance: Sell more auction packages by quickly and easily creating “Buy Now” items from “Items with No Bids.” Promote your fire sale at reduced prices to maximize auction revenue.

The item procurement tool goes hand in hand with the online item donation form that you can send to donors. They can submit their item’s description and photos online, saving you and volunteers valuable time.

Keep in mind that the goal is to have well-curated and thought-out auction items. Items that are relevant to your donors’ interest are going to raise you more money and make the effort of planning an auction worthwhile.

Take Advantage of Online Campaigns to Drive More Event Revenue

You might be thinking online giving is unrelated to your event revenue. The truth is, the more you close the gap between event and online campaigns, the more revenue you will drive for your mission.

Here are a couple of ways online fundraising can be incorporated into your next event:

  • Text2Give: Allows your donors to make donations right from their smartphones, using their phones’ native texting application and web browser.
  • Online Giving Site: Offers configurable branding, matching gift functionality, and the ability to designate gifts to specific funds.
  • Personal Fundraising Pages: An opportunity for the online campaign to be adopted by ambassadors who wish to fundraise and promote your mission on your behalf.

With online campaigns, your donors will be able to make a one-time or recurring donation quickly and easily.

Make the most of your online campaigns by doing the following:

Set up Personal Fundraising Pages

Create an online giving site for your event to make it easy to talk about your goals, get people excited, and understand the data as it’s flowing in.

With Online Giving Sites you can raise money at your event that counts towards your larger goal like a Capital Campaign, Endowment Fund, or Scholarship Fund. What is cool about this is that you can set an event-specific goal that you can hit on the day of your event and celebrate it.

We recommend launching the site before your event so attendees can immediately share it with friends and start fundraising. Having information about your event on the giving site will get everybody excited and help them understand that their contribution is part of a larger, long-term effort.

Promote your giving site to accelerate your campaign at future events. You even have the option to email or text supporters to ask them to share your story and help your organization raise money beyond a specific event through your fundraising page.

Understand the Value of Digital Wallet

Donations can be a spur-of-the-moment decision. The easier it is for someone to donate, the more likely they will go through with their contribution.

Imagine if you had to fill out all your information and wait for your card to be accepted… all for it to fail and have you try again (with a line of donors behind you!) Sounds a bit inconvenient, right?

With our Digital Wallet options, it is easy for anyone to click a donation amount, choose their payment type, and click to confirm. How simple is that? Entering your information or pulling out your credit card isn’t necessary.

Providing an efficient experience increases the likelihood that the donor would not only give but give again in a recurring fashion.

Get Started with OneCause

Successful event fundraising requires powerful fundraising software! The OneCause Fundraising Platform provides an array of tools to help grow your fundraising. Explore this all-in-one fundraising software to implement for your next event!
All New OneCause Fundraising Platform


Wrapping Up!

Elevating your revenue is not limited to donations. It can include ways for your organization to better allocate its resources.

Planning an event can be demanding work, but by sustaining momentum and having the latest software, you can ensure a positive experience that will draw your donors to keep coming back.

Continue exploring ways to maximize your event efforts.

Ready to learn more about the OneCause Fundraising Platform? Take a OneCause Tour.