How to Boost Member Attendance at Your Next Event: 5 Tips

Your fundraising events hold incredible potential for your nonprofit’s fundraising and outreach strategies.

As you can gather, any event is only as successful as its attendance rate, which means your nonprofit will want as many supporters and members to attend your event as possible.

Luckily for you, we’ve crafted 5 tips to help you encourage as many members as possible to attend your next event to make it a success:

  1. Provide an online event registration process.
  2. Optimize your ticketing process for mobile.
  3. Offer member-specific ticket packages.
  4. Market your event through your donors’ preferred methods of communication.
  5. Thank your members.

If you’re ready to learn how to implement the above tips for stellar fundraising event turnout, let’s dive in!

Boost event attendance with an online registration process.

1. Provide an online event registration process.

An online event registration solution is key to boosting member attendance at your event, for two main reasons.

First, the easier registration for your event is, the more of your members will show up. To make things simple for you and your members, go with an online event registration solution. No papers to lose or difficult handwriting to decipher, just one registration form that connects to your event management system.

Second, one of the most effective incentives you can offer your members is early or discounted registration for your event. Online registration can recognize a member’s status and grant them access without your team needing to override the system.

Be sure that your fundraising event software is capable of producing microsites. You’ll want a temporary, individual site to distinguish your current campaign and fundraising event from any other campaigns you are also running.

Your microsite should accurately portray your nonprofit’s passion for your cause or project through the following features:

  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Compelling copy
  • Event details
  • Registration options
  • Nonprofit information
  • Social sharing options

You can easily set up your event registration on your microsite so donors can read up on your upcoming event, be compelled to attend, and easily register all in one fluid motion.

Keep your registration forms simple, requiring only two fields of information: donors’ contact information and their payment information.

You can include other fields of information, but your members’ contact and payment data should be the only information required to submit the form. This way, your members can benefit from an intuitive and speedy registration process.

Be sure to include social sharing buttons on your microsite so your loyal members can share your fundraising event with their friends, family, and peers and increase event turnout.

Bonus! Check out DonorSearch’s Top 11 Fundraising Event Software to find the perfect provider for your organization.

The bottom line: Offering an online event registration process will allow your members and other donors to register for your event at any time and from anywhere! They won’t have to come knocking on your office door and can instead do everything from the comfort of their couches.

Register more attendees with mobile ticketing!

2. Optimize your ticketing process for mobile.

Most of your members and overall donor base consume the majority of online content on their mobile devices, so you’ll need to make sure your event registration form and process are optimized for mobile.

Whether members are on their phones, tablets, or laptops, they should have a cohesive and easy registration process, so be sure to work with a fundraising event software provider that makes all of your forms and sites mobile optimized.

Ditch the pinching and zooming and let your supporters read forms legibly on any sized screen with a vendor that automatically adjusts your formatting for every sized device.

The bottom line: Optimizing your ticketing process for mobile encourages even more donors to instantly purchase tickets the moment they feel compelled to attend and it eliminates the possibility of forgetting.

Encourage your members to attend with special packages just for them.

3. Offer member-specific ticket packages.

For further incentive, offer member-specific ticket packages to encourage members to attend your upcoming fundraising event. Your organizations can include exclusive ticket packages, including incentives like branded merchandise, VIP seating, and other benefits. 

Alternatively, you can offer members discounted ticket packages. For example, if your standard ticket is $25, your members might be able to purchase their standard tickets at just $20 or $15, offering a significant discount and extra incentive for attendance at your next fundraising event.

Your members are likely contributing monthly or annualy, and their contributions seriously impact your organization. By offering discounted ticket packages, you can show your appreciation while also encouraging them to attend your event.

Of course, if your organization offers discounted packages to members, you’ll need to have a great record of donors that have joined your membership program. That way, when they check out, the proper discounts are accounted for. If your organization doesn’t already have membership software, then you might want to consider purchasing a tool.

Luckily, Double the Donation has a list of top recommended membership management tools you can check out.

A member-exclusive option will give members more incentive to purchase tickets for your upcoming event because this package will be catered to fit them!

Plus, these donors will love to receive the extra bonus as part of their membership.

The bottom line: Offering member-specific ticket packages allows for your members to feel like an exclusive and valued group, which will encourage ticket sales.

Increase event attendance with smart marketing techniques.

4. Market your event through your donors’ preferred methods of communication.

Use your CRM to take a look at your supporters’ preferred methods of communication. Using your donors’ favorite channels gives your team the best chance to reach them!

Your nonprofit can split your marketing approaches among the following platforms:

  • Direct mail
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Event website
  • Social media

You’ll want to capitalize on as many platforms as you possibly can, but that doesn’t mean you need to be promoting your event on every channel.

For example, if none of your donors prefer phone calls, then there’s no use in calling anyone. In fact, you might end up irritating your donors who don’t appreciate phone calls and lower your chances of their attendance. Pay close attention to the methods of communication your supporters like!

Remember to direct your members to your fundraising event page, where they can learn more about your event, purchase tickets, and make additional donations.

You’ll also want to think about the best times to connect with your donors on different platforms.

For example, most individuals check social media on their lunch breaks, around 12pm, and after work, around 7pm, on work days so that’s the best timeframe for your nonprofit to reach out via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or other social media sites.

Keep in mind that using your members’ favorite communication channels will prove how well your organization really knows and values your members. A message through their favorite platform will earn your nonprofit brownie points and can encourage a member to attend your event!

The bottom line: Marketing your fundraising event through your members’ favorite communication channels allows you to reach your supporters when and where they’d like to be contacted, proving you know and value their preferences. This will invoke a positive mindset about your nonprofit which will encourage supporters to register for your event.

Ensure high attendance at future events by graciously following up.

5. Thank your members.

Donor stewardship is an important part of every strategy your nonprofit pursues. Whether for event attendance or online donations, your expression of gratitude can encourage your members to interact with your nonprofit even more.

Think about it: if your members continually have pleasant engagements with your nonprofit, nothing is holding them back from interacting with your organization in the future.

One easy way to ensure your supporters feel appreciated? Prominently thank them in your nonprofit’s annual report! Including a section to thank your major donors, volunteers, members, and supporters of all types for their contributions goes a long way to cultivate deeper relationships.

Provide some concrete metrics to show your members, donors, and volunteers the real impact of their support.

Take the time to visibly value their support—moral and financial—and express your gratitude for it through every avenue you have.

The bottom line: Manners never go out of style. Thank your members for their support of your nonprofit to encourage a positive impression of your nonprofit.

Now that you have our top 5 tips for boosting member attendance at your next fundraising event, there’s nothing standing in your way! Host your most successful event yet by implementing the above tips into your event’s marketing and outreach strategies!

If you’re interested in learning more about fundraising for your nonprofit, check out the following additional resources: