publication date: Dec 11, 2012
author/source: Jamy Squillace
If you want to raise nine times more online
than you are now, then event fundraising might be just what you are looking
for. At Sage, we evaluated our online fundraising customers and saw that they
were raising, on average, about 890% more from their online events than their
main donation page.
is event fundraising?
Event fundraising is the planning,
managing, and execution of an event designed to raise money for a nonprofit
organization. The best-known events are runs, walks and rides. But don't feel
limited to those; you can plan events such as galas, luncheons, trivia nights,
golf tournaments and comedy nights.
In addition to raising more money for your
organization, fundraising events can build deeper relationships with existing
donors and help you reach new donors or target a new demographic. Nonprofit
organizations that create multiple avenues for connecting and communicating
with individuals are more likely to have success raising funds to support their
work. People are different and respond to different kinds of appeals, so having
a variety of options encourages more people to support your cause.
Sponsorships and donations can also help
increase the success of your event. Many people are willing to spend more for
an item or an experience when a portion of that cost will go to a charity,
rather than donating those funds directly. So, consider including a raffle or
auction as part of your next event. A well planned event can bring in more
funds and extend your reach to new donors.
Taking your event online is critical to
maximizing the funds you raise. Why? Because that's where your supporters are.
There are now 300 million smartphone users in the world and they keep their
mobile device within arm's reach 24 hours a day. Online participants also tend
to raise more money than offline supporters, and online fundraising makes it
easy for supporters to reach out to their networks and bring new donors to your
With the right online fundraising tools,
you can maximize your event ROI and minimize your staff time. You can quickly
launch an event and open up your registration process from your website,
sponsor websites, Facebook pages and via smart phones. Think about the time
saved when you no longer have to manually key in participant registrations or
process offline payments.
you need to know to run an effective event
When you take a look at all the event
planning resources on the web, the most important tip you'll see over and over
is "plan." An event doesn't just come together overnight. Depending on the size
and complexity of the event, your timeline may be two months to ten months or
more. Invest time in the planning stage to save time later and execute your
Your plan is the road map for reaching your
goals, implementing strategies, meeting timelines and executing successfully.
You can begin your planning efforts by selecting your event type and date,
reviewing your previous events and setting goals to improve upon past results.
steps for taking your next event online
After the planning stage, the hard work of
implementation begins. Get all the
pieces in place to make your event run as smoothly as possible. Build a
microsite or devote a section on your website to the event. Create an online
registration process, develop your fundraising system for donations; and select
and confirm vendors and sponsors.
Selecting the proper tools is essential to
running a smooth online campaign. Assuming you already have a website, you'll
also need an email marketing tool so you can get the word out to your email
list. You'll need an online fundraising tool to create customized event
registration and ticket sales, integrate
fundraising into the registration process, provide progress meters to track
real-time success, and enable peer-to-peer fundraising.
Conducting an event can be time-consuming,
but it can also be rewarding in terms of additional money and awareness for
your organization. It is also a chance to have fun and meet supporters
face-to-face. Good luck!
Squillace is a senior
product manager at Sage Nonprofit
Solutions, a division of Sage North America. She is responsible for Sage
Fundraising 50, Sage Fundraising Online, Sage Nonprofit Online and Sage
e-Marketing. Jamy has 16 years of experience in product planning and
management. Her goal is to create and evolve fundraising solutions that fulfill
customer desires and exceed expectations.
can find her blogging at SageWords.net or on Twitter @jrsquillace.