Convio and Event 360 Reveal Five Success Strategies for Event Fundraising
Austin, Texas, March 5, 2009 — As nonprofit organizations continue to face increased competition and economic stress, leveraging technology and special event strategies for fundraising and awareness can prove valuable in helping organizations successfully achieve their goals and more effectively move people to support their mission. Convio and Event 360, Inc., with support from the Run Walk Ride Council, compiled five best practices that nonprofits can implement to increase fundraising growth and event participation based on joint research into some of the nation’s most successful charity fundraising events.
“Special events have proven an effective way for nonprofit organizations of all sizes to achieve their goals of engaging the community, raising awareness for their cause and raising funds to drive programs,” said Sara Spivey, chief marketing officer at Convio. “With the economic situation, charities are looking for the most efficient and effective methods to channel resources to support their mission. Software such as Convio TeamRaiser™ gives nonprofit organizations the ability to use the social networks of supporters, volunteers and other participants to expand their reach and move people to support their cause.”
Convio and Event 360 offer the following recommendations to nonprofits wanting to increase fundraising growth for special events:
1. Recruit participants effectively – Better fundraising performance is highly correlated to growth in participants. Know why your constituents want to participate in your events and target participants who are naturally driven to take fundraising action and connect donors to the event.
2. Charge a registration fee or require a minimum fundraising fee – Set a strong fundraising culture by requiring fees upfront. This will raise the awareness and mindset that the cause is important, money is needed to take action to help the cause and there is value to being part of the event. Be sure to set the fee at an appropriate level that incents fundraising but does not discourage participation.
3. Create several points of entry – Use technology to create more than one way to promote your event and reach potential participants. Expand efforts to use a mix of outbound email, website content, social networking tools, pre-scripted “Tell-A-Friend” functions and advertisements on partner or industry websites all including links to the event information, registration and donation options. Using a mix of channels to recruit participants has been shown to drive overall fundraising performance.
4. Encourage team participation and love your team captains – Being part of a team makes participants feel more accountable for their individual fundraising, which leads to a positive effect on overall fundraising performance. Organizations that encourage team participation attribute the uplift in fundraising success to the healthy competition and motivation that a team setting fosters.
5. Craft your participant centered emails carefully and encourage participants to send them – Good CRM technology typically provides a participant center with a participant profile and email tools. These tools are the primary way most participants solicit friends and neighbors online for support. Encourage participants to use the emails tools and make it easy to do so with activities such as training or suggested message templates.