Nonprofit events, retreats and major projects are an important part of donor stewardship and acquisition strategies. Depending on the types of events your organization pulls together, you may find yourself in need of a participation waiver.
Participation waivers for various activities may initially feel like a hindrance. It takes hard work to make sure your waiver is phrased correctly and accomplishes what you need it to.
As a necessity to the event, your nonprofit can reap the advantages of waivers.
This mindset will help you take the hindrances of your nonprofit’s strategy and instead, view them as opportunities to learn about your donors, to create a more successful event, and to build strong relationships. The best way to turn your waiver into a positive force for your nonprofit event? Host it online.
Digital waivers provide various benefits for nonprofit organizations, including:
- Digital waivers help nonprofits get ahead of the game.
- Simple customization of waiver questions.
- Flagging key concerns easily.
- Saving your nonprofit’s precious time.
- Quickly updating data about each of your event participants.
Whether your nonprofit is preparing for an annual retreat, a 5K race or a golf tournament, a well-planned waiver will help your nonprofit see more benefits and begin to value the waiver for what it is: a valuable resource.
Ready to learn more? Let’s get started.
1. Get Ahead of the Game
Planning an event isn’t an easy feat. You need to set up all of the registration details, plan out the activities, market the opportunity and so much more. The more aspects of the event planning process that you streamline, the more organized your event coordinators will feel.
Online tools are designed specifically to help your nonprofit streamline various activities. For instance, you can pre-set social media posts to go live in the days leading up to the event. Or, you may offer a self-serve online registration process so that supporters can easily sign themselves up for the event.
One of the best ways to get ahead of the game is to set up an early self-service online waiver so that supporters can complete the waiver as they register for the event, creating a more seamless process.
Early sign-ups and waiver signatures provide information that will make it easy for your event organizer to best plan the event. For instance, you can learn information such as:
- Better estimates of total attendance figures. This gives more insight to the amount of food required for the event or other supply numbers to accommodate everyone.
- Any relevant attendee disabilities that your organization should take into consideration when planning the event.
- How many children versus adults will be attending the event. This allows the organizer to better understand how many supervisors should be working the event to keep an eye on the kids.
Digital waiver technology can be used in conjunction with your marketing strategy. If someone hasn’t signed the required online documents for the event, you can reach out to them reminding them to do so.
This not only encourages supporters to take the appropriate action, but it also acts as a reminder about the event itself. When someone signs a waiver early, they’re much more likely to show up to the event.
As you can see, streamlining activities allows your event organizer to better plan the event. Plus, it allows for each strategy (such as the waiver and marketing strategies) to support one another.
2. Customize Questions
Custom questions are key for creating an effective waiver. However, when an attendee sees a paper waiver asking specific questions about their personal information and pending participation in the anticipated activity, they’re much more likely to view the waiver as tedious paperwork.
In contrast, when a supporter encounters an online waiver, they’re much more likely to view the required questions as simply a part of the registration process. This creates a positive early impression for your attendees.
Plus, with online waiver software, you can customize the answer choices provided to those registering for your event. For example, you can set up the waiver so that those registering answer via:
These answer choices make it easier for your supporters to provide responses quickly and easily. Plus with various options for question formats and answer choices, your nonprofit can better capture your reader’s attention. For this reason, make sure to use language that will best engage your supporters and make them feel welcome.
It’s all about creating a better experience for your supporters who want to attend your nonprofit’s event. When you have the power to customize your form and create an engaging and positive experience, you can better foster your relationship with those supporters.
3. Flag Key Concerns
Let’s walk through an example. Imagine you’ve been working hard to plan your event, let’s say it’s a walk-a-thon fundraiser. There’s a physical aspect to it, so you make sure to include a field on your waiver for those who might have a disability to alert the organization if they choose to. But when it comes to the day of the event, you find yourself frantically sorting through paper forms to find all those that responded to this question.
Organization in this respect is much easier with a digital waiver solution.
The best online waiver software solutions offer the option to flag questions when certain answers are selected. This enables the organization to quickly find those supporters who have chosen a specific answer to a custom question.
In addition to flagging questions automatically, your organization might want to:
- Quickly search for individual supporters. This is much easier to do using the search feature in a secure online database rather than shuffling through files and papers.
- Add notes to specific waivers. This is also easier to do online. Those sticky notes or stapled notebook pages can get lost and messy in a paper filing system.
- Collect contact information for future activities. Rather than manually enter each and every email with a paper waiver to your CRM, export a file and upload it in minutes.
Flagging key concerns is the first step to keeping participants safe. However, the second important aspect is ensuring those concerns are organized in such a way that you (or other staff members) can access them without difficulty.
4. Save Precious Time
As a nonprofit event organizer, you know how precious time is for event planning, nonprofit strategy and for your supporters. If anything, your nonprofit tech stack should be designed to help save this time rather than confuse your staff and waste any of it.
There are several ways a digital waiver helps organizations save time during events and their planning processes. As we discussed in the last section, it saves your organization time by keeping important information well-organized and easy to sift through.
However, digital waivers also help save everyone’s time during the check-in process. When supporters arrive at your event, the last thing you want is for them to get held up at the door. This creates a negative experience right off the bat for attendees.
Digital waivers have the ability to be signed ahead of time by your event attendees. On your website, social media platforms or from your email, they can find, fill out and submit their waiver for your event. Meaning, all you need to do the day of the event is check supporters in.
This process saves time because:
- Supporters don’t need to queue up to sign waivers upon arrival.
- Your organization has a way of checking in supporters right in front of them without running through lists. Just search for a name and mark them as they arrive.
- The registration process can be streamlined for attendees.
People frequently consider how they can save their own time when it comes to planning events, however, it’s also important to be considerate of your supporters’ time.
Consider Donately’s guide for donation page best practices. It explains the importance of saving your supporters’ time when it comes to giving. The same concept applies to event registration forms.
By streamlining and simplifying the waiver signing process, you create a more successful event on all fronts as fewer supporters are abandoning the registration process due to lacking usability. Considering your supporters’ time is just as important as considering your own.
5. Quickly Update Data
Waivers can provide valuable insights to your organization about your supporters. These insights can lead to stronger better relationships with donors and even greater donor retention if you put the data to good use. However, who wants to go sifting through all that paperwork to manually input that data into your nonprofit’s CRM?
The answer? No one. After your event, you have enough to do. You need to:
- Thank your attendees for coming
- Collect any fundraising pledges
- Compare your allocated budget with spending
- Take inventory of fundraising revenue
Therefore, any additional administrative activities can use a lot of the valuable time that your organization needs during a very vital step of the event planning process.
Digital waivers help take the pressure off because you can easily download the desired information and quickly upload it to your CRM.
What’s even better? Check on your digital waiver’s website to see if they integrate with your communication platforms. Integrations make it even easier to transfer this information and can make it easier to thank your attendees for coming.
Digital waivers are often overlooked as an integral part of nonprofit tech stacks. However, they’re incredibly useful and help nonprofits keep everyone safe, save time and create a better experience from when you start planning the event to its conclusion.