As technology plays an ever-increasing role in every aspect of our lives, new innovations have also begun to impact the nonprofit fundraising space. These changes have led some to question technology’s true place in fundraising and fundraising events.
While some may argue that different fundraising technologies can cause distractions for a fundraising campaign or special event, the truth is that when used effectively, technology can vastly improve both the experience of your fundraising event—and your bottom line!
In this post, we’ll show you exactly what we mean when we say technology will have a lasting and positive role in fundraising. But first, just what are these fundraising technologies?
For the most part, when we talk about fundraising technology, we are referring to mobile and online tools that help improve the fundraising process. Examples include:
- Online Fundraising Pages
- Mobile Silent Auctions
- Fund-a-Need Programs
- Text-to-Give Campaigns
These tools (and others) can greatly improve your fundraising campaign or event and can even help you raise a lot more money for your nonprofit. Below are our favorite improvements brought by fundraising technology. Today, we’ll be referring to the positive improvements that benefit your guests and donors, but we have also thrown in a special note for event hosts and how these tools can help you!
Ease of Use
Fundraising technology has undoubtedly made the donation process a lot easier for your supporters. Whether it’s a visually appealing and optimized donation page or a mobile silent auction using online or text message bidding, innovative fundraising tools have quickly replaced their physical counterparts. This means that your event guests and supporters will spend less time figuring out how to donate to your cause and more time enjoying your event or connecting with your cause. Rather than walking back and forth from their table to the silent auction section of your event, guests can continue their conversations or listen to your event speakers. With a simplified donation process, your supporters can spend their time connecting with your cause and having a much better experience. These improved experiences are crucial to developing prolonged relationships with your donors in order to more significantly support your cause.
Another major benefit offered by fundraising technology is the accessibility to your nonprofit that it creates. Because most new fundraising tools are in the mobile or online space, your potential donor base is no longer limited to your event’s attendance or your mailing list. Instead, anyone with internet access or a cell phone can become a close supporter of your cause. Better accessibility means increased convenience for your donors, who may not always be able to attend your fundraising event. With fundraising technology, your donors can access your cause from anywhere, reducing another barrier to donation and increasing your overall proceeds!
Along the same lines as accessibility, fundraising technology offers your donors much more flexibility in terms of how they support your nonprofit or cause. Instead of being restricted to a certain channel to donate or having to clear their calendars each year to attend a fundraising event, donors can support you from anywhere, at any time. This means that donors who may have moved across the country can still donate, even if they cannot attend your event. From a timing perspective, your supporters can also donate at any time, not only during the specific hours of your physical event.
As you may have guessed by now, all of these qualities of fundraising technology simplify the donation process, making donating easier, more interactive, and more memorable. This means your donors will return again and again to support your cause, enjoy your event, and build a lasting relationship with your nonprofit.
But while these benefits are amazing for your donors, there are also many benefits for fundraising campaign/event hosts!
A Special Note for the Hosts
Some of the improvements discussed above for your supporters also apply to fundraising campaign organizers and event hosts. Embracing fundraising technology makes the entire fundraising process easier for organizers and hosts, as donations are done online or through mobile channels. Say goodbye to paper bid sheets, donation forms, and all of the hassle and mess that goes along with maintaining them! Instead, look forward to having all of your donor and bidder information neatly organized online and available for analysis or download. On the same note, fundraising tools can save you a lot of time and stress by enhancing event registration and checkout.
Finally, fundraising tools will give you more flexibility as you plan, organize, and maintain your fundraising campaign or event. Rather than having to organize physical donation channels, you will have the ability to decide when, where, and whom you will ask to support your cause. In the same way that this improved experience will help your supporters focus on the matter at hand, so too will they help campaign organizers and event hosts focus on what they really want ... supporting their cause!
Zach Hagopian is the co-founder and COO of Accelevents, a mobile fundraising platform that enhances silent auctions and raffles through online and text-message bidding. An active member in the Boston fundraising scene, Zach focuses on improving traditional fundraising methods and increasing fundraiser proceeds.