Spring fundraising season is upon us and the pressure is on for nonprofits to hit their goals at upcoming galas or events. Here is a quick checklist to make sure your nonprofit is ready:
Leading up to your gala or big fundraising event, give attendees a sense of the flow of the evening, including a call for donations. Emphasize that you hope to raise money on site and tell them about the impact that fundraising will have for your cause. Setting the proper expectations about a donation ask increases the likelihood of your attendees contributing.
PERFECT YOUR FUNDRAISING PAGE IN ADVANCE
Prep for your event by customizing a fundraising page unique to the event. For optimal results, add a catchy Text-to-Donate code that will get your supporters’ attention during the event. If you’re planning on printing programs, fliers, place settings, or any other paper collateral for the event, make sure that the text code and phone number are included. Be sure to print extras too as takeaways!
MOBILE MOBILE MOBILE!
Attendees are much more likely to donate on the spot if they can do so on their phones. Make sure your donation page is optimized for a seamless mobile experience. Test it out beforehand and see how your images show up on your smartphone.
STOP YOUR EVENT
This may sound counterintuitive, but bring your event to a screeching halt to promote Text-to-Donate. If there’s a microphone, grab it and tell your supporters, “Now is the time to show your support. Please everyone get your phones out and text our code to this number.” Emphasize your appeal by highlighting the direct impact of the donations made that night.
PROVIDE REAL-TIME UPDATES
Use a platform that tracks donations toward your fundraising goal in real time for your your event. Motivate donors to keep giving by introducing a little competition and excitement to the process. Watch live as your fundraising thermometer skyrockets towards your goal!
SEND THANK-YOUs & TAX RECEIPTs
Make sure to customize your thank-you messages for the event with specific takeaways from your event. You should thank donors who’ve contributed large amounts with a personalized handwritten note. You can never thank a donor enough.
ENCOURAGE PEER-TO-PEER FUNDRAISING
During or post-event, make sure to encourage your supporters to set up a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) fundraising page on behalf of your organization. P2P can help you re-engage supporters, reach new donors, and raise more money with less effort. If you plan on handing out gift bags or collateral at any point during the event, make sure to include information on how supporters can create their own fundraising pages for your cause.
Now get to it! This is your big opportunity to fundraise before summer. If you need any help, we’re more than happy to support you. Our free Smart Donations platform comes with all the features outlined above and a lot more. Good luck!
David DeParolesa is the Executive Director and Head of Product at Give Lively, a tech start-up that builds fundraising tech and gives it away to nonprofits for free. Much like a foundation, Give Lively was founded by philanthropists for the sole purpose of providing free resources to nonprofits. Prior to Give Lively, David founded Web Philosophic LLC, where he created a way to help bring attention to Democrats running for Congress in 2016 and a simple way to read popular news from trusted news sources.