Events continue to be a one of the most popular fundraising methods and they most likely will be for some time to come. Lets face it; it’s hard to beat the “good feeling” present in a philanthropic atmosphere–so many people are united through meaningful conversation, inspiring company, and great food. There may even be an auction for a grand prize that generates excitement. Both fundraisers and donors love events; it’s easier to facilitate donations when members are all in one place, and members enjoy the opportunity to dress up, socialize, and feel connected to a good cause.
From a nonprofit’s perspective, in person events represent a major source of revenue. According to @Pay’s fundraising statistics, 34.2% of nonprofits surveyed said that greater than 50% of their fundraising will be event-related. Clearly, there would not be such a heavy emphasis on events if they weren’t successful.
It makes sense though, doesn’t it? Events contain a high concentration of already motivated givers. Hearing a real life person present an argument with life-size visuals projecting in the background is even more compelling when an attendee already feels an incentive to give. Why else would a person choose to attend the event if she didn’t already feel drawn to a cause?
When individuals read an email and a direct mail pamphlet, giving to a charity is not necessarily at the forefront of their minds. However, when donors decide to attend a fundraising event, that’s the ONLY thing on their minds. Effectively appealing to donors is all about knowing their state of mind. For this reason, those who attend the event will find in person presentations very emotion provoking–they’re already at least halfway committed to giving, just based on the fact that they showed up to to the event.
Organizations (rightly) have concluded that this human interaction involved in events triggers the compassion in people’s hearts and has them reaching for their wallets to give. Plus, it’s much harder to say no in person than it is to click “delete” on an email. But even once you’ve compelled people to give at an event, there are still distractions or inconveniences that stand in their way. Don’t test their patience. Make sure it is as easy as possible for a member to give. How? Capture personal and credit card information BEFORE the event and use express payments to facilitate giving.
By requiring donors to register online ahead of time, you will improve the event experience for your donors AND your organization. Donors will spend less time giving, and organizations will bring in more money; both parties leave the event with smiles on their faces.
Prior to the event:
The day of the event:
After the event: