Using all possible resources is a must if you want to earn more from your fundraiser. From planning to marketing and hosting the actual event, you and your team need to utilize everything at your disposal to ensure it goes smoothly and turns out to be a success.
One of the resources that you should utilize is technology. The Internet and different types of software and apps are handy tools that can make organizing a charity auction and other types of fundraising events easier. Leveraging these platforms can also help ensure that your fundraiser and everyone that participated will come out winners.
Incorporating Technology in Your Fundraisers
If you want to be sure you are using technology and maximizing its potentials in your fundraising events, follow these tips:
1. Use the right software
There are different software programs that can help you organize and host a fundraiser.
Event management software, for one, will ensure you never miss a detail when planning your fundraiser. These programs allow you to streamline the processes you have to handle when organizing and hosting the event.
The software’s features, which include automated marketing, registration and ticketing, payment processing, and survey collection, all make planning and hosting the event less stressful.
The right online donation software, on the other hand, will allow your team to collect donations from any Internet-enabled device. One example of this type of program is text-to-give.
With this particular software, your telecom provider gives your organization a dedicated phone number, which you have to distribute to your supporters. Your donors only need to text the number with the amount that they want to donate. They then have to confirm their donation by clicking a link.
This program is a handy tool that you can use during our charity auction or fundraising event. It gives the audience another option to donate to your cause or organization. It is something that they can easily do, too, since they only need to bring out their smartphones.
With the right software programs, you and your team will be more efficient in planning and hosting the event. You will have additional ways to raise more funds as well.
2. Use online and mobile bidding
If you are planning an auction as your main fundraising strategy, doing it online and through mobile will save you a lot of time, work, and money.
An online auction solution allows you to upload your auction items with pictures and set the minimum bids. With enough promotion, you will meet your target amount.
This type of charity auction is often more convenient for bidders. They simply have to use their phone, tablet, or computer to bid on the items they want wherever they are. They can be sitting at their dinner table and get a notification they are outbid and bid right there without missing dinner or part of the program.
Additionally, online and mobile auctions allow you to keep items longer and maximize their fundraising potentials. You can also start getting bids on the merchandise even before the event and after it for any remaining products. After the event, you can set up a flash sale for items that didn’t sell to raise more money and hopefully get rid of all your donations.
To get more bids and higher ones on your website and app, make sure the interface is easy and straightforward to use. The fewer steps bidders have to take to complete the bidding and payment process, the better.
Make sure you highlight your mission statement on your homepage and app as well. By doing so, anyone who visits or uses them will be reminded that the proceeds of their bids will go to a worthwhile cause.
Whether you only have an online auction or host one as a supplement to the main fundraiser, your organization can get more from the whole event when you use technology to start the bidding wars.
3. Sell tickets and merchandise online
Make the most from your website and app by allowing your supporters to purchase tickets and merchandise from these platforms.
Guests will find it more convenient to buy tickets for your fundraising event when they use your website or app. After all, they won’t need to drive or walk to your booth or office. And this will help boost sales significantly.
An app and website can also give you and interested parties more flexibility over ticketing. If you want to offer discounts for groups or companies, you can incorporate this easily on your platforms. Moreover, this ticket-selling technique will help make data collection more efficient and less time-consuming.
If your platform has online selling features or if you can have them installed, consider retailing some products as well. Merchandise fundraising is an excellent way to raise more money for your cause.
Customized merchandise, such as shirts, coffee mugs, water bottles, stationery, and other items that bear your logo, organization name or cause, and slogan not only help you raise more money, but they are also excellent marketing tools.
Whenever a person wears your shirt or uses your merchandise in public, they market your cause to everyone who sees them. And this will be an additional way you can advertise your cause or organization effortlessly and for free.
4. Put up donation kiosks around the venue
Another way to use technology to raise more funds during the actual fundraising event is to set up one or two onsite donation kiosks.
With a donation kiosk, people who want to contribute more to your cause can swipe their debit or credit card to choose an amount to donate. Other types also accept mobile payments and even cash.
Whether you are having a charity auction and gala, run, or walk, when you place the electronic donation kiosk at the right place, you will make it easier for the guests to contribute more. And this will help your team reach more than the target amount. Additionally, you can use guerilla marketing and have volunteers walk around the event space with a tablet and collect donations.
5. Use the Internet to get more people involved
Lastly, during the fundraising event, make the most of technology to encourage interested individuals and organizations to be part of this worthwhile cause even if they are not in the venue.
Use the Internet and social media to stream your live event. By doing so, you enable your supporters that can’t join you to still feel that they are part of the action.
If your software has an online donation tool that features a live fundraising thermometer, make sure you use this as well. This capability will give interested individuals an idea of how your fundraiser is going.
Finally, find out if you can accept live calls during the fundraiser. These short audio and video chats can contribute to the atmosphere of the event. Reading the text and online messages, tweets, and posts of your supporters will help enhance the mood as well.
When you have a virtual-friendly fundraising event, you ensure that all of your supporters can join and support your cause even if they are not physically present.
By using technology the right way and leveraging the appropriate tools, your fundraising event will get the success it deserves.
Darran Brown is the CEO and Founder of Go Charity. A graduate of UMASS Amherst, Darran has spent the last 20 years managing auctions across the United States. Having run some of the most successful live and silent auctions in the US, Darran has the insider know-how to every aspect of the industry. From memorabilia to trips and experience hospitality to fundraising 101, Darran is the leading expert on auction management and fundraising success.