Underwriters vs. Matching Gifts

May 23rd, 2017

handshakeDo you host a banquet, gala, or dinner annually to raise funds for your organization? If you use AttendEasy, the answer to that question is most probably, of course! These events exist to not only raise funds for your organization but to reach new ministry partners as well.

A common approach among many organizations is to seek underwriters and/or sponsors for the event. This makes sense as it takes the burden off your shoulders as you plan. You then know that all funds raised that evening go straight to the cause and not the event. We’re writing today to bring you a different perspective on this common practice…

Have you ever heard of a matching gift given to an organization? Maybe yours has even gotten one. You know, where you have a sum of money provided by partners and they will “match” any donation from others up to a certain amount? We hear it during radiothons a lot: “We have a partner willing to match any donation of $300 or more made within the next 30 minutes.”

Matching gifts can be incredibly useful at your event. Not only that, but statistics show that they actually increase the money raised that night significantly.

Your ministry partners want to make a difference with their giving.

Let’s try this on for size: When I (as a dinner guest) hear you tell me that the event has been underwritten and completely paid for, the financial need is no longer relevant. My perception has changed to indicate that your organization does not need my money–or at least as much–since you just told me that you have very wealthy partners able to pay for this multi-thousand dollar event. So while I am so happy that an organization I support has the money it needs to continue the cause, my $50 monthly commitment now seems negligible or less wanted.

So let’s try a different perspective.

When I (as a dinner guest) hear you tell me that your organization has a ministry partner willing to match any gift of $600 ($50/month) or more, my ears perk up. This means that if I commit to a $50 monthly gift, the organization will actually get $100 a month because of the match, which will allow you to serve even more people!!!

With matching gifts, your dinner guests are challenged to give—often more—than what they initially planned. Think about it. If you typically donate $500 to an organization in a year and you were just told that if you increase your donation by just $100, the organization will actually gain $1,200, wouldn’t you consider it?

Now, you may be wondering: How do you get these “matching gifts”? Easy. The same way you got your underwriters. Ask.

If you have a few major ministry partners who tend to help underwrite your major events, simply ask them if they would be willing to give the same amount (or more) in order to challenge others at the event to give more. You can list these people and businesses in the program as a “Ministry Partners” (instead of “Sponsors” or “Underwriters”) and your organization will still receive the funds. It simply changes how you approach the ask at your event.

I hope this simple change helps your ministry thrive, having the capacity to serve more because of increased giving.

Andrea Trudden
Andrea Trudden

 

This article was developed with input from Jim Dempsey, National Director for Fund Development for Campus Ministry of Cru. Jim has helped ministries plan over 2,500 dinners and has seen this approach greatly increase giving at these events. To learn more, please contact Jim via email at jim.dempsey@cru.org.

 

Photo credit: Designed by Freepik

 

WayCool Integration Now Available!

May 17th, 2017

MS-plus-WayCool

We’re excited to announce that our friends at WayCool Software released a new integration that will streamline your data entry! How cool is that? Now all registrants can be imported from Ministry Sync to CoolFocus without having to first export a .csv file.

With this integration, you’ll be able to:

  • Post registrants as donors to the CoolFocus database.
  • Post gifts that were imported from Ministry Sync as donations under registrant donor files in CoolFocus.
  • Post donations that were given at the event.
  • Import pledges and create pledge forms.

Contact your WayCool Software account manager if you have any questions about how the Ministry Sync integration can work for you!

Jason Galicinski
Jason Galicinski, Founder & CEO of Ministry Sync

Ditch the RSVPs

May 15th, 2017

rsvp-food2

I don’t know about you, but I sure get invited to a lot of things. Over the years, there has been a shift in how galas, weddings, banquets, showers, birthday parties and [fill in the blank here] have been asking for RSVPs. It’s commonplace these days for RSVPs to have an online option, whereas 15 years ago that was unheard of.

When I’m invited to something, I try to respond the way that I think the sender wants me to. It’s the people-pleaser in me.

For instance, I was recently invited to my cousin’s formal wedding with an invitation that puts most other wedding invites to shame—I’m talking multiple envelopes, heavy linen paper, personally addressed in embossed calligraphy… it was a work of art!

In the invitation was a pre-stamped return envelope with an elegant (and numbered) RSVP card. There was also a teeny tiny note at the bottom of the invite that showed their website on theknot.com. It seemed to me that they wanted me to RSVP with the response card. So I did, even though online registration would have been my first choice.

My question to you is this: When you are inviting guests to your events, how are your invitations suggesting that you’d like them to RSVP?

Are you sending an RSVP card, then complaining when you have to decipher the handwriting to record it by hand, while muttering under your breath “I know they have a smart phone. Why couldn’t they have just registered online?”

I so often hear “our people don’t really register online,” but I wonder—was that clearly your preferred method of response?

For fun, I challenge you to time yourself the next time you take an RSVP over the phone. How long did the conversation take? Did you already have AttendEasy open, or did you have to open it while on the call? Did you happen to chit-chat with the guest?

rsvp-womanNow, time yourself as you enter an RSVP card that comes in the mail. Don’t forget to start the timer when you get up from your desk to check the mail! Did the guest fill out the entire RSVP card or did they neglect to give you full names? Phone numbers? How long did it take you to enter them?

I’ve timed myself. A phone call—with AttendEasy already open on my computer and no excess chit-chat on the call—takes an average of a minute and a half per person. Per person! Multiply that by 300 people and I’ve wasted seven and a half HOURS registering my guests. Oh, what I could have done with that time had they registered themselves!

A couple of years after I began to use AttendEasy, I started giving only two RSVP options—online and via phone. Our online registration skyrocketed! Couple this with Unlocking the Power of the Table Host by encouraging my hosts to use the tools AttendEasy gave them, and I saved days—literally DAYS—of time.

Please don’t interpret what I’m saying as “don’t connect with anyone.” That’s certainly not my point. The relationships with your Table Hosts are crucial—they are one of the 3 Secrets to Increase your Banquet Response, after all.

What I am saying is that the time saved in manually entering RSVP’s allowed me to focus more on other areas of my event, and gave me the time to invest in my table hosts through calls, notes, and encouraging emails; ultimately deepening their relationship with the ministry, and commitment to filling their table.

It may be scary at first to rip off the band-aid and get rid of RSVP cards, but trust me— the “you” the week of your event will thank the “you” who made that decision months before. 😊

Andrea Trudden

Crystal Velte

 

FundEasy FAQ – Keeping Fundraising Pages OPEN

May 11th, 2017

Q: If I close my event registration, will my fundraiser pages stay open?

A: YES! Your FundEasy Fundraiser Pages stay open for at least 30 days after your event so people can continue to give. Your fundraiser page will reflect this automatically (see below) and allow for further donations. This is a helpful feature that allows people to capitalize on the momentum of the event they were just a part of.

FAQ-fundraising-pages-stay-open-lg

What you need to know:

  • FundEasy’s Event Registration automatically closes on the day of the event (or sooner if you manually close it).
  • The Fundraiser Pages automatically stay open for 30 days after the event to accept donations.
  • You can extend the amount of time fundraiser pages stay open for an additional fee within the Event Details of your FundEasy event.
  • As the Event Coordinator, you can change the goal deadline within the Event Details. This allows you to change the time your fundraisers’ pages count down to. Even after this date, donors are able to give.

 

Good luck with your event, and the many days that follow!

 

Andrea Trudden
Andrea Trudden

 

Meet Kate!

May 10th, 2017

Kate McKinney

Kate McKinney

You’ve met her before. She’s been one of our Customer Support team members for the last year. If you have called or chatted with our Support Team, you might know her as “Marie.”

When she joined Ministry Sync, we had two women working in Support named Kate. To avoid confusion for customers, Kate decided to go by her middle name. At this time, we have just the one Kate, and boy, are we happy to have her on board to help with all your support needs. Learn more about Kate and the rest of the Ministry Sync Staff.

 

Use the Tools, See Results

May 8th, 2017

quoteEven though we have had Ministry Sync since 2010, we began actively using all the tools associated with Ministry Sync about three years ago.

We started utilizing the ability to send emails for Walk 4 Life, using Live Attendance for our Benefit Dinner, and exporting reports to compare prior years and see how we could improve.

Since then, we have seen an explosion in our fundraising efforts.

In 2013, our Walk 4 Life brought in $37,000. In 2016, our Walk grossed over $85,000.

Screenshot 2017-05-05 10.54.44

I think that part of that growth is attributed to exploring all the tools that Ministry Sync offers. This growth has enabled us to serve 50% more women and expand our clinic. Praise God!

Brayden Tomlinson
Care Net Peninsula

 

Thank you, Brayden, for sharing how Ministry Sync has been instrumental in helping increase your fundraising! We love hearing stories from organizations who use AttendEasy and FundEasy and how they are working for them. If you would like to share your story, please send me an email and let me know how you put us to work for you!

 

Andrea Trudden
Andrea Trudden

 

Customer Benefit – $50 Referral Credit

April 26th, 2017

As a customer of Ministry Sync, you have access to unlimited *referral credits. That means for every new customer you bring in, your organization receives a $50 credit. There is no limit!

If you recommend Ministry Sync to six friends, and each of the new customers sign up, your organization will earn a $300 credit toward your next event!

referral-credit

*Cru, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Young Life ministries are not eligible for referral credit.

How does the referral program work?

When new customers sign up for an AttendEasy or FundEasy event, they have the opportunity to enter a name in the “How did you hear about us” and “Organization who referred you” fields under Additional Information. Simply make sure and tell them to put you as a reference and your organization will receive the credit.

referral-credit-ss

How do I add a referrer?

You don’t need to do anything more than share your experience with your friends and colleagues.

We have heard so many amazing stories from those who have used our products, like Rebecca. You’re already using a product that saves you time and energy – you might as well share this knowledge and earn some credit as well :)

 

Andrea Trudden
Andrea Trudden

 

The Day After the Event

April 20th, 2017

It’s finished! Your event was yesterday and all the time, money and effort that you put in came to fruition. Now, you can rest.woman-phone-comp

Wait. No, you can’t! You’ve only just begun!

It’s time for the follow-up.

Sometimes, organizations focus so much energy solely on the event itself. However, if you aren’t careful, you overlook the opportunity that was just presented to you. These people who joined you for your event – be it through friends or family – are potential ministry partners and friends to the organization. This relationship is brand new to some and first impressions truly last.

This is your opportunity to make a GREAT first impression. 

By showing appreciation for people giving of their time to be invested in your ministry, you nurture relationships with potential ministry partners. This is your chance to not only fundraise but to “friend raise” as well.

With the use of FundEasy, all your event information is in one place so you can easily see who participated, donated, and raised funds for your event. It is important to thank each of these people.

Connecting with participants and ministry partners should be done in a tiered fashion within a week of your event – the sooner the better. For every day a ministry partner goes unthanked, money is lost, so be ready to start that very next day. For best results, aim to get thank yous “out the door in 24” — preferably starting phone calls the very next day. Trust me, your partners will be impressed that you took the time to reach out!

Be certain to thank your event sponsors and large-dollar ministry partners (top 10%) immediately after the event. This is a great opportunity to share next year’s event date with them and invite them to sponsor/participate again. Having the event fresh in their mind helps encourage the commitment for next time.

You also have some long-time ministry partners who have been faithful for several years and some brand new partners who have given a large first-time gift: These people need a little extra care. Take the time to call or visit with them and learn their reason for giving. The impact will be far greater than an email or a receipt.

That said, for a broader reach of participants and low-dollar partners, emails are a wonderful way to connect with many people in a swift timeframe. Emailing through FundEasy helps reach all your participants and ministry partners to say thank you and let them know you will be following up them periodically so you can continue growing the relationship.

working-meeting-fun

All people have a desire to feel as though they belong and are significant. Following up with participants and ministry partners is an essential part of relationship building for your organization. This is your chance to help these people know how vital they are to the work you do in your community. Through their gifts, they are changing lives! What an amazing gift!

So, right now, make certain that on your “To-Do List,” you have “Thank Ministry Partners” listed immediately following the event. Or, simply print out our “Fundraising Walk To-Do List” and start checking off those tasks today.

Happy planning!

 

Andrea Trudden
Andrea Trudden

 

Photo 1: Designed by Prostooleh / Freepik
Photo 2: Designed by katemangostar / Freepik

Heartbeat International Conference Giveaways

April 12th, 2017

Heartbeat International Conference

Are you going to the Heartbeat Conference in Chicago next week? We’ll be at Booth #102 and we’d love to chat with you! We also have some pretty awesome things we’re giving away, so stop by our exhibit and say “hi!”

Stop by Booth #102:

✔ Free iPad Drawing
✔ Free Event DrawingCrystal Velte
✔ $100 Off Your First Event

In addition, our very own Crystal Velte is speaking all about Walks in the Fundraising Dynamics track. Don’t miss her workshop, 4 Keys to Planning a Winning Fundraiser on Friday.

 

Some New Faces at Ministry Sync

April 12th, 2017

Ten years ago, two guys in Chicago took a giant leap of faith and quit their jobs to develop Ministry Sync in order to help non-profits nationwide with their event management. Since then, Ministry Sync has grown consistently. This year already, we’ve added three new staff to our Ministry Sync crew! You’ve already met me (Andrea), so please help me welcome Jennifer and Cody!!!

Jennifer Henry, Account Manager
Jennifer lives in Jacksonville, NC with her 3 children. She and her kids keep busy with their daily routine of work, homework and soccer schedules! Jennifer was introduced to her local pregnancy center in 2014, when she faced her own unplanned pregnancy. It was through that journey—and the support provided by her local pregnancy center—that her heart was forever changed in favor of adoption and the pro-life mission.

Prior to working for Ministry Sync, Jennifer was a former Ministry Sync customer in her role as Event Coordinator at her pregnancy center. She is super excited to share her experiences with others in similar roles as well as Godly encouragement during the chaos of life and event planning!

Cody Barr, Quality Assurance Engineer
Cody and his wife Monique live in Eastern Connecticut with their four children. They met through a mutual friend at a Pizza place (Cody loves pizza) and got to know each other more through their local church. Shortly after, they married and moved to Chicago where Cody attended Moody Bible Institute where he graduated in 2011. He’s always enjoyed working on web development projects on the side and worked at a help-desk for nearly ten years before joining the Ministry Sync team in 2017 as a QA Engineer. Cody also enjoys working with the college group at his local church, The Presbyterian Church of Coventry, and volunteers and serves on the board of directors at the Women’s Center of Eastern Connecticut.

 

Welcome to team, Jennifer and Cody!  And if you are really curious, click here and you can learn about our whole crazy crew :)