Archive for the "AttendEasy (Fundraising Dinners)" Category:

Maximizing the Donation

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

SM-64percent-2We’ve been keeping track and you all have some amazing supporters!!!

Organizations that manage fundraising events using AttendEasy and FundEasy now have the ability to allow supporters to cover their own transaction fees since we’ve switched payment processors. The response has been phenomenal!

On average, an astounding 64% of supporters opt to cover their own transaction fees. When they make the choice to cover their own fees, the organization receives 100% of the revenue. This means more money goes directly to the organization.

That $50 donation is now actually $50, not $47.50 ($50 minus $2.50 for transaction fees).

This option allows your supporters to give the maximum amount for a cause they believe in—your mission! This is their way of being a part of your organization and sharing their heart for your ministry.

Be certain to thank your supporters for taking that extra step to maximize their donation. I know your organization appreciates it, be certain they know too!

Have a great day!


Andrea Trudden
Andrea Trudden

P.S. Did you know that you can track exactly how many supporters are opting to cover the transaction costs in the Ministry Sync Beta site? In the Event Dashboard, simply mouse over the question mark next to the “Covered Fees” and see for yourself! (Don’t forget to thank your supporters for taking that extra step!)


Are Name Tags Necessary?

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

It is the week of the event. You have your tables set. You have confirmed with your caterer. You just put the finishing touches on your power point. You just have one task left. Printing name tags.

But, is this really necessary?!?

In a word, yes! In another word, ABSOLUTELY!

Name tags allow for social interaction among strangers and the avoidance of embarrassment from staff to donors. Have you ever forgotten the name of a large donor’s spouse?

Name tags are a simple security to professionalize your event. When you know WHO people are, you can interact much more easily. Plus, think about your guests!

Inevitably, there will be tables with unknown groups. An easy ice-breaker is a name tag. “I see your name is Kim. That’s my mother’s name! Nice to meet you. How are you connected with the ministry?”

Name tags allow for a more personable approach when engaging your guests. It is unrealistic to expect that every person will know everyone at your event, including Table Hosts. Printing name tags and handing them out upon registration helps everyone have a sense of belonging. Each person is there because they believe in your cause or want to learn more about it.

MS-name-tag-sampleWhen you call a person by name, it helps them feel significant and therefore more attached to your organization.

Through AttendEasy, name tags are easily created for your guests. Simply click the name tag tool within your event and find the appropriate name tag style.

I know we are in a high-tech world and name tags may not give that feeling. But trust me, when you are learning about an organization for the very first time and are seated at a table of strangers, that name tag is a life-saver.


Andrea Trudden
Andrea Trudden


When are email invites ok?

Monday, September 25th, 2017

When are email invites OK?

Times they are a changing. Phonebooks used to be thick enough to use as a booster seat. Now, with access to contact info online, they’re small enough to be stuffed into a mailbox (if printed at all). Encyclopedia door-to-door sales used to be a popular profession, yielding big sales. These days, encyclopedias themselves are nearly obsolete.

In today’s digital world, it is so common to replace printed items with digital versions; which leads me to today’s topic—when are email invites ok?

Considering that email is regarded as a casual form of conversation, it’s safe to say that email invites are ok for a casual type of event. A dinner party, corn maze adventure, child’s birthday party, bachelorette party, and community concerts are all appropriate uses for email invites.

Printed invitations, on the other hand, indicate a sense of importance and set a more formal tone for an event. Time, effort and resources are put into the development of printed invitations, and the courtesy of an RSVP, attendance, and generosity are expected.

Sample formal invitation courtesy of Keener Marketing.

Most events managed within AttendEasy would fall more into the “formal” category. They are fundraising dinners with programs, plated meals and financial giving intentions.

The invitation to these events should set these expectations. Therefore, an informal email invite is simply not the way to go for a first impression. A printed invitation will set the tone for your event and be a tangible reminder of your guests’ requested presence.

Of course, not everyone will respond right away, so following up with an email invite a week or two after the formal invitation is sent is a good idea. When using our “Send Invite” tool, you can write a personal note—mentioning the previously sent formal invitation—and request their RSVP.

Email invites alone may not only communicate the wrong expectations for your event, but they also run the risk of never being seen by recipients. Spam filters, smart folders, and growing inboxes all too often keep recipients from seeing emails.

In event planning, emailing Save the Date reminders and follow-up invites are OK, but eliminating the traditional printed invitation could be a costly mistake for your organization.

I’ve sadly heard too many stories of regret from customers who have made the mistake of replacing printed invitations with email invites. In each conversation, both attendance and giving were significantly reduced—in a couple of instances by 50 percent! 😱

In conclusion, we at Ministry Sync strongly encourage utilizing our email invitation tool to communicate with your invited guests as a follow-up to your printed invitations for your formal events.

It’s like I remind my nephews—just because you CAN, doesn’t mean you SHOULD. 🙂


Crystal Velte
Crystal Velte


Announcing: New Partnership with WePay Payment Processor

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017


Ministry Sync now partners with WePay to provide improved online payment processing and automatic bank deposits for your events.

Here are a few reasons why you’re going to love using WePay:

Keep up to 100% of your donations and registration fees!
Donors have the option to cover their own transaction fees.

Faster and better reporting!
Your transaction report just got a big upgrade.

Better chargeback protection!
Reduced risk of chargebacks, and better support with lower fees if they do occur.

Processing available in Canada for CAD currency!
Canadian customers can now process funds in their local currency without the need for PayPal.

WePay will be the standard payment processor for all new events going forward. Any events or campaigns that have already been created will be automatically upgraded to use WePay if they are eligible.

Ministry Sync will prompt you to set up your WePay account the next time you add or edit an eligible event.


Sign In to Ministry Sync

Visit Our Knowledge Base for More Info


WePay is the world’s leading processor engine for apps like ours and will enable Ministry Sync to build a faster, more reliable, more secure platform in regard to how we process funds.

Some of the benefits right out of the box, you will see immediately:


Soft-descriptors (payment titles) can be changed to whatever you want!


Multiple WePay accounts can be created for your organization! This allows you to have a different soft-descriptor per event or have funds go to different bank accounts. 

Example: You could create one WePay account called “PRC Banquet” and another one called “PRC Walk for Life.” This helps people remember what that charge is on their credit card statement, reducing the number of chargebacks to you!


Payment via checks! Don’t have a bank account or want funds direct deposited? WePay can cut you a check once a week or once a month.


Real-time on-boarding — no more faxing drivers licenses and 501(c)3 documents.

 If you have any questions at all, please contact us. We are happy to help!


Jason Galicinski
Jason Galicinski


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Visit Our Knowledge Base for More Info


Tools of the Trade: Table Host Packet

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

skydiving2Most often, first-time skydivers have an experienced jumper on their back. Yes, this jumping buddy will make sure the shoot deploys at the right time and that the rookie sticks their landing, but many times they also help the jumper to… well… jump.

You’re utilizing a powerful tool for your event this year—one that has great potential to shave hours of time off your event planning, and give you accurate stats to refer to for future events. What is this powerful tool you may ask? Table Hosts.

You have a great opportunity in front of you, so make the most of it!

Like a skydiving buddy, you’re the coach for your table hosts, so let’s help them jump.You have the capacity to unlock the power of those table hosts by teaching them how to use the tools placed before them. The more you encourage table hosts to utilize the tools at hand, the less time you’ll spend updating your RSVPs. 

A helpful tool for your table hosts is a Table Host Packet. You might distribute this at a meeting with your hosts, or simply give it to a host when they agree to invite potential partners to sit at their table.

What should a Table Host Packet contain? I’m so glad you asked!

Table Host Packet components:

For more detailed instructions on using the Guest List Manager, click here.

If I can encourage you in one thing, it’s to resist the urge to enable your hosts. The easy thing to do when the phone rings is to take the names of your host’s guests, but if you do this you’re missing an opportunity for a teachable moment. One that will save you hours of time down the road.

Instead of taking the name of the guests, encourage your host to use the Guest List Manager Page, and maybe even take a minute to walk them through it. The “you” the week before the event will thank the “you” who took the initial guest list because let’s be honest—those names will probably change. And if your host knows how to change them, you can spend your time negotiating your event expenses instead of taking RSVPs.

Don’t get in your own way. Teach those hosts to fish—and have a great event!

God speed!


Crystal Velte
Crystal Velte


Pro Tip! Take screen shots of your Table Host Email and Manager Page to include in your Table Host packet using the snipping tool on a PC, or this simple key command on a Mac as seen in the“Online Registration Manager” Instructions above.


9 Qs to Ask Before Setting Up Your Event in AttendEasy

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017


Businessman in his office pointing to the front


As part of our “Running a Great Event” series, our sales and support staff has worked together to bring you key questions you should ask yourself before setting up your event in order to make the planning process as simple as possible.

Online registration is a great tool that has been proven to increase attendance—are you using it to its full potential?

Each AttendEasy event comes with a default registration form. Your event may require more information than is collected on this default form, so we have specifically designed the form to be customizable to meet your needs.

Before “going live” with public registration, be certain to think through your entire event to make sure you are asking the right questions of your guests and collecting all the information that you will need not only for your event, but also for follow-up after the event.

Here are some questions you’ll want to ask yourself to make sure AttendEasy is working for you!

Note: If you liked the registration form used in a past event we can copy it into your new event so you don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

What are the registration types for our event?

Our default registration form allows guests to register as either a table host or a guest.

Do you also have table sponsors? Is there an option for someone to sponsor a table, but not host it? We can help build these exceptions into your form.

Screenshot 2017-07-25 10.19.18

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What are the different registration fees?

AttendEasy’s Pay to Attend version can collect registration fees for sponsors, hosts, and guests. Think through all pricing options and contact our Support Team to discuss how to best set up your registration form.

Screenshot 2017-07-25 10.19.10

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Are there exceptions or discounts?

Sometimes offering an Early Bird Discount is what it takes to get guests to RSVP before the final countdown. If your pricing changes on a certain date, your registration form can be set up to automatically change pricing or remove options when the early bird deadline is reached.

Screenshot 2017-07-25 10.19.01

Call it a Promo Code, a Registration Code, a Discount Code, etc. These short codes can be used to give special pricing or discounts to your registrants. This is a simple way to help your guests feel even more special while entering the code.

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What contact information must we have?

Would you like guests to be required to enter more than just their name? No problem. Any fields on your registration form can be required. Requiring email addresses is one way to boost the number of emails in your mailing list.

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What do we need to know to prepare for meals?

Will you need to know if your guests have special dietary restrictions? Food allergies are pretty common. Be prepared to serve your guests food that they can eat by adding this field to your registration form.

Screenshot 2017-07-25 10.18.31

Meal requests: Are you offering a choice of chicken or beef? Enable Meal Choices in your event details for easy reporting.


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Will people be registering individually or in groups?

Occasionally three, four, or five people want to register at a time. Adding the “Register additional people with me” field to your form will allow your guests to quickly register everyone at once. If your event has a registration fee, this field eliminates the need to enter payment information multiple times. Our Support Team is happy to help you add this to your form.

Screenshot 2017-07-25 10.17.01

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Is childcare available?

If you’re offering childcare, you can ask about your guests’ childcare needs so you will be prepared to serve their family.

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Do we need to prepare for special options?

Doing a conference with workshops? Need to know if guests are from a certain school district? Want to ask what church they attend? How they heard about your organization? Whether they’re a cat or dog person?

Additional information about your attendees helps have a better understanding as to how the people connected with you. This information is useful for relationship growing. Radio buttons, check boxes, text fields and drop down selections can be used to capture any information you’d like.

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Are there limits for any options?

Do you have a certain number of seats, sponsorships or workshop spots available? We can add a limit to your registration options so you don’t exceed your availability.

Screenshot 2017-07-25 10.16.19

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As always, our Support Team is available to help you get set up for your event. Simply chat, call or email us!


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Let me know if you have any questions! I’m here to help :)

Crystal Velte
Crystal Velte


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Is Event Branding Really Important?

Monday, July 10th, 2017

In a word, yes.

Consistent marketing increases the professionalism of your eventfrom the invitation to your online registration, a sharp look can encourage high-end partners to attend your event.

When you repeatedly use the same event graphic, people recognize it and understand what they are seeing immediately without the need to seek out further information.

Let me be blunt: People don’t read as much as we’d like them to.

That’s why it is so important to create an event graphic that provides all the key details with a quick glance.

Just look at these two sample designs from Keener Marketing for a Walk-4-Life and a Banquet:


Notice the same branding across all the designs. When is this event? Who’s hosting? All the key details are incorporated into all the appropriate pieces.



Both our products, AttendEasy and FundEasy, encourage the use of event branding. As part of our “Events Made Easy” promise to you, our event templates are customizable to complement your event branding. We provide a place for you to upload your event graphics for a seamless transition from your organization’s website to the online registration site. All emails and follow-ups will also include your custom colors and graphics for easy recognition.

Now, when someone goes to register for your event, they are confident that they are registering for YOUR event because the graphics match the invitation they received in the mail, which matches your event page online, which matches your follow-up email confirmation.

We even go a step further.

Our software allows the event graphics you upload to be used in your Facebook posts with a click of the mouse in order to help promote your event even more without the need to upload to a separate site.

So, what should your banner graphic include?

  • Name of your event
  • Date of your event
  • Your name or logo
  • An eye-catching graphic matching your theme/purpose
  • [online] Link to your website for more information

And don’t worry, if you don’t have a graphic designer on hand, we have a great partnership with Keener Marketing and they can create a custom banner for your event for just $40.

Delving into the world of event marketing may seem like a lot, but honestly, once you have your theme, most other pieces simply fall into place. You just need to know the sizes!

Here are the dimensions needed by us for your upcoming fundraising event. 

Happy planning!

Andrea Trudden
Andrea Trudden


A Trick to Find Anyone in your Event

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Do you know the trick to finding virtually any word on a page? Like a walker name in your column browser, or a particular guest’s name in your all members list?

There is a very simple shortcut to help you find any name in AttendEasy, FundEasy, and heck, pretty much any page on your computer!

So what is this magical trick?

Ctrl+F. Yes, that’s it: Ctrl+F. Simple, right?


Control-F (or Command-F) gives you the ability to look for–or find–a word somewhere on a page, any page!

When you click Ctrl+F, a small “find” box will pop up somewhere in your browser where you can type in the exact word or phrase you are looking for. Click “enter” and your word or phrase will be highlighted on the page andif it’s outside the current screenthe page will jump to where the word is located.



If the name or phrase exists more than once on the page as in the above sample, you can then either click the down arrow in the find box, click “enter” or click Ctrl+G to move on to the “next” match.

This keyboard shortcut works in all web browsers and for other documents too! (Think PDF, Excel or Word for example.)

So, next time you’re searching for a specific name within your event, remember Ctrl+F and save yourself a lot of time.

And for us Mac users, Cmd+F works exactly the same way 😉



Andrea Trudden
Andrea Trudden


P.S. Keyboard shortcuts save a TON of time as it eliminates the use of a mouse. From copying & pasting, to finding items on a page, to quitting programs, you’ll be amazed as to how much faster you can work. For a list of Windows Shortcuts, click here. Mac users, here’s your list.

Contract Tips to Save Money on Your Event

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

Business Partners Shaking Hands

With a good plan, you are able to know how much your event is going to cost months in advance—down to the dollar. With this plan, you must have a commitment from those charging you. Contracts are these commitments to ensure that your event does not go over budget. 

You have the ability to propose amendments to any contract you receive before signing—this includes venues, speakers, A/V, catering, etc…

Early in my career, I received a contract from a Speaker’s Bureau for a keynote who asked me to have a certain brand of bottled water available at a certain degree. (Really? Does someone really know if whether or not the water is 73 or 74 degrees?) Before signing anything, I went through the entire contract and proposed my revisions. They accepted every single one. After that, I learned to question everything!

The key thing to note in regard to contracts is that as long as you are being respectful of the other person and the request being asked, people tend to be very open to discussion. Be available and reasonable in a loving way and you will probably get what you want in your contract. That said, go in knowing that you might need to be flexible. You are asking them to be flexible with you, so it is only appropriate that you treat them as you want to be treated.


Before signing any contracts for your event, you MUST know your total budget and have an idea of how to allocate those funds.

Once you have your overall budget, break it down into line items.

Man working with financial dataFirst, note your fixed costs on your budget. Your Venue, Entertainment (Music & Keynote Speakers), and A/V should have a fixed cost attached. Of course, if you make changes after you sign the contract, additional costs will incur. Your fixed costs may not be negotiable, but in my experience, it never hurts to ask.

Next, note your variable costs in your budget. Your Event Management Software, Food & Beverage (F&B), gifts, and printing costs will change depending on the number of registrants, but you will be able to plan for the cost of each item.

Tip! If you are at a loss for how to start for creating a budget, click here —> Budget Planning Templates

If your organization is tax-exempt, be certain to provide this information with all the vendors with which you work. It does not apply in all states, but for those it does, you will save a lot of money.

Fixed Costs


Ask the venue to allow you to pay for the event via Direct Bill. With Direct Bill payment, the venue will either invoice you after the event or you may have a credit card on file that they run charges against per your agreement with them. This allows you the opportunity to raise funds at the event to cover the costs and relieves a little stress from having to have all the bills pre-paid. They may ask for a deposit, but this amount will be far less than the full event cost.

Tip! In many cases, if you are using the venue’s catering services, you can negotiate the cost of the venue into the contract (i.e. waive the room rental fee), saving you hundreds, if not thousands!


pretty woman singing

If you have a local speaker in mind, great! This eliminates travel costs from the get-go. Some situations, however, call for bringing a speaker in so don’t fear this. Simply be certain (as with the hotel) that you know all the costs up-front.

If you have a big-name speaker in mind with no connections, I highly recommend using a Speaker’s Bureau as you are able to see preferred topics and their speaking rate. Don’t hesitate to work with the Bureaus as well if the cost appears to be beyond your budget—their job is to work with you to find the right speaker at the right price for your event. Sometimes, the speakers have a heart for exactly what you do and/or can add it onto another commitment in your area. As with venue contracts, it never hurts to ask for exactly what you want.

Tip! For Christian Speakers, I love Ambassador Speaker’s Bureau and I Need a Pro-Life Speaker. I worked with both for years and they always worked with me and my budget. I have recommended them to several friends who have used them as well over the years with the same positive experiences.

Audio & Visual (A/V)

What do you need for your event? Are you showing a video? Would you like to project the speaker so all can easily see him? Do you have the items or will you need to rent them? Does the venue have what you need?

These are important questions to ask (again) before you sign a contract with the venue. You may be able to work some key items such as microphones, speakers (yes, these are sometimes two separate costs), projectors, and screens. Be certain you also budget for someone to run this equipment as well or have someone on hand who understands A/V so you are not left without support. If you have someone on staff or a ministry partner who is a genius when it comes to technology, utilize this person’s skills either for the event itself, or for a discussion before the A/V meeting. Trust me, their knowledge will save you a lot of time and a potential headache.

Some venues, however, do not have access to A/V on-site and therefore outsource this with a partner A/V company. If possible, price compare. In some cases, these partner companies over-charge and you need to know your options before signing. If you come to them with a quote from another company, they may match it. The best way to avoid overpaying for anything is to be informed.

And again, if you have a partnership with a local church that has amazing technology, talk with them and see if they would be willing to either donate their equipment and services or rent them out at far less than the A/V company would charge. Be certain to know the professionalism of the equipment first, however, as you don’t want to sacrifice quality. Don’t settle for cheap A/V to save a few dollars, your dinner will suffer.

Variable Costs

Event Management Software

A great way to streamline registration and consolidate information is to use an Event Management Software like AttendEasy. Your attendees register online and you control all facets of your registration through a web-based program. AttendEasy allows you to manage groups of people, create a table chart, print name tags, and more.

Tip! This software investment actually ends up saving your organization a lot of time and work, releasing you to tend to other important tasks.

Your total cost will depend on the size of your event and the number of registrants. Your sales representative will work with you to help provide a quote based on your event expectations. (Don’t forget to ask about discount plans.)

Food & Beverage (F&B)

Depending on the location, plan to add 20 percent for service charges and a percentage for taxes as well (this changes city to city). Know this amount up front. (It may be indicated on the contract as a dollar amount ++ (or $50++) — these pluses are the indicator that more money is expected than what is listed.

Example: Cost of Coffee + service charge + tax. This can take one gallon of coffee from costing $50 to $67.50 [$50+10+7.5=$67.50]. If you are unprepared for this, your bill may provide you with a good case of sticker shock. Always be certain to account for taxes and service charges as well as it could easily add thousands to your final bill. 

Wine glass

Regarding F&B, NEVER sign a contract without negotiating your F&B. Since you have prepared your budget before making these decisions, you know that you can afford a $35 meal per person. However, the location you love has meals starting at $34++ (or $47.60 with tax and service charge). Combat this by asking the venue for all-inclusive meal pricing (cost of meal including the tax and service charge). This ultimately helps you plan and shows the venue that you are prepared for these charges. In some cases, this can help stop the nickel & dime game some venues play.

If the venue comes back to you with that $47.60 all-inclusive price, I guarantee that if you go in knowing that you are able to spend $35 per person for a three-course meal with drinks, they will work with you. The key is to stay in communication with them and (of course!) always be cordial. 

Tip! Negotiate a higher number of preset salads and desserts and a fewer number of full course meals. This helps account for no-shows and walk-ins while charging $12 per empty seat as opposed to $35.

Also, go in knowing that menus are not set in stone. I have never had an issue working with the chef to come up with a nice menu for my guests at the cost I determine. You may need to be flexible, but you will be able to find a nice beef dinner for your guests, even if it is a lunch portion. 😊


This same method works with gifts. There are so many promotional services and online gift shops that if you go in with a set amount in mind per guest, you will find a nice item to honor them. The key is to be intentional and realistic. 

If you want to provide an engraved photo frame for each guest and your budget is $5 per person, you may need to re-evaluate your expectations. 

Note: Gifts and giveaways are completely optional at dinners. Something meaningful such as a scripture card, a magnet with your organization’s contact info, or a calendar with ministry photos is appropriate and in some cases, may be able to be negotiated into the printing contract. See below for more about that.


While printing items in-house may save money, the final product is not always the best. Don’t sacrifice quality when hosting current and potential ministry partners. This is your time to show your community how professional you are and the positive outcomes that occur when they invest in your organization.

Many organizations have a good relationship with a local printer. Use this relationship wisely to ensure that you receive high-quality programs, brochures, etc. at a reasonable price. Every few years, price a project out to a couple of printers to ensure that you are still receiving the best price.

Always price things out

This way, you can make an educated decision about each aspect of your event. It is helpful that before you commit to any of these elements, compare at least three options.

Closeup of business woman hand typing on laptop keyboardI always prepare an Event Summary before beginning my search. In it, I put all the key information about my event and I send it out to my top-3 choices. From here, they respond with their pricing and I am able to compare apples to apples and make the best choice. This way, if there is a printer you really want to use but they are too high, you can let them know what the competitors are charging and give them the opportunity to match it.

I know that budgets and contracts may seem daunting, but understand that knowledge truly is power in the contract game. The best way to be good stewards of your organization’s event budget is to be prepared. I hope this helps you as you plan!

Have a great day!!!


Andrea Trudden
Andrea Trudden

P.S. If you found this article helpful, use this ready-to-go tweet to share this article with others.


Photo attributions:
Business Meeting – Designed by Katemangostar
Bookkeeping – Designed by katemangostar
Woman Singing – Designed by Asier_relampagoestudio
Dinner – Designed by Mrsiraphol
Laptop – Designed by Jannoon028

Underwriters vs. Matching Gifts

Tuesday, 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


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