Archive for the "Tips" Category:

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?

ctrl-f

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.

 

ctrl-f-ssV2

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 😉

Enjoy!

 

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.

Budget

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

Venue

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!

Entertainment

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. 😊

Gifts

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.

Printing

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 jim.dempsey@cru.org.

 

Photo credit: Designed by Freepik

 

Ditch the RSVPs

Monday, 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

Thursday, 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

 

The Day After the Event

Thursday, 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

How to Eliminate Lines at Check-In

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

We’ve all been there. Your banquet begins at 7:00. Registration opens at 6:30. You have 30 minutes to check people in and get them to their seats before the program begins.

Then, it starts: Walk-ins, new table requests, someone coming in another’s place… The lines!!!

Profile of a business team in a single line against white background

You do what you need to do. One request at a time. Special cases, please go stand in the line to the right. Next! But, there is an easier way.

We developed Live Attendance to expedite the check-in process. No clipboards. No laptops. No need for lines!

With Live Attendance, you meet your guests and check them in with the tap of your finger. On your iPad or iPhone, just open your Live Attendance app, and all your registrants are listed for you. Simply search their name and check them in. 

Unexpected guests? Not a problem. You can register walk-ins right on the spot. Live Attendance shows you where you have open seats and you can assign them right then and there.

Guests requesting a seat change? Live Attendance highlights open seats in real-time so that you can make last-minute changes and assign seats during the check in process.

Last minute cancellation? Record it on-site and open those seats to walk-ins or unassigned guests.

LA Device Mockups-600x392The best part? You don’t even need the internet to use Live Attendance! We know that internet is typically an additional cost at venues, if it is even available. We eliminated this need, saving you additional money and headache.

Once the event is over, connect to Ministry Sync and upload the information for full event details. (See how saving your details year-to-year can save your organization money.)

Get started!

You can place your order right now within your AttendEasy event. Just log in to Ministry Sync, select your event, and click the “Attendance” link (or “Live Attendance” in the New Ministry Sync BETA). If you have any questions, give us a call at (866) 766-9309 or email sales@ministrysync.com.

Let Live Attendance work for you at your next event!

 

Andrea Trudden
Andrea Trudden

 

P.S. For you visual learners out there, we have a video that gives an overview of how Live Attendance works. Watch the video now. ⤵

 

3 Secrets to Increase Your Banquet Response

Monday, March 6th, 2017

Non-profit organizations should host fundraising banquets. We hear that all the time. But what does that look like?

banquet3There are so many questions you need to ask, such as: How do we avoid people who come and don’t give a donation? How do we get the right people in the room? Do we advertise in church bulletins and on the radio? 

Before working with Ministry Sync, I worked as an Event Coordinator for a ministry for over six years. I have attended many, many fundraising banquets and planned six of my own. I wrestled with these questions every year, and in the end, determined that it all really boils down to vision – and being diligent in carrying out that vision.

So what is the vision?

To provide a professional, elegant event that communicates our organization’s mission well, engages new donors, and yields significant donations.

How do we accomplish this? Through Underwriters, a Table Host Style event, and a Strong Ask.


Underwriters

Let’s face it – fundraising dinners are expensive. Especially when done well. The key is not to plan an inexpensive event, but instead to have your event underwritten before it ever takes place. This way all donations given at the event can go straight to ministry and not to event overhead.

You want to pursue businesses and well-to-do individuals to offset the expense of your event. If you pursue these donors well in advance, you can include their logos on all event communication. With AttendEasy, their logos will be shown on all webpages and emails too. This advertising benefit is a great way to thank and appreciate those who have made your event possible!

In my previous role, my team realized that we were barking up the same trees event-to-event, so we chose to transition from individuals to corporate sponsors to underwrite events for the year – businesses whose significant contributions would support all of our fundraising events, and would also give them visible thanks as donors. Our sponsors liked being “asked” less and “thanked” more – and we really liked “asking” less and serving more!

Table Hosts

Successful fundraising dinners often cost $35-$50+ per person, so we don’t want people attending who do not have the capacity to give. I’ve heard you want to target donors who can give a minimum of $300 per couple, and I agree. Keeping this in mind, you’ll want to avoid “opening the doors wide” and be more selective in who is invited to your event, so radio ads and church bulletins are not the preferred ways to fill your banquet hall. It’s better to have 200 of the “right” people in the room than 600 of the “wrong” people.

So how do we get the “right” people? Through Table Hosts! Table Hosts have the great privilege of inviting friends who aren’t familiar with your ministry to sit at their table (or tables!) at the event. When there’s no cost to attend, it’s an easy “yes!” from these potential ministry partners.

Because they have such a great responsibility, you need to be choosy when selecting who to invite as table hosts. Who do you know that is not only passionate about your ministry, but also is connected to affluent members in your community? Identify them, and personally invite them to host a table.

When I say “personally invite,” I mean it. Take the time to call them and cast the vision of what hosting a table means for your event. A letter should never take the place of a relationship-building opportunity – especially when you’re asking your table hosts to invite a table full of people who will collectively give over $1,500 to your ministry. It’s worth your 10 minute time investment.

Still timid about asking people to host a table?

Let me ask you a question: Does your ministry save babies from abortion? Encourage teens to turn to Jesus instead of peer pressure? Give hope to those who have seen great despair? Provide food, shelter and identity to the marginalized in your society? Whatever your mission from God, it is powerful. Inviting others to engage with that mission in order to help effect change in your community and for eternity is an incredible opportunity and an honor!

Table hosts may not be able to commit to serving with you weekly, but this gives them an opportunity to have equally significant impact to your organization! This is what you want to communicate to your Table Hosts, and what you would like them to communicate to their friends they invite to your event.


Strong Askwoman-megaphone

The “ask” at your event is just as important as who is in your room. Your speaker may draw in some guests, yes, but who knows your organization and your mission better than your own leadership? I strongly urge you to have one of your leaders make the “ask” in this significant part of the event. Let the speaker inspire, and let the leader ask the big question.

Be clear in what you’re asking for. Be honest in what it takes to run your ministry. Put in to effect anything that was vision-cast at the event. And above all, be bold in asking your attendees to rise to the challenge. Ask that everyone give a significant gift at your event and commit to ongoing monthly support to help sustain your ministry.

Remember my earlier comment about desiring a minimum of $300 per couple?

$100 donation at your event + $25 monthly commitment = $400 gift from a new ministry partner!

Fill a room with these donors, and your 300 person event just brought in $60,000! A room full of couples who give $300 and commit to $40 each month will result in a $117,000 event – that is totally doable!

 

Crystal Velte
Crystal Velte

 

Equip Your Fundraisers

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Without supporters, non-profits could not exist. This is the reality organizations must work with in order to grow. But, how do you engage your fundraisers so that they become cheerleaders for your organization?


Teach your fundraisers

  • Social Networking. Encourage your fundraisers to use their social networks. Using social networking tools like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube increase fundraising results by up to 40%.fe-participant-smartphone
  • Rewards. Make fundraising a game by offering rewards for achieving certain goals (i.e. free t-shirt for $250 raised).
  • Teams. Not only do teams raise more money for your organization, they add fun and competition to fundraising. Encourage your fundraisers to start their own team.
  • Meet & Teach. Success stories can provide ideas on how to fundraise, but an added session or two with the experts allows them to have their questions answered.
  • Samples. Don’t let your fundraisers get stuck on something you could have easily provided. Supply sample fundraising emails, Facebook posts, tweets, phone scripts, thank you notes, etc.
  • Success stories. Highlight a past fundraiser and use that example to tell them how to raise money, how to overcome challenges and most importantly, the impact their donations will have on your mission.
  • Tips to get them started. People are all created differently and not every method of fundraising will be for everyone. Provide several different fundraising ideas, and emphasize the most efficient methods such as sending email through a tool like FundEasy.

 

Connect with your fundraisers

  • Invite them to join. Call on your top fundraisers to join a volunteer committee makes them feel closer to your organization and a part of its success. 
  • Give a tour. Offering a tour of your organization is a great way to bring them closer to your cause. Seeing the places that will be impacted by their efforts and meeting those on the front-lines will give your fundraisers extra encouragement.
  • Provide accountability. Let them know how the money raised in the past has been used for your organization and how this year’s funds will be used.
  • Thank them. After the event, invite them to a thank you reception. It’s another opportunity to connect them to your mission and encourage future participation.

 

Stay connected

  • Check-in often. Share stories about your organization and be available for any questions they may have.
  • Seek input. After the event, ask them what they liked, what they didn’t, and what would have helped. Implement good ideas into future fundraisers.
  • Celebrate goals. Your fundraisers will likely be really excited when they reach their goal. Capitalize on this opportunity to thank them. FundEasy makes it easy to stay connected.
  • Be available. As with any event, your participants will have questions. The important thing is to make certain that you respond quickly to all questions and concerns that come your way. The longer it takes you to help, the less fundraising momentum they’ll have.

 

Fundraise Online via FundEasy

  • Personalized fundraiser pages. Donate buttons should be placed on your personal fundraiser page in a bright color so their eyes easily see it. FundEasy’s fundraiser pages are automatically set up this way.
  • Easy donations. Quick and simple web forms encourage people to donate online. Help your fundraisers by using FundEasy’s online donation forms that are easy to complete and update in real time. 
  • Donor highlight. FundEasy has an option where you can automatically spotlight top givers and teams. This can be used to motivate some fundraisers.

 

Follow Fundraising Page Best Practices

  • Add a photo. People connect with people. Encourage fundraisers to add a photo to their fundraising page; it may inspire others to donate.
  • Tell a story. Ask your fundraisers to change the “Welcome Message” area in the personal fundraising pages to share personal stories and inspire others.
  • Offer Personal links. This allows fundraisers to direct friends and family to their specific fundraising page rather than going through your organization’s home page.
  • Increase goals. Allowing fundraisers to change their goal at any time allows them to increase their goal once achieved and encourage more support.
  • Answer FAQs. FundEasy has developed a Knowledge Base available to teach each fundraiser how to register, setup a page, import contacts, email family and friends, and other important fundraising activities.

 

With these tips and FundEasy’s Fundraiser Knowledge Base filled with helpful information, your fundraisers will learn more about your organization and have a deeper passion for the walk.

Put these steps into action and watch your participants move from walker to fundraiser!

 

Andrea Trudden
Andrea Trudden

 

Save those stats!

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

business-mtg-bannerBusiness image created by Katemangostar – Freepik.com

How many people registered for your last event? When did most people register? How many cancelled? How much revenue did your last walk produce? The one from three years ago?

This is important information that, when used correctly, actually helps you plan and predict your next event’s outcome.

Many planners can recite details from the last event, but some put that binder away once the last bill is paid and forget about it. The information inside these binders is powerful and should be stored in a document that combines information year-to-year in order to communicate to your staff, board and supporters. (And if you don’t have a binder to hold your event information, I strongly encourage you to go buy one… now. Here’s a link!)banquet-growth

A little bit of work on your end collecting key information in one space can make a huge impact on your future events. In my experience, once you have three solid years of information, you can make good predictions for the upcoming event. You’ll be able to understand your audience a little better. When you know that 10% of your total attendees will not R.S.V.P., you won’t panic to find more chairs because you will be ready for them.

Now the question: What information do you need to collect? Think of your event. What are the key questions you ask each year? What information do you share with your board and supporters? These are the stats you need to keep.

So, before you put that binder away after your event, record key details in a Master Spreadsheet. This document will be unique to each organization depending on their event, but here are some suggestions on what to start with. And don’t worry – if you don’t have this information available, there’s no better time to start then with your upcoming event!

Suggested Walk Details to Collect

Event Title
Date
Goal
Total Raised
Total Remaining of Goal
Total Paid
Total NOT Paid
Total Teams
Total Fundraisers
Total Donors
Online Total Raised
Offline Total Raise
Percentage Raised via Cash
Percentage Raised via Check
Percentage Raised via Pledge
Largest Donation
Average Donation
Smallest Donation
Top 10 Teams
Top 10 Fundraisers
Event Sponsors

 

Suggested Banquet Details to Collect

Total Number of Registrants Online
Total Number of Registrants Offline
Number/Percentage of Cancellations
Number/Percentage of Walk-ins
Number of New Registrants
Percentage Registered by RSVP Date
Total Revenue
Total Expenses
Number of Table Hosts
Event Sponsors

 

There is so much to gain from keeping your statistics year-to-year. Our goal is to make your event easier for you and your organization and that is why Ministry Sync allows the ability to export this key information through AttendEasy and FundEasy tools. We know the value that it has and the work it can save you.

Still not convinced? Read Sarah’s story and see how they were able to go from 120 attendees to over 500 and increase the amount raised 600%. Maintaining solid statistics allow them to see this growth.

Happy planning!

 

Andrea Trudden
Andrea Trudden

 

P.S. Do you have any stats that you keep that have been helpful over the years and it is not listed in this article? Please email me at atrudden@ministrysync.com as we would love to know what works for you!