Archive for the "Tips" 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

 

Are Name Tags Necessary?

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

hello
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

 

WePay FAQ: Why am I getting stopped by this page?

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

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FAQ: Why am I getting stopped by this page to set up my payment processor?

When you create a new FundEasy or pay-to-attend AttendEasy event, you will be prompted to create a WePay account. There isn’t an option to skip past this, but setting up your account is very simple. You can create an account in just a few steps. Most of the information can be added from the existing account. You’ll also need the EIN for the organization and the bank account information.

→ Learn more about the many benefits of our new WePay partnership.

 

Sandy Barton
Sandy Barton

 

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.

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Are You Overlooking this Important Resource?

Sunday, August 20th, 2017

happy-working-woman

One of the easiest things a new event coordinator can overlook that could literally save you hours of work is the tools of a National Organization. Are you a member of an Affiliation or Training organization?

If so, before even beginning to plan your next fundraising event, connect with them. See what tools—if any—are available specifically in regard to your fundraiser. You may be surprised as to what documents, templates, and samples are included within your membership/affiliation.

Before making extra work for yourself, you can simply pull from the resources provided.

We are here to help with your Event Management needs; however, in order to guarantee that you are abiding by the guidelines of your affiliation organization, we encourage you to utilize their samples and templates first. (Or, at least to be aware of their potential existence.)

This small step before beginning the planning process may prove to be invaluable! Remember, the key is to work smarter, not harder.

Have a great day!

 

Andrea Trudden
Andrea Trudden

P.S. If you aren’t certain if there is a national organization for the work that you do, please contact us and we can guide you based upon your organization’s mission.

The ABCs of Event Types

Saturday, August 19th, 2017

If you run a Pregnancy Help Center, you host a fundraising walk, right? Well, maybe. Maybe not.

Depending on where you are located and how many ministries there are in the area, a traditional event may not work for you. The hours you spend putting into the event should have an impact on your organization and your community. If it isn’t, you may want to think outside the box for a new concept.

We’ve compiled a list—in addition to our Non-Events—to help inspire new ideas for your ministry.

ABCs-of-Event-Ideas

As you can see, the sky’s the limit! Find creative ways to connect with your area. We are more than happy to brainstorm with you what event would work for your community. FundEasy and AttendEasy are designed for almost any fundraising event and we’d love to show you how they can work for you on any one of these events—or even a traditional Walk or Banquet 😉

If you have a creative idea that is not listed, please let us know. Let’s keep this idea bank growing and help ministries fundraise world-wide!

Happy planning!

 

Andrea Trudden
Andrea Trudden

 

Life Chores (free printable included)

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

to-doI’m a mom. I make lists. Lists help me stay focused on the task at hand and help me feel more in control. (Though, let’s face it. I’m a mom. The kids are sometimes in control.)

While going through some old files, I came across this “list” of Life Chores that I created years ago to help me stay focused in an ever-increasingly distracted world. These tips are what I (try to) hold true to in order to stay in the driver’s seat of my life. This list brings together the best tips and tricks of time management from top leadership speakers.

Print it out. Hang it up. Refer to it often. And stay in control.

  • Don’t delay. If a task takes less than two minutes to complete, complete it. You waste more time putting it off than simply doing it.
  • Be smart with your time. Book the first appointment of the day with doctors, dentists and such.
    • Bonus tip: Always book future appointments before leaving the office. It saves you the hassle of setting up the appointment later and gives you more scheduling options.
  • Buy stamps online (usps.com) and buy plenty of them. You know you’ll always need more and they rarely get cheaper. Plus, the mailman delivers them with your mail, so no need to go out to buy stamps!
  • Be intentional. If you’ve got a task to complete, turn off your phone.
  • Take breaks throughout the day. Studies show that taking breaks often throughout the day increase your productivity at work. (Learn how the rule of 52 and 17 can work for you.)
    • Bonus tip: Sites like Toggl.com help track your time so you know how you are utilizing your day. You may be surprised to see how you actually spend your time at work versus how it feels like you spend your time. (You know those jobs that feel like they take hours may only last 20 minutes.)
  • Consolidate. List credit card numbers in a single location—on a security app like 1Password or an index card—and keep it in a safe place. It’s a quick reference for ordering online or over the phone.
    • Bonus tip: Include the toll-free number of the bank that issued the card so you can contact it immediately if the card is lost or stolen.
  • Avoid clutter. Open mail over the recycling bin or paper shredder to avoid the paper piles.
  • Be specific. Leave telephone messages that don’t require a response. Be very specific about what you need and when. (This is my favorite tip!)
  • Limit distractions. Check your personal email only once a day.
  • Say “no” now and then, even to the little things. It is not a sin. (I have trouble with this one.)
  • Don’t wait on things. If your computer takes four minutes to boot up, find something to do regularly that you can do while this task completes, like listen to voice mails or grab a cup of coffee.
  • Get up and move! Your body’s energy level goes down when you sit idle. Standing at your desk while reading a spreadsheet helps as well as little exercises throughout the day. Don’t worry—No marathons required. 😉
    • Bonus tip: Go to EatMoveSleep.com and get a free, personalized plan designed for you with practical ways of incorporating new habits to improve your health.
  • Batch tasks. Group tasks that require the same resources or level of concentration.
  • Prepare for tomorrow. Making a list of things on your mind today saves you that time tomorrow.
  • Understand your tools. Knowing your software and equipment saves time and frustration. If you want some guidance with AttendEasy or FundEasy, contact us. We’re happy to help!

 

Print Your To-Do List

 

I hope this helps you take control of your day.

Make it a great one!

 

Andrea Trudden
Andrea Trudden

 

 

Photo credit: Designed by Waewkidja / Freepik

11 Questions to Ask Before Setting Up Your Event in FundEasy

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

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.

FundEasy is used to manage all kinds of peer-to-peer fundraising events and campaigns. We understand that your event is unique, and we are here to help you get started on the right foot with your online registration.

As you set up your event, there are several questions to consider in order to make sure you’re getting all the necessary information from your participants. The best way to decide what you should include on your event’s registration form is to ask yourself the following questions:

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.

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Is there a fee to participate?

While most walks are free, runs often charge a registration fee. Is this the case with your event? If every—or just some—registrations require a fee, we can customize your form to collect payment at the time of registration. 

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Is the registration fee always required?

Do you plan to waive the registration fee with a fundraising commitment like the example below? If so, we can help you customize your event to include this feature.

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Will the price change as the event gets closer?

Sometimes offering an Early Bird Discount is what it takes to get fundraisers to sign up 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.

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What is happening at the event that we must account for in advance?

Are you having a toddler race? A lunch? Assigning bib numbers to runners? Multiple start times? It’s a good idea to get a count for other event activities in order to prepare for bibs, giveaways, sandwiches, etc.

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Are there different event locations or registration types?

Plan for an accurate count of runners, walkers, or participants at both your North & South locations by adding a simple drop down or radio button field to your registration form.

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What information do we need to follow up with fundraisers?

The people who joined you for your event–be it through friends or family–are potential ministry partners and friends to the organization. Be sure to collect the appropriate contact information so your organization can stay connected once the event is over. (See The Day After the Event for more details.)

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What information must we have?

Would you like your fundraisers to be required to enter more than just their name and email? No problem! Any fields on your registration form can be required.

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What information do we need to prepare for prizes?

Gone are the days of guessing t-shirt orders! Get sizes and selections in advance so you can intelligently order your shirts and other prize items.

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Do we want our fundraisers to set their own goals and/or deadlines?

As the Event Coordinator, you can choose a default fundraising goal and a deadline for your participants when setting up your event. If you would prefer they set their own when registering, you can do that!

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How do we want to handle family registrations?

Participants can often choose to fundraise as a family. This creates one fundraiser page in their family’s name. If you need to charge for additional family members or want to know information for each family member (like their names and ages), please reach out to our Support Team. We’ll talk through your needs and make sure the correct information is requested when your fundraisers sign up.

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Do we want a liability release waiver initialed when fundraisers register?

Our default registration form offers this option so your organization can include the proper legal language. Be sure to add your liability release waiver text before opening public registration!

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Note: Ministry Sync does not provide waiver text. Consult with your legal advisor before adding your liability release waiver.

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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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Talk to you soon!

Crystal Velte
Crystal Velte

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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