Archive for the "Tips" Category:

Life Chores (free printable included)

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

I’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

 

11 Questions to Ask Before Setting Up Your Registration Form

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

 

Are You Using Online Registration to its Fullest Potential?

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

 

Designed by Freepik

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:

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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.

keener-banquet

 

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?

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.

 

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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