Archive for the "Tips" Category:

Survey Your Guests: Make your Good Event a Great One!

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

team-fistbump

Your event is over. You can breathe now.

How was it? Did you even have a second to listen to the program you spent months planning? Did it feel like everything went wrong?

  • The tables weren’t where they were supposed to be.
  • People showed up at the last minute who you weren’t expecting.
  • The potatoes didn’t look as appetizing as they did at the taste testing.
  • The speaker went over by THREE MINUTES!!!

When you’re in the midst of all the details, it’s sometimes hard to see the big picture. Thankfully though, your guests do see the big picture. So what ultimately matters isn’t the tiny mishaps, but rather your guests’ lasting impressions.

The primary purpose of your event—beyond fundraising—should be to educate your guests on your mission and show them what you’re doing to achieve it. Are you communicating your ministry well? Are you being respectful of your guests’ time? How do you know?

Thankfully, AttendEasy gives you tools to communicate with your guests, and you have the opportunity to gauge their opinions. When using Live Attendance in conjunction with AttendEasy, you’ll have access to a breakdown of the following types of guests: regular attendees, no-shows, guests who canceled, as well as walk-ins.

We give you the ability to email these different segmented groups of guests. So I urge you—use these tools, and get a survey out to them!

Pro-Tip! Email your segmented groups directly from the Attendance section of your event.

I suggest creating two surveys, one for all guests and one for Table Hosts.

Survey your guests

Here is an Event Survey that you can copy and use for your center. (Note: You must have a Google account to copy the survey for your use.)

button-guest-survey

Survey your Table Hosts Questions from above, plus:

button-th-survey

The above survey templates are comprehensive and designed to help you have a full understanding of your guests’ experience. (Click for a preview.)

These are important things to gauge each year, and often these are the things that separate a good event from a great one.

Within your thank you email to all guests and Table Hosts (preferably sent the next day), include a link to your survey with your genuine thank you and the estimated amount raised (if possible). Doing so will help you identify what your guests liked and disliked allowing you to make your event even better next year!

Make it a great one!

 

Crystal Velte
Crystal Velte

Little Words, Huge Impact

Thursday, January 4th, 2018

thanksHave you ever noticed how the employees at Chick-Fil-A say “My pleasure” when you say “Thank You”? There is an intentional reason for this.

From Mirriam Webster:

“My pleasure” is an idiomatic response to “Thank you.” It is similar to “You’re welcome,” but more polite and more emphatic.

Use it in formal conversation when someone thanks you for doing a favor, and you want to respond in a way that tells them that you were very happy to help and that you enjoyed it. You can also use the longer form, “It was my pleasure,” which means the same thing.

In ministry work, there is so much that goes into the mission every day. Supporters, through their donation of time and/or money, are imperative for an organization to thrive. Thanking them for their service is key in acknowledging their efforts.

It is a common practice in Event Follow-Up and donation receipt to thank supporters immediately. This is done for a couple of reasons: people want to be certain you received their gift, and giving to others brings people joy which connects your supporters more to your ministry.

This simple act of saying “Thank You” literally makes a person happy. These two little words help someone feel significant and more a part of your organization. Through their gift, you can further your mission.

On the flip-side, when someone says “Thank You” to you for the life-changing work you do, don’t brush it off with a “No Problem” or “It was nothing” — this belittles the important work you do! It’s okay to take pleasure in receiving the gratitude being shared.

It is written in Proverbs 27:2: “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth—a stranger, and not your own lips.”

Showing gratitude to people tends to be easy for people who work in ministry. It is an important way to acknowledge the effort people put into the work they do.

And on the same note, receiving gratitude graciously is just as important. This allows others to acknowledge your efforts and share their appreciation for the work you do.

So the next time someone says “Thank you,” simply smile and respond with an “It was my pleasure!”

Thank you for all the work you do to further His Kingdom.

 

Andrea Trudden
Andrea Trudden

 

Planning Today for Tomorrow’s Event

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

The key word in the job Event Planning is PLANNING.

The more “planning” you do, the less work you have. Putting this into practice year after year will get you into a groove and allow your events to practically plan themselves! (OK – so that may be an exaggeration, but I promise they will be much less stressful.)

Though your events may be several months away, there are important things you should do today to prepare for them. And remember, for best results, start planning as early as possible.

 

For Spring Fundraising Dinner Events:

1. Create a budget

  • In my opinion, this is the most important task for any and all events.
  • If you are at a loss for how to start for creating a budget, click here → Budget Planning Templates
  • Determine if your event will have underwriters. This may greatly impact your event budget.

2. Identify the venue and negotiate details and date

  • The earlier you can do this, the better.
  • Event Tip! Opt for a weekday evening for good pricing and turn out.

3. Set up online registration

4. Compare cost estimates and make selections on everything

  • Get estimates for all fixed and variable items (e.g., food & beverages, A/V equipment, speaker fees, etc.)
  • Event Tip! Remember to include taxes and service charges within your budget to save you from a big surprise cost later.

5. Identify and contact potential Table Hosts

  • Table Hosts are great assets for your event. Prepare them well and they can take much of the burden off your plate. (Sample Table Host Packet)

6. Get the word out!

 

For Fall Fundraising Dinner Events:

Do all of the above, but get started NOW! Trust me, planning now will save you a lot of stress later.

Happy planning!

 

Andrea Trudden
Andrea Trudden

P.S. Do you know anyone who might, perhaps be procrastinating a tad? Share this article with them and encourage them to start today!

For best results, use Chrome

Thursday, December 14th, 2017

computer-googleDo you know what internet browser you use?

To some, this may sound like a silly question. To others, it may sound very foreign.

The internet browser you use can highly affect your experience online. Explorer, Safari, FireFox, Chrome, etc… may sound familiar, but if you don’t know which you are using, you might be in for some technical headaches.

Let me put it boldly: If you are using anything other than Chrome for your online usage, you are putting unnecessary roadblocks in your way of experiencing a safe and easy time online.

Just look at this review on The Best Browsers of 2017 from Digital Trends which boasts Chrome’s high-security features and calls it the “new gold standard for web browsers.”

The reality is that every website has to use A LOT of intricate code for each and every browser that exists for it to provide the best user experience.

Chrome offers fast speed with a lot of key features that developers love, like providing some of the best mobile-integration possible. Although Ministry Sync works hard to be compatible with most of the browsers out there, we’ve found Chrome to be the most secure browser providing the best experience. This is why Ministry Sync uses Chrome as our preferred internet browser.

For the best experience with Ministry Sync, use Chrome as your internet browser.

google-chrome

Download Chrome Internet Browser.

Andrea Trudden
Andrea Trudden

 

Promoting #GivingTuesday [samples included]

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017


Now that you have your free #GivingTuesday Campaign set up for November 28, you need to promote it to your audience and community in order to stir up some excitement!

Utilizing email and social media allows for a swift connection with little effort. And to simplify the process even more, we have developed some sample posts and emails for your use.

Social Media Posts
Leading up to #GivingTuesday, take the opportunity to remind your audience of your organization’s mission and needs. If they aren’t able to give financially, there are other ways to help.

  • On #GivingTuesday we are hoping to raise [Fundraising Goal] for the ministry. Please mark your calendar, and help us reach our goal!
  • Next year, we are planning to [insert Ministry Goal]—your gift on #GivingTuesday will help make this possible! [link to FundEasy Page]
  • #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving. Everyone, anywhere, can participate! Give of your time by volunteering [link to volunteer info], your prayers by praying [link to prayer calendar], and your dollars by giving [link to FundEasy Page]
  • Save the date: #GivingTuesday 2017 is November 28th. We’re proud to be a part of the global celebration of giving. Visit [FundEasy Page] to find out more!
  • #GivingTuesday is a day for everyone, everywhere, to GIVE! Find out how you can be part of the movement at [link to FundEasy Page].
  • Everyone has the capacity to give. Join us on November 28 to celebrate #GivingTuesday. You can give your time, skills, voice, dollars, and goods to [organization name] or #payitforward and help others. Visit [FundEasy Page] to find out more!
  • #GivingTuesday isn’t all about financial giving. We are in need of [material goods]. If you’re able to help, please drop these items off to [location] on #GivingTuesday. Of course, financial gifts are still needed and can be given at [FundEasy Page].

 

Email

Email is a great tool you can use to connect with your audience. If you have used Ministry Sync in the past, you can modify the “Invitation Email” to be a “Save the Date” and email your previous guests right from your event. Here’s how.

Sample email #1:

Subject: #GivingTuesday is just 2 weeks away!

This is a season of thanksgiving, and we are so thankful for you!

Your generosity this year has helped us to [Share Ministry Accomplishments and Statistics].

As we celebrate this season of thanksgiving, we also anticipate the ministry that is to come.

#GivingTuesday is coming up on November 28. This is a nationally recognized day of generosity. Everyone, anywhere, can participate! Give of your time by volunteering [link to volunteer info], your prayers by praying [link to prayer calendar], and your dollars by giving [link to FundEasy Page].

In an effort to prepare for ministry, we have set a #GivingTuesday fundraising goal of [Fundraising Goal]. Would you please mark your calendar for #GivingTuesday (November 28, 2017), and consider helping us reach that goal by donating through our fundraising page: #GivingTuesday Fundraising Page [Link to your FundEasy page].

Thank you for your generous support – both prayerfully and financially. Together we’re making a difference!

[Signature]

P.S. You don’t have to wait for #GivingTuesday to give. Our page is able to accept donations today! Thank you for helping us reach our goal of [Fundraising Goal], Give Now! [Link to your FundEasy Page]

Like us on Facebook [FACEBOOK PAGE] and Follow us on Twitter [@HANDLE].

Sample email #2:

Subject: #GivingTuesday is tomorrow!

#GivingTuesday is a celebration of America’s greatest traditions: generosity, entrepreneurialism, community. Everyone has something to give. You can give time or expertise, prayers for our ministry, and/or monetary donations large or small.

Give of your time by volunteering [link to volunteer info], your prayers by praying [link to prayer calendar], and your dollars by giving [link to FundEasy Page].

We have set a #GivingTuesday fundraising goal of [Fundraising Goal] to help us move toward our mission. Would you please consider helping us reach that goal by donating through our fundraising page: #GivingTuesday Fundraising Page [Link to your FundEasy page].

Thank you for your generous support – both prayerfully and financially. Together we’re making a difference!

[Signature]

P.S. You don’t have to wait for #GivingTuesday to give. Our page is able to accept donations today! Thank you for helping us reach our goal of [Fundraising Goal], Give Now! [Link to your FundEasy Page]

Like us on Facebook [FACEBOOK PAGE] and Follow us on Twitter [@HANDLE].

Our hope is that #GivingTuesday becomes an opportunity for all organizations to partake in so that communities are aware of the good resources right in their own backyard.

If you haven’t yet set up your free #GivingTuesday Campaign, use promo code Giving17 and get started now.

 

Crystal Velte
Crystal Velte

 


About #GivingTuesday
#GivingTuesday is a global giving movement that has been built by individuals, families, organizations, businesses and communities in all 50 states and in countries around the world. This year, #GivingTuesday will be held on November 28, 2017. #GivingTuesday harnesses the collective power of a unique blend of partners to transform how people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season. It inspires people to take collective action to improve their communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they believe in, and help create a better world. #GivingTuesday demonstrates how every act of generosity counts, and that they mean even more when we give together.

To learn more about #GivingTuesday, please visit:
Website: www.givingtuesday.org
#GivingTuesday Toolkit: www.givingtuesday.org/organizations#block–the-complete-toolkit
Facebook: www.facebook.com/GivingTuesday
Twitter: twitter.com/GivingTues

Use FundEasy for Free this #GivingTuesday!

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

GT-7-2-FB

Our gift to you this Holiday Season is a free #GivingTuesday FundEasy campaign!

Use the Promo Code: Giving17 and follow our Step-by-Step guide to get your page ready to go! This offer is available to all organizations—new and existing customers of Ministry Sync!

What is #GivingTuesday?

#GivingTuesday is a global campaign dedicated to charitable donations. If your organization is not promoting this as a day of giving, you might be missing a golden opportunity.

This year’s #GivingTuesday is November 28. That’s coming up very soon. Using this free #GivingTuesday FundEasy campaign takes the burden of planning off your plate as it comes complete with ready-to-use graphics, step-by-step directions, and a clean, professional design to share with your community. You can be set up for this year’s #GivingTuesday in less than 15 minutes.

In addition to our gift of a $0 service fee, your donors will have the option to cover their processing fees — allowing you to raise money with zero expense!

This is NOT your typical giving page.

This is an event designed for you to share with your community and get people involved. Set a goal and use the tracking thermometer to keep your supporters aware of your progress.

giving-page

We’ve developed special banners for your use to promote on both the campaign and social media. In addition, we have created a step-by-step guide to help you be ready to raise funds in less than 15 minutes. (Check out this sample #GivingTuesday page.)

Not a reader, no worries. We have developed a video tutorial as well.

step-by-step-cover YT-tutorial

Step-by-Step Instructions

Print and follow the directions and
you will be set up in no time!

Watch the tutorial

This 7-minute video will guide
you through the setup process.

Our goal is to help ministries succeed. We want you to have access to the tools needed in order to take the opportunity to connect with your community. Don’t let your to-do list stop you from reaching potential supporters.

People seek to get their charitable donations in before Dec. 31 anyway for taxes. Give supporters a chance to donate to you this #GivingTuesday!

Scientific research shows that the act of giving makes people happy. Allow people to experience some happiness by giving to a cause they love—yours!

How do I get set up?

  1. Set up your #GivingTuesday campaign in FundEasy today for free!
  2. Use the Promo Code: Giving17 and
  3. Follow our Step-by-Step guide to get your page ready to go!

This offer is available to all organizations, so please feel free to pass the code along!

Have a great day and may God bless the fruits of your labor this Holiday Season!

Andrea Trudden
Andrea Trudden

*All #GivingTuesday Campaigns include 2 hours of free tech support. Additional support is available at an additional cost. Donors are able to cover fees for any donations under $250.

What’s the difference between Andrea and Andrea?

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

A few months ago, a small change was made at Ministry Sync that has caused a tad bit of chaos: They hired me! 🙂

Now, hiring me and implementing a stronger outreach is good, of course. But, over the months, we started noticing a little bit of confusion. You see, long before I came here, there was an Andrea already on staff helping you with all your event needs through our support team.

If you have called, entered a chat, or emailed in the past with a question, the odds are, Andrea Cross has taken care of you.

However, if you have been on social media, read our blog, or received a company email from Ministry Sync, it’s more than likely from me, Andrea Trudden.

Hmm… I see how this can get confusing.

To get better acquainted, we decided to share a little about us.

Andrea Trudden

Andrea Cross
Customer Support
Andrea Trudden
Social Media
Started at Ministry Sync: August 2015 Started at Ministry Sync: December 2016
Job: Guide customer through the event process. Helps with anything and everything regarding Ministry Sync software. Job: Communicate the work of Ministry Sync to all audiences while providing Event Tips & Tricks along the way.
Best part of the Job: Getting to work for a company that has a ministry mindset and seeks to put God first in running the business, working with customers, and building up their team of staff. Best part of the job: Sharing with ministries worldwide and guiding them to communicate their mission well through events. Then, hearing the positive feedback as to how their life was made easier through our efforts.
Favorite Season: Fall
“It refreshes my soul and always motivates me to make a fresh batch of life goals.”
Favorite Season: Spring
“Everything comes back to life and it reminds me of a time of renewal.”
Food: Bread and Cheese (together, separate, anyway they come!) Food: Cheeseburger with Sweet Potato Fries and a Milkshake 😊
Animal Preference: Cats Animal Preference: Dogs
Go-to Scripture: Jeremiah 17:7-8
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Go-to Scripture: Isaiah 40:31
“but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

So, in short, if you are contacting us for help on your upcoming event, you are probably talking with Andrea Cross. If you are reading our blog or receive a general announcement about Ministry Sync, you are probably reading something from me. I hope this helps!

 

Andrea Trudden
Andrea Trudden

P.S. You can learn about all of the Ministry Sync team by clicking here.

Maximizing the Donation

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great day!

 

Andrea Trudden
Andrea Trudden

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

82-percent-fee-covered

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