Nov 24, 2020

Creative Uses of Technology in Fundraising

Happy creative businesspeople brainstorming in office, placing sticky notes with ideas on glass

The following is a transcript of our Q&A conversation from Episode 5 of our Pivot Success Series.  You can view the full webinar, and other webinars in the series, on our Pivot Success page.

This episode details some creative ways to use technology to your advantage in fundraising. Topics covered include video streaming, live-streaming of events and promotions.

We have great filmmaking capabilities and would love to use motivating. How would it fit into platform? What is your best recommendation for using video?

Laura:  you can embed videos straight onto your home page. If you are doing a live stream, incorporate the videos definitely. You work on them and it just kind of shows different thing rather than keeping the live stream on a single person talking. Definitely incorporate that within the live stream but absolutely you can embed that right on your home page in a custom field and definitely just showcase it right there on the home page.

Any recommendations for live-stream software Steve?

Steve: Yeah. There’s a bunch of them out there that people do YouTube, Facebook. We have a partner in our community brands family that does some live-streaming that can be broadcast to all those places. So there are a lot of options out there. And if you are working with one of our customer success managers they can give those to you.  I think you have to think about what’s the best fit for the capability you have today but like I said, the ones that are out there probably the same one you know Facebook, Instagram live YouTube. Like I said there is one that we have within our community brands family that we can help integrate right into what you’re trying to do. I think they all take a little bit of I mean in law review work. I don’t know if you’ve worked with any of them I think they all take just a little bit of a learning curve. I don’t think it’s that too difficult but they are all work a little bit differently. You have a little bit of technology but I don’t think it’s complex.

Laura: It’s not and you can always test it before you go live. 

Patrick we have a couple of examples coming up don’t we know that they gave permission that they could share them out to people to see how they were doing that right?

Patrick: Yeah we do. We can make sure we put it in the chat real quick as well as in the follow-ups. So obviously, one reason we wanted to do a little bit different of a success webinar is we know that this week in this weekend in particular it’s obviously different than it would have been but no less important was the busiest fundraising week in the non-profit space.  And so we have an example each Friday Saturday and Sunday of different campaigns of  different varieties that we will send out that our customers have graciously let us sure in the hopes that it does provide inspiration. So 100%k we will make sure that everybody has that in. 

Hometown here looks like the Governor’s extended to stay at home order so we have some nice travel and vacation packages for our live auction. Does it make sense to even auction goes of considering people kind of lost the hope to being able to travel, maybe even later this summer? Any input there from any of you guys? 

Laura:  definitely check out the vendor that’s giving it to you and see if the dates are flexible. See if that’s something that they can extend, if the expiration dates coming up. Definitely don’t be afraid to reach out to that vendor as well. 

Steve: I think it’s a local state-by-state kind of decision and what people’s comfort level would be. I think if we are being realistic you going to get your maximum dollar for that right now, probably not. So it’s something that you can hang on to. It might be worth-while or you play off of people’s desires to travel someday as Laura mentioned if those dates are flexible. I don’t have a great answer there other than the community the space better than then I think we might.  If I was in Illinois I might say “Hey if I can get this if I can sit on this for while great. If my dates are flexible I might play off.” When you get able to get back to normal I wouldn’t be great to go to the beach or go to this great house and celebrate things there. 

Laura, are people trying to handle this on their own or hiring a virtual event producer? What are you hearing more often? 

Laura: like I mentioned before doing Facebook, YouTube, and zoom live event. It does take a small learning curve but everyone I have worked with has been able to do it. Also customer successes managers like myself, we are definitely working with this day in and day out so don’t be afraid to ask us if you are working with somebody how to get started on that. because it’s brand new territory for a lot of people but it’s not expert level. It’s definitely something then everyday people can figure out. 

Patrick: And one thing I could add to that we’ve seen organizations do this. I don’t ask me to do it I was more than happy to be. In your donor base, who do you have that maybe instead of a donation they could donate their time whether it is live stream or marketing or different things. Being able to engage your supporters maybe in a different way than you have historically it’s something that would encourage very highly because everybody is expert they are good at. And some people do have any kind of connections within your supporter’s base, or things like that, where you can leverage somebody’s professional skills whether it’s live stream or any those kind of areas that we talked about are you looking into is something I would very much encourage. 

You still charge it a ticket prize registration price or is it better to do the online auction for free for participants? Laura what have you seen as kind of trend, is there any advice you can give there?

Laura: you can still do a ticket if you want to do the ticketing price. However, you can’t really block people from bidding if they are registered for your event but definitely you can promote the sales of tickets. Maybe include different options to them if they are buying a ticket they get a raffle. Or high level ticket they get a raffle entry or kind of those different incentives to purchase a ticket. But yeah, definitely you can sell tickets along just if you are holding an event a virtual event definitely sell tickets. 

Steve: I would say that’s the decision that you’ll make and see what resonates with your donors. But I think the important thing is if you do that is to explain why are we selling tickets or what are we trying to raise, what we’re trying to do. I think people are very understanding sort of the replacement of that and your bank and some of the revenue from ticket sales to get to a certain dollar amount. So I think if you’re going to do that it’s good to be honest about your goal is with that or if you’re not just to remind people that “Hey, we didn’t charge any tickets and you didn’t have to pay hundred dollars to come so that means some extra money to give us and when we ask you for a donation later.” So either way you do it the good thing to do is just let people know what the goal is and what you are trying to accomplish.

Patrick: I think Laura triggered a thought that was a cool thing I’ve seen. So obviously, you want everybody to your fundraising campaign to bid to donate and things like that. But we had a group and what they did is they had some entertainment like a live band that they were going to perform and so what they did is they sold tickets at a normal I think was $50 something like that. and what they did is the ticket got you access to an exclusive zoom concert so everybody could bid and donate and everything like that which I highly encourage. But if you paid the admission price through zoom in other settings I use zoom for work every day. So I know it a little bit better is you have a meeting code and so they emailed each ticket purchaser code and we’re able to have that kind of more exclusive kind of tight-knit where ‘hey, this is what your ticket purchase is going to give you.” So if you’re looking for something to maybe generate revenue in that regards is okay can you have any sort of  a thing where you’re doing something virtually for your ticket purchasers but also not excluding anybody who might want to contribute in other ways financially to the organization. 

 

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What our clients say

We needed a platform to make sales online and to track and display ads for our sponsors. GiveSmart was perfect. We ended up making close to $15,000 more than we had hoped for. Definite better ROI than we anticipated. The interface is easy to use and provides plenty of options to get help if needed.

Michelle M.

The Rotary Club of South Whidbey Island

Using GS has created ease in auction bookkeeping, payments, and generating post-event thank you/tax letters. While we were online during COVID, our interactions with our GiveSmart via phone, email, and zoom were seamless. A representative always got back to us within the day. I would recommend GiveSmart to anyone doing a large online event.

Julie G.

MicroFinancing Partners in Africa

GiveSmart is highly flexible - you can use it for [a] simple registration and check-in, to full-scale galas with complex order forms, onsite upsells, live auctions, seating management, and more.

Jamie F.

Hope Chest for Breast Cancer

GiveSmart is easy to use and ideal for virtual events and can be used for in-person events to manage the silent auction, seating charts, and check-in to the event. Being able to use the platform for unlimited events within the contract year is very useful and being able to add other users and volunteers for different levels of access is helpful as well.

Dawn L.

Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County