Jul 23, 2021

Event registration, ticketing, and item solicitation for virtual and hybrid fundraisers

Event registration, ticketing, and item solicitation for virtual and hybrid fundraisers

Technology — including mobile devices, social media, and tech-based fundraising platforms — has come a long way. In the world of fundraising, these advances make it easier and faster to connect, engage with and thank donors interested in your cause. With a well-conceived strategy and the click of a button, your organization or upcoming event can reach hundreds, thousands, or even millions of eyes.

Different devices and platforms help you create a variety of content, from video advertisements and donor spotlights to livestream auctions and roundtable discussions.

The new way to raise money

The average person spends more than three hours on their phone each day for work, entertainment, shopping, and donating and engaging in causes. Mobile giving includes text-to-give (TTG) and text-to-donate (TTD) options, as well as online events. Virtual and hybrid fundraising events let you reach donors where they already are, and industry reports show 28% of online contributions now come from mobile devices.

Online-only fundraising events give you the flexibility to invite guest speakers and donors from around the world without geographical restrictions and travel logistics. Hybrid events incorporate the benefits of both in-person and virtual fundraising, letting you appeal to those who prefer physical attendance without limiting your reach. Popular examples include silent auctions, raffles with online shopping, peer-to-peer campaigns, and online donation portals to raise awareness and funds without attached events.

Successful virtual and hybrid events require the right equipment, like livestreaming platform accounts, recording and broadcasting gear, and mobile fundraising software, like GiveSmart. GiveSmart’s mobile bidding and virtual fundraising tools simplify planning processes — like seating management, administrative tasks, donation displays, social media sharing, sponsorship recognition, and auto-generated donor letters — while improving the donor’s experience.

With GiveSmart, your donors will enjoy:

  • Integrated credit card payments for faster processing and easier checkout at the end of your fundraiser auction.
  • Embedded pages and forms to minimize how much information each donor has to fill out and how long the process takes.
  • Simplified ticket purchases and the ability to register and secure tickets for multiple events or add-ons at once.

What do you get when you register?

Event organizers can expect the following benefits when you register for our mobile-friendly fundraising platform:

  • Customizable interface: Get full control over your campaign’s appearance and interface, including colors, theme, text, video, and enhanced images.
  • Donor insights: Once your donors enter information during the virtual event registration process or add their contact information to your mailing list, you’ll get instant insights into key patterns, like bidding preferences.
  • Payment processing: The GiveSmart platform transfers donations and funds directly to your organization’s connected bank account, so you get instant updates regarding tickets purchased to process and access funds faster.
  • Simpler management: Our event management software will let you drag and drop table arrangements, organize your guest list and get up-to-the-minute insights on your venture’s success to simplify event management and free up your time for other critical tasks, like engaging donors and providing memorable event experiences encouraging guests to spread the word about your cause.

How the virtual event registration and ticketing works

How the virtual event registration and ticketing works

With GiveSmart, donors can purchase tickets and register for your event at the same time, streamlining your fundraiser and letting you focus on what really matters — spreading awareness for your cause or organization and engaging with donors. With the GiveSmart virtual and hybrid event ticketing software, you can collect the following:

  • Donor information: Gone are the days of misplaced raffle winner phone numbers or hard-to-read registration forms. During the virtual event registration and ticketing process, donors can enter their name, phone number, email address, and additional relevant information about any guests they brought with them.
  • Custom questions: Use ticket and registration forms to ask your donors custom questions, depending on your event, such as meal preferences and allergies, special seating requests, comments, questions, or event suggestions.
  • Optional add-ons: Give donors even more opportunities to show their support for your organization by adding optional add-ons, like raffle tickets, contest or giveaway entries, merchandise, or general donations.

How item solicitation works

Hosting an online auction fundraiser? Virtual and hybrid event item solicitation works a little bit differently than in-person events. Instead of planning logistics like item transportation and display, you’ll need to consider the best way to list each item in your virtual catalog and take high-quality images to encourage bids.

The GiveSmart platform is the ideal solution to manage virtual events entirely from your device, with auction-specific features like:

  • Instant bids: Donors can browse your auction catalog privately, quickly, and from the convenience of their phone or tablet. Mobile bidding is instantaneous, with each text-to-donate campaign receiving a dedicated keyword to track analytics and usage. Once the donor submits their bid, they will receive automatic alerts as they are outbid, with the option to continue bidding until the item is sold. You can also set parts of your auction inventory as instant-buy options with set prices for those who prefer outright purchases instead of bidding wars. Set prices also guarantee your organization a baseline profit for that item.
  • Self-checkout: Donors can actively monitor their bidding progress and checkout from their device on their own time with their preferred payment method.
  • Item management: Manage auction item solicitation and procurement with real-time status updates on bidding activity and tracking. After the sale, the GiveSmart platform will generate display sheets for the event and compile relevant tax information for easier planning and reporting.
  • Detailed descriptions: While traditional in-person auctions give donors a chance to see an item for themselves, events often lack the time and venue space to show each angle or explain important selling points. Virtual auctions let you create and edit item descriptions to document and list all relevant information, like the item’s origin, unique features, and need-to-know details. Pair this information with multiple item images, so donors get a comprehensive look at their purchases.

Simplify donations and event management with GiveSmart

Simplify donations and event management with GiveSmart

GiveSmart is a mobile bidding software for organizations that simplifies and enhances silent auctions and other nonprofit events, with features like:

  • Livestreaming with integrated fundraising for seamless presentations.
  • Custom text-to-donate campaigns with donor self-checkout.
  • Tools for donor engagement, including email communications and electronic receipts.
  • Thematic branding for your event, including customizable, user-friendly sites to bring your mission to life.
  • Auction and event management with unlimited built-in item solicitation and status tracking.
  • An easy-to-manage database with all relevant donor and guest information.
  • Ongoing support from our Customer Success Managers and knowledge base, equipped with industry insights to help your event succeed.

Request a demo today and see the difference GiveSmart can have on your upcoming fundraiser.


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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