May 22, 2021

Small Event Improvements that Make a Big Difference


With the fall event season just around the corner, it’s time to review the more granular details of your upcoming fundraising event. From confirming floral arrangements and entertainment to drafting the perfect script for your fundraising call to action, it’s the little things that can have the biggest impact. Today we will discuss updates to make to your event to help you reach your fundraising goals.

Give Guests a Smooth Ticket Purchase and Check-In

For maximum attendance at your event, plan to make it easy for your supporters to purchase their tickets. Create an online ticket sales form that can be shared by email and social media, as well as embedded or linked directly from your website. Add an option to make a donation on the ticket form for those who cannot attend and for those who want to donate right away.

For stress-free check-in at your event, your guests can quickly pull up their email or text message with their unique QR code to be checked in by your staff or volunteers. In addition to giving peace of mind to your guests as they enter your event, this allows for easy follow-up with guests who attended as well as those who may have been unable to attend the live event, even after purchasing a ticket.

Provide a Text-to-Donate Keyword

One of the easiest ways to boost donations at your event is to incorporate a text-to-donate keyword to allow donors to easily make a gift from their phone. To ensure all of your supporters and their guests are aware of your text-to-donate keyword and how to complete their gift, you can incorporate it in the following areas:

  • Pre-event email to registered/ticketed attendees
  • Printed instructions within your program
  • Table tents and posters throughout the event space
  • On volunteer t-shirts
  • Guest giveaway items – wristbands, wine glasses, postcards
  • Pre-event and day-of-event social media posts

Would you like to learn more about how GiveSmart can help you fundraise at your next event? Request a Free Demo

Incorporate a Live Call to Action

In addition to promoting your text-to-donate keyword on printed and online materials, one of the most impactful ways you can increase donations at your event is to incorporate a live call to action with your text-to-donate keyword. To ensure maximum fundraising success, your live call to action should follow the “emotional high point” of the evening. This is typically after hearing from a beneficiary of your organization’s good works whether that’s in person or a video. 

With your live call to action, timing is everything! In addition to following the emotional part of your appeal, it should take place when it is the sole focus of your event attendees. The ask should typically not take place during the meal portion of the event when guests will be distracted or too close to the beginning or end of the evening. You will also want to keep the text-to-donate call to action separate from any other fundraising aspects of the night, like a live or silent auction, raffle winner announcements, etc.

Reveal a Live Event Thermometer

If you are using a text-to-donate keyword and a live call to action, the 3rd component needed to have a successful event is the live fundraising thermometer. The thermometer lets you publicly thank and acknowledge your donors, track your progress toward your goal, and adds a level of social influence for your donors to participate. Like your live call to action, timing is key to success with your fundraising thermometer.

To have the most impact, your fundraising thermometer should typically only be displayed during a small portion of your event. During your program when you first introduce the idea of text-to-donate, rather than display the thermometer itself, display the built-in “Instruction Slide” of the fundraising thermometer.

Display your thermometer during your appeal for a short period. Timing will range on your call to action but typically lasts 5 to 15 minutes. Your focus should be giving your donors enough time to read the instructions, text in, complete their gift, and see their names appear on the thermometer but not so long that the thermometer begins to lose its urgency and fade into the background.

Incorporate all these tips into your next live event to see your donations increase. From last-minute intimate gatherings to intricate galas, use technology to have a successful fundraising event for your non-profit. Request a free demo with one of our fundraising experts to learn, step by step, how GiveSmart can simply help set up your campaigns while transforming your results.


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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