As we start the year, we’ve still got our eye on the prize: successful fundraisers that captivate and engage our donors. Here, we take a look at a few fundraising event trend predictions that might shift the way we view our events this year. We’ve also got a few tips up our sleeves to help you tackle these trends. Here’s an overview of our predictions:
So, let’s settle in and discuss what we see coming.
Let’s face it: when you compete for a donor’s attention, you’re competing with a lot. That’s why these days, nonprofits have really got to create something special in order to catch the eye of a potential event attendee. Now more than ever, your donors want to attend creative events that provide them with truly unforgettable experiences.
This year, we predict a strong increase in experiential events -- that is, fundraising events that are extremely memorable and shareable for their attendees. Events that are truly unique will excite and engage your guests before the event even starts, meaning they’re more likely to invite their own networks as well.
If you want to plan an experience that excites your attendees and fosters community, there are two major steps you’ll need to take: i.Create a conceptii. Get the word out Let’s break each of these down in more detail.
Here are a few key ideas to consider on as you embark on the first stages of event planning:
Experience-based events are inherently social, so consider the following tactics as you mobilize your communities and publicize your fundraiser:
By combining both angles, you’ll be able to plan an event that entertains and engages your audience and their networks. The bottom line: Creative, well-thought-out events that break outside the fundraiser norm are more likely to bring in eager donors. By creating an interesting concept and engaging your networks effectively, you can organize a full experience for your guests and meet your fundraising goals.
More than ever before, it’s essential for a successful event to have its own distinct brand. Event branding simply refers to the cohesive vision for your event. A well-branded event is recognizable at all levels and shows a strong level of consistency and attention to detail.
Successful fundraising events will no longer be able to slide by without implementing their own brand. We see event branding as a necessary stage in event planning.
If you’re not sure how to brand your next fundraiser, here are a few places to start:
No matter how small or large your fundraiser is, smart branding can set it apart from start to finish. The bottom line: We expect event branding to become the new necessity, which makes now a great time to experiment with creating your own brand. From design to decor, your unique brand should reflect who you are on every level.
At this point, you’ve probably begun to think about the ways you can integrate mobile giving into your fundraising and event planning strategies. If you haven’t, we can’t think of any time better than the present.
Mobile fundraising is an inclusive term for a number of methods of collecting donations on mobile devices. And now more than ever, it’s on the rise. We see mobile giving taking over fundraising this year, especially as it relates to the fundraising event.
There are two specific ways you can utilize mobile giving at your event: i. Use mobile bidding to re-energize the silent auction.ii. Incorporate text-to-give tools to engage both attendees and absentees. Each of these factors will have a big impact on how you organize your event, so let’s dive into them one by one.
For many fundraising professionals, silent auction bid sheets have been on the way out for some time now in favor of a fresh, fully digital take on the age-old auction format. Basically, the new and improved auction process works like this: Bidders can place offers on auction items directly on their smartphones and receive instant notifications when they have been outbid. If the bidder wishes to place a new bid, he or she simply responds to the initial notification. This new process is not only easy, it’s also fun, meaning that participants will be more likely to take part in bidding wars right on their phones!In general, mobile bidding is a more convenient, engaging way for your attendees to take part in silent auctions -- and it’s a big win for your event.
As their name would suggest, text-to-give tools make it simple for individuals to donate by texting. There are a number of text-to-give services you can choose from, each with their own specific advantages. In general, these programs are a smart way to quickly collect and process payments before, during, and after your fundraising events. Text-to-give makes it easier than ever for donors to give, but we see these services becoming a major player because they engage a previously forgotten audience: non-attending donors. When you enable text-to-give, you’re not only able to engage event guests with their smartphones in tow, you’re also able to reach out to interested donors who couldn’t make it to your fundraiser. The bottom line: Moving forward, it’s crucial that your organization adapts to changing technology. We see mobile giving becoming a standard part of event fundraising in the coming year.
It goes without saying that the most successful fundraising events don’t just attract one-time donors; they encourage donors to commit to more long-term giving. After all, what’s better than a single donation? Multiple donations!
We see nonprofits making a reinvigorated effort toward encouraging and securing recurring donations. Recurring donations don’t just increase revenue for your nonprofit. They also lead to higher donor retention overall, stronger donor relationships, and less time and energy spent on donor acquisition.In short, recurring donations have the power to transform your organization and make your fundraising efforts truly worthwhile.
There are many ways to turn one-time donors into repeat donors. Here are a few strategies you can implement this year:
Getting donors to your event once might seem daunting on its own, but by thinking strategically, we guarantee your donors will keep coming back. The bottom line: Recurring donations have always been key, but we see a resurgence in their prevalence this year. Stay active and accessible to your donors throughout the year in order to secure their recurring gifts.
At the end of the day, your donors are what make your nonprofit possible. This year, we see donors coming back as the primary focus for your organization and the fundraising events you plan.
We believe donor needs will take priority over organizational needs this year, and nonprofits will reframe their approach to fundraising to reflect that shift.
Luckily, knowing how to make your donors #1 in the eyes of the organization isn’t difficult. We know what donors want and how you can be there for them right now. Here are a few tips for reconnecting with your donors this year:
The bottom line: We predict a major refocus on donor needs this year. Now is your chance to reconnect with your constituents and find out how you can best be there for them. When you do, you’ll be sure to see a major payoff in fundraising! In ShortWhether you’re crafting the perfect experience for your guests or finally capitalizing on fantastic mobile giving software, we’re sure this will be your organization’s best year yet Consider our predictions for event trends as you layout your strategies for the upcoming year. You might be surprised what you’re able to achieve!
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