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5 keys to a successful fundraiser

(This blog post is part of the “Apps for Good” series where awesome AppExchange providers guest post about their applications.)


5 keys to a successful fundraiser:

If you are reading this, you are probably responsible for your non-profit’s fundraising event management. We do not have to tell you what an undertaking it is nor the pressure riding on its success. If you could facilitate the process, save time and energy; you’d be curious right? Hopefully, these simple steps will get you on the path.

  1. Figure out your event’s “must have’s”

They change from event to event, but are critical to the whole event process. If you get started by answering these simple questions as you embark on the event, you’re starting off on the right foot.

  • Where will the event be held?
  • When will the event take place?
  • What are the goals of the event?
  • Why should people come to your event?
    • (Free food, open bar, entertainment, speaker, door prizes)
  • Who’s interested in the event, A.K.A. the target audience?
  • How will you reach your events’ audience?

Once you’ve addressed these tough questions, the basics’ have been handled. Now the focus turns to logistics. The devil is in the details, they say!

  1. Reach out to your audience — yesterday.

Your event is competing for your community’s attention. The best advice is to get YOUR EVENT on their radar first with juicy “carrots” to catch their eye! Depending on your target audience, you need to advertise in multiple ways.

Whether it’s through social media, your website, email, snail mail, etc., determine the best way to reach your audience. The rule of thumb is that people need to see something 7 times before it sinks in. Find creative and multiple ways to do this if you want to produce critical mass for your event.  Advertisements should answer the question: WHY people should pick your event? People want to know: “What is in it for me?” Cater your incentives to your target audience and drive attendance.

Do not waste funds on a webmaster to create your event page. Online event registration and management platforms, like Acteva allow you to create your own event landing pages using simple and intuitive, step-by-step wizard. The same goes for your email marketing campaign, distribute invites to your email list, set reminders and forget it!

Using Salesforce?

Then everything gets easier, with Acteva RSVP all the information sync’s to Salesforce. Your data is integrated onto the platform you already are using. That’s right; you can manage registrations and access event payments data all within Salesforce, allowing you to keep track of your events impact. When your attendees register for an event, you can cross sell your other events for them to register for. From general admission to VIP ticket structures, you can up-sell your attendees in the same view. They can clearly see the differences between ticket options while registering themselves or their group.  A variety of roles can be created and you can specify the access level the person has in that role. Anyone in your organization can plan events but not necessarily see everything. Of course Acteva’s support team is there to help customize your pages to meet your individual needs.


You can use promotion codes functionality to set pricing structures and allow for early-birds. Let attendees’ invite friends and share via social media. Use the wait list manager and gain a 100% attendance. Attendees can: buy tickets, manage their registration information, promote your event and print the tickets… from home. Receive payments without getting involved; the system automates it for you. Allowing you to access your funds instantly, just use your own merchant account. The receipt syncs to Salesforce and the attendees inbox; less work for you.

  1. Fundraising strategies:

As people are registering, the focus shifts to fundraising. There are multiple ways to fundraise, some you are already leveraging.

  • Ticket Sales – different levels to entice people to upgrade their ticket.
  • Corporate sponsorships – Partner with businesses, trade advertisements in your program or a website banner for donations or money.
  • Raffle tickets – Solicit small items from your board members and host a raffle.
  • Auctions – Almost 300,000 fundraising auctions are hosted yearly, raising about $14.6 billion (source: National Auctioneers Association). A successful but tedious option. Hosting your online nonprofit auctionor doing it in person it depends on quality items.
    • Don’t hunt for packages. There are services that turn your auction into an easy process without risk or obligations. Reserve the desired item, market and auction it off. Pay for the items after they have sold!
    • Organize the items in a catalog, create bidding sheets then host the auction online.
  1. Manage onsite registration or check-in

Events’ have stragglers. They want to register onsite; do you want to turn them down? No! Skip the paper. Register them quickly on a laptop and instantly access their information. With a little planning, check-in is a breeze. Use the print manager to design tickets or name badges with a barcode and scan attendees in. No lines! Don’t rent lead retrieval  devices. Use smartphone based LRS to scan barcoded tickets.

  1. Analyze your event’s success

You can track the event from before, during and after. Run template reports or create custom reports (save them for reuse) to analyze results and make real time changes or request feedback to improve your next event. When everything is said and done, don’t forget to send a thank-you note.




 Guest post by Natasha Geraghty-Medved from Acteva. You can contact Natasha at 415-962-9032 or [email protected].