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Your organization’s charity events are crucial to your overall fundraising strategy and success. Your charity events help to strengthen donor relationships and to raise the funds you’ll use to further your cause.
Are you interested in maximizing the donations you’ll receive at your next charity event? Luckily for you, we’ve spelled out 10 easy steps to use at your next fundraising event:
- Tell your story with passion at your charity events
- Make your ask at the most emotional point in the program
- Be sure to allow enough time for people to make donations
- Ensure you have your audience’s attention at charity events
- Use easy to understand visual instructions
- Do a live mobile pledging demonstration from the stage
- Jump start mobile pledges at your charity events
- Maintain the giving momentum of charity events
- Empower out-of-towners at charity events
- Arrange for a match at charity events
Read on to learn how to maximize your charity event donations!
1. Tell your story with passion at your charity events.
Make sure people know the purpose of the charity event. Stress the impact their gift will have before the ask so willing donors feel empowered to give. Your storytelling needs to get people to the point where they can’t imagine leaving without donating and helping your cause.
On top of rich, compelling copy, you’ll want to include powerful videos and high quality photos of the change your organization is making. Include stories of the individuals you’ve helped as well as your organization’s volunteers and members. The more positivity you can show your organization making, the better.
Bonus Tip: You have even tell donors exactly what their $25 donation, for example, will go to (i.e., nails and hammers or pet food).
2. Make your ask at the most emotional point in the program.
Catch people when they’re the most inspired by and invested in your work, like when you’re discussing the individuals who benefit from your work and the help your organization can bring. Right after your supporters see how much positive change your organization can create with the help of funds is the best time to ask.
They’ll be swept up in the good your organization accomplishes when you have backing from supporters like them, which will be the perfect time to introduce your convenient mobile giving campaign! They’ll be inspired to give and can follow that feeling with immediate action, thanks to your easy donation process.
Keep in mind, your online and mobile donation forms should have the option to add recurring gifts. Guests intent on giving once may feel compelled to set up annual or monthly gifts if they know it can be done with one click of a button. If you want more strategies on how to improve your annual fund, check out Mobile Cause’s guide.
Bonus Tip: Keep in mind that the fewer required fields your form has, the quicker your donors will be able to contribute. Don’t interrupt their excitement about giving with unnecessary requirements!
3. Be sure to allow enough time for people to make donations.
It takes roughly 15-20 minutes for instructions and pledging to complete. About 90% of charity event donations will come after this first ask, so cutting it short means leaving money on the table!
Be patient during your ask. Keep your donors in mind and don’t rush them. They’ll need some time to complete donations, so you should expect to allow a lull in your program. Jumping to the next section of the event will distract your supporters and leave donation forms incomplete.
4. Ensure you have your audience’s attention at charity events.
Make sure nothing else is happening in the room during the call to action for mobile pledges. As previously mentioned, your storytelling will need to be passionate, but you won’t be able to express that passion if your donors aren’t paying attention.
If your audiences are distracted, they won’t even be directed to your donation forms, let alone be able to fill them out. You’ll want the waiters to be still, music to be off, and house lights to be dimmed so your donors are completely focused on the information you’re presenting.
The focus needs to be on your donation appeal.
5. Use easy-to-understand visual instructions.
If your donors don’t know how to donate, they won’t! It’s as simple as that, so you’ll need to set up table tents and onscreen slides to reinforce the speaker’s verbal mobile pledging instructions.
The more content there is that points to donating, the more likely your supporters are going to contribute. Make it as easy as possible for them to donate. With all the help they’re receiving donate, your donors will feel like it’d be a shame not to contribute!
6. Do a live mobile pledging demonstration from the stage.
Your speaker should walk attendees through the entire mobile pledging process. He should make the first mobile pledge so the audience can see his donation and name appear on screen as the thermometer rises.
Try a process like the following:
- “Pull out your phones and hold them up in the air”
- “Send a text to 41444”
- Type KEYWORD <space> and AMOUNT”
- “Press SEND to pledge and see your donation and name ON SCREEN”
- “Use the LINK to fulfill your pledge”
- “If you don’t fulfill your pledge you will receive a CALL from our call center to complete your gift”
You can use visuals like the above to reinforce your demonstration and help your donors complete their contributions.
7. Jump start mobile pledges at your charity events.
Queue a group of donors to make mobile pledges immediately following the ask. This will jump start the flow of donations that appear in real time on the thermometer.
Plus, as your thermometer rises, your audience will be encouraged to start donating! A little bit of friendly competition never hurts.
8. Maintain the giving momentum of charity events.
As mobile pledges are being received and results are appearing on screen, the speaker should thank and acknowledge donors by name and work the crowd until the goal is reached.
Highlighting your donors publicly onstage will give them the recognition they’re looking for and encourage those who have yet to bid. Again, this is another way to provoke some friendly competition! Donors will love seeing their names on your board or hearing them announced. Your gratitude towards your donors will go a long way.
9. Empower out-of-towners at charity events.
You’ll want to include all of your supporters at your events—even the ones who can’t attend in person!
First, you’ll send the donation link to individuals who can’t make the charity event with instructions to give. Make sure your instructions are clear and give them a point of contact in case of any questions. Let them know that their donations will be displayed live at the event!
You can then text in these donations as mobile pledges at the event when giving starts to slow down. This will help maintain your momentum and include those who can’t attend your event!
10. Arrange for a match at charity events.
Find donors that plan to make large gifts and position a matching fund for every mobile donation completed at the event. This way other eligible donors will recognize the impact their matching gifts can have on your cause! Matching can dramatically increase mobile pledging revenues and participation at charity events. When you show donors how much they can help (and how much you appreciate their support), they’ll be more excited to further your cause!
Now that you have our top 10 ways to maximize donations at charity events, you’re sure to see an increase in your organization’s profit! Happy fundraising!
If you’re interested in boosting your event fundraising event more, check out these additional resources:
- MobileCause’s Fundraising Calendar Examples. There’s not a single event that can function smoothly without a plan. Check out our calendar examples to help your organization get organized!
- MobileCause’s Top Fundraising eBooks. Still looking for some extra help with your fundraising strategy? Take a look at our top fundraising ebooks!
- DipJar’s Spectacular Fundraising Event Tips. Is your fundraising event coming up faster than you expected? Don’t worry, check out these best fundraising event tips to keep your event in top shape.