Convio and Event 360 Reveal Five Success Strategies for Event Fundraising

Best Practices for Increasing Performance of Nonprofit Events Presented at the Third Annual Run Walk Ride Fundraising Conference – Guide Available at www.convio.com/rwr2009

As nonprofit organizations continue to face increased competition and economic stress, leveraging technology and special event strategies for fundraising and awareness can prove valuable in helping organizations successfully achieve their goals and more effectively move people to support their mission. Convio and Event 360, Inc., with support from the Run Walk Ride Council, compiled five best practices that nonprofits can implement to increase fundraising growth and event participation based on joint research into some of the nation’s most successful charity fundraising events.

“Special events have proven an effective way for nonprofit organizations of all sizes to achieve their goals of engaging the community, raising awareness for their cause and raising funds to drive programs,” said Sara Spivey, chief marketing officer at Convio. “With the economic situation, charities are looking for the most efficient and effective methods to channel resources to support their mission. Software such as Convio TeamRaiser™ gives nonprofit organizations the ability to use the social networks of supporters, volunteers and other participants to expand their reach and move people to support their cause.” 

Convio and Event 360 offer the following recommendations to nonprofits wanting to increase fundraising growth for special events:

  1. Recruit participants effectively – Better fundraising performance is highly correlated to growth in participants.  Know why your constituents want to participate in your events and target participants who are naturally driven to take fundraising action and connect donors to the event.
  2. Charge a registration fee or require a minimum fundraising fee – Set a strong fundraising culture by requiring fees upfront.  This will raise the awareness and mindset that the cause is important, money is needed to take action to help the cause and there is value to being part of the event.  Be sure to set the fee at an appropriate level that incents fundraising but does not discourage participation.
  3. Create several points of entry – Use technology to create more than one way to promote your event and reach potential participants.  Expand efforts to use a mix of outbound email, website content, social networking tools, pre-scripted “Tell-A-Friend” functions and advertisements on partner or industry websites all including links to the event information, registration and donation options. Using a mix of channels to recruit participants has been shown to drive overall fundraising performance.
  4. Encourage team participation and love your team captains – Being part of a team makes participants feel more accountable for their individual fundraising, which leads to a positive effect on overall fundraising performance.  Organizations that encourage team participation attribute the uplift in fundraising success to the healthy competition and motivation that a team setting fosters.
  5. Craft your participant centered emails carefully and encourage participants to send them – Good CRM technology typically provides a participant center with a participant profile and email tools.  These tools are the primary way most participants solicit friends and neighbors online for support.  Encourage participants to use the emails tools and make it easy to do so with activities such as training or suggested message templates.

“The research clearly shows that by focusing efforts on a few specific strategies, organizations can truly make a big difference in getting the most value out of a fundraising event,” said Jeff Shuck, president and CEO of Event 360, Inc.  “We aim to provide nonprofit professionals with easy ways to utilize best practices that help create mission-driven and results-focused events.”

Both Shuck of Event 360, Inc. and Convio’s Vinay Bhagat, founder and chief strategy officer, will present the research results and best practices today at 8:45 am CT at the third annual Run Walk Ride Fundraising Conference in Dallas, TX.

Additional information about the conference discussion can be found at: http://www.runwalkride.com/page.asp?ID=744. Nonprofit organizations interested in learning more about event fundraising strategies and best practices can download the full research paper at: www.convio.com/rwr2009

About Convio
Convio is the leading provider of on-demand constituent relationship management (CRM) software and services that give nonprofit organizations a better way to inspire and mobilize people to support their organization. The company’s online marketing suite offers integrated software for fundraising, advocacy, events, email marketing and Web content management, and its CRM system, Convio Common Ground™, helps organizations efficiently track and manage all interactions with supporters. All Convio products are delivered through the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model and are backed by a portfolio of best-in-class consulting and support services and a network of partners who provide value-added services and applications focused on the unique needs of nonprofit organizations.  
Convio clients include nonprofit organizations, Institutions of Higher Education, Associations and Faith-based organizations around the world such as American Red Cross, American Diabetes Association, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Humane Society of the United States, Easter Seals, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, and Sierra Club. For more information, please visit www.convio.com

About Event 360, Inc.
Event 360 is the nation’s leading designer and director of events for nonprofits. We engage hearts and minds through entertaining, moving, and flawless experiences that help nonprofits inspire record levels of interest, giving, and loyalty. We offer fully scalable services in event development and production, strategic consulting, and information technology that can be customized to your organization and need. Whether you need to improve an existing event program, upgrade your infrastructure, or create an entirely new concept, our set of consulting, planning, and management services will help you take your mission and put it into action. In the last seven years, our projects have raised over $400 million for our clients.Visit www.event360.com to learn how Event 360 can help your organization. Your mission is our passion.

Press Contact:
Karoline McLaughlin
Director, Corporate Communications
Convio, Inc.

Convio and Event 360 Reveal Five Success Strategies for Event Fundraising | Convio