Convio Introduces Personal Events to Help Nonprofits Leverage Supporters’ Social Networks to Increase Engagement

New Product Allows Constituents to Host Events to Share Their Passion and Interest in Nonprofit Causes with Friends, Neighbors and Other Like-Minded Individuals

Convio, Inc. — a leading provider of software and services to help nonprofits to use the Internet strategically to take relationships to new levels — today announced Convio Personal Events, a comprehensive online application designed to help individual supporters or members of nonprofit organizations, associations, institutions of higher education or faith-based organizations host and market personal events around a cause, theme or campaign. Personal Events allows individuals to share their interest in an organization or cause with friends, family or more broadly to interested individuals in their area by using an organization's Web site to schedule, post and promote an event, manage RSVPs and create opportunities to donate. Because of the integration with the Convio's online constituent relationship management (eCRM) system the beneficiary organization gains insight into the event and ability to control appropriate content while expanding house lists, building community and gaining insight into constituent loyalty.

"Our organization is comprised of individuals who are inspired by nature to work together to protect our communities and the planet by sharing the word and hosting events for friends, family and other individuals in their area," said Dave Simon, Director of Information Technology with Sierra Club. "Convio Personal Events will allow us to focus that inspiration, passion and enthusiasm toward consistent grassroots campaigns and events to reach new people, strengthen their commitment to and ownership of the environment, and help us reward and recognize our most committed supporters."

Convio Personal Events integrates with Convio's eCRM suite to boost an organization's effectiveness and efficiency in driving stronger online relationships with supporters, while leveraging the personal networks of their constituents to expand their base of support. As constituents host events, individuals who participate voluntarily join the nonprofits' online database so that the relationship can be developed over time. The product is designed to help grow and strengthen the constituent community by providing more opportunities for peer-to-peer networking, offering constituents a greater sense of involvement and ownership with the organization and more quickly advancing new relationships that come through an introduction from a trusted source.

"Organizations recognize how the Internet can help them empower constituents to tap into their personal networks to benefit a cause," said Tom Krackeler, Vice President, Product Management for Convio, Inc. "We understood the importance of local grassroots events, especially for advocacy and political organizations, but our client community really provided us great direction and helped us see the full spectrum of potential applications for Convio Personal Events"

Meeting the event logistics challenge

Hosting events and event fundraising have long been staples of the nonprofit community's efforts to grow volunteerism and support. The cost of hosting events, logistics behind organizing an ever increasing number of events and the changing interests of supporters make event planning and execution more difficult than ever. Personal Events allows an organization to expand their event options by tapping into the interests of individuals in their organization that are willing to handle the logistics of hosting an event and with tools to help generate new supporters to help spread the word. Personal Events is designed to scale to large events that individual members or constituents are willing to plan and host. The nonprofit organization establishes the overall campaign and publishes types of activities to support the campaign, then the volunteer or constituent can host his or her specific event. In addition to creating campaigns, the organization can provide materials or other levels of support to help begin the philanthropic conversation with the new audience.

Deepening constituent relationships and creativity

While many nonprofits may provide constituents with themes and campaigns such as movie nights, nature hikes, tail-gate parties, reading groups, or Bible studies to leverage the Personal Events application, the scalability and flexibility of the product creates opportunities for a wide variety of events and opportunities. 

"Animal welfare advocates could host dog walks, environmental organizations might create nature hikes, a public radio show focused on jazz might have individuals host listening parties, still others might have birthday parties, reading groups, legislative call parties or movie nights," added Krackeler. "We look forward to seeing the exciting and creative ways that nonprofits and their constituents use this application to engage their constituents, build new relationships and take existing relationships to new levels."

Constituent empowerment through peer-to-peer solutions

Constituents are often referred to as the nonprofit organization's most valuable assets. In addition to Personal Events, Convio provides organizations with a number of online solutions to empower constituents in new and innovative ways. Convio TeamRaiser™ allows volunteers to create personal fundraising pages for events such as walks and runs and send donation or support appeals to their peers. Tributes lets constituents quickly and easily create tribute Web sites in memory or in honor of a friend or loved one to raise funds and build awareness for your organization. And Convio Widgets are posted by constituents wherever they can publish HTML content such as social networking sites, emails and blogs. The widgets link back to a target URL on the nonprofit's Web site, where new visitors can donate money, respond to an advocacy alert or register for an upcoming event. Widgets let constituents take a more active role in supporting the organization while helping to build your constituent base.

Combined with Convio's eCRM system, the company expects clients to use Convio Personal Events and other peer-to-peer offerings to unify people, content and engagement to grow and expand relationships and drive online marketing results. Convio's integrated system can reduce costs and create efficiencies so that nonprofits focus more resources on fulfilling their mission.

About Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is the oldest, largest and most influential environmental organization in the U.S.  Founded in 1892 by John Muir, today the Sierra Club has over 750,000 members and 450 local chapters and groups across the country. Getting individuals involved in conservation efforts can make a lasting difference. For example, Sierra Club members have helped protect over 160 million acres of wild lands; 8,000 miles of wild and scenic rivers; and national treasures, such as Yosemite National Park, Giant Sequoia National Monument and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. And, one of its initiatives to address global warming, the Sierra Club's Cool Cities campaign, has helped enlist pledges from more than 300 U.S. mayors in 46 states — representing more than 50 million Americans — to make serious local commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For more information, please visit http://www.sierraclub.org/.

About Convio

Convio is a leading provider of software and services to help nonprofits use the Internet strategically to build strong relationships with constituents for driving fundraising, advocacy and other forms of support. Convio has online solutions for fundraising, advocacy, Web content management, event fundraising, ecommerce and email communications. All solutions include the Constituent360™ platform, a sophisticated, online marketing database that centralizes constituent data and integrates with offline databases.

Convio's clients include American Red Cross, American Diabetes Association, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, AVON Foundation, Easter Seals, National Association of REALTORS®, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Sierra Club, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and Thirteen/WNET New York. For more information, please visit www.convio.com.

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

Convio Introduces Personal Events to Help Nonprofits Leverage Supporters’ Social Networks to Increase Engagement | Convio