Jan/Feb 2007

Five Tips for Making Fundraising Event Registration More Productive

by Kim Gilbert, Product Marketing Manager, Convio

As the days grow longer, nonprofits everywhere are preparing for spring marathons, walk-a-thons, triathlons, bike-a-thons and just about any kind of a-thon imaginable. Organizations that have planned events in the past know that these events often require a great deal of time and expense — from the registration process through fundraising awards and final accounting.

The following five tips and new capabilities in Convio TeamRaiser™ can help any organization make the most of its events by designing a registration process that increases participation, maximizes net proceeds and provides participants with a painless (and even pleasant) registration experience.

  1. Jump start registration
    The sooner you get team leaders started on their fundraising activities, and the more resources they can use from previous years, the more time they'll have to meet their fundraising goals for your organization. Begin by sending an email to the previous year's participants inviting them to participate again. For those who cannot participate, provide an option to join as a virtual participant with a donation. Help participants get going quickly using Convio TeamRaiser — participants automatically inherit their past year's Web page, personal address book and fundraising history, giving them a head start on driving support.

  2. Make family registration easy
    Event participants often prefer to participate with family members, especially if honoring or memorializing another family member. By reducing the amount of forms to complete and making family registration easy, you can encourage families to participate together, thereby increasing the overall number of registrants. Convio TeamRaiser allows participants to register more than one person in a single transaction, reducing the amount of time that they spend entering addresses and credit card numbers and increasing their chances of registering family members.

  3. Create more revenue opportunities
    One simple way of increasing revenue from participants is to include options to change the price (up-sells). For example, a runner who wants to see his or her standing in the run might like to rent a timing chip. Additional up-sell possibilities include the opportunity to purchase a branded water bottle or pack of bumper stickers, a brown-bag lunch or event meal plan, XL or XXL T-shirts, shuttle bus tickets and shipping. Using new capabilities in Convio TeamRaiser, you can provide these optional add-ons to offer value to participants while increasing your revenue-per-participant ratio.

  4. Help participants drive Web traffic using personalized URLs
    To publicize their participation in your event, participants may use many venues, from church newsletters and emails to social networking contacts and parties. No matter how they spread the word, their friends and family will have an easier time supporting them if participants can easily point supporters to their participation page. Using Convio TeamRaiser, a user can define his or her own catchy page address using nicknames abbreviations or other easily remembered phrases. Personalizing a URL for participants can help them be more efficient in their fundraising efforts, yielding more revenue for your organization.

  5. Use widgets
    Another great way for participants to publicize their registration and raise money is to use a banner or "widget" on their social networking sites and blogs to drive friends and family to your organization's site and encourage them to participate. Convio Widgets, which are scheduled to release early this year allow participants to drive traffic and support from online community sites such as MySpace, from a blog or anywhere else on the Web where they are posting content. Widgets also allow participants to post meters showing progress toward their goals. Make sure to point this out to participants as part of the registration process to drive even more support.


A well thought out registration process is a key part of a successful event. With Convio Widgets, personalized URLs, add-on revenue opportunities, single form registration and an early start, any organization can get more people involved in its events and raise more funds per participant.

Five Tips for Making Fundraising Event Registration More Productive | Convio