Online platforms and event management software systems can lead nonprofits to greater revenue. It is important for each organization to find the best combination of methods to lead it to success.
The ALS Association, which raises funds for people afflicted with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's Disease, raised millions of dollars in a few weeks this summer through an online contest called the Ice Bucket Challenge. The Nonprofit Times reported that the competition began with a social media post from Pete Frates, a former captain of Boston College's baseball team who suffers from ALS. From there, the video went viral, reaching people from the Today Show to ESPN to Jimmy Fallon Live.
The contest, according to the New York Daily News, entails challenging people to either give $100 to the ALS fund or dump a cold bucket of ice water on their head. If a person decides to take the cold shower, they then get to dare three more people to take it on. What typically ends up happening, like in the case of television anchor Pat Kiernan, is participants end up donating anyway even after getting doused,. With the widespread popularity the contest has garnered since July 29, the ALS Association has raised $4 million.
The power of making connections
There is no denying that online networks played a large role in the wild success of this campaign. Social media facilitated this particular month-long event to spread like wildfire across many stages. Using the hashtag #IceBucketChallenge on sites like Facebook and Twitter, and encouraging participants to reach out to a specific number of people in their social circles made giving an entertaining and easy process. The affordable and memorable $100 requested donation also added to the simplicity of donors asking their friends and family to participate. There is also the added humor of recording people freezing and squirming under a bucket of cold water.
Carrie Munk, ALS spokeswoman, stated the organization does not have a goal they are looking to reach. She also knows that eventually, like all spectacular viral hashtags and videos, the Ice Bucket Challenge will lose momentum and her nonprofit will have to begin designing the next big fundraising event.
To start the engines running on an upcoming endeavor, nonprofits may want to tap in to professional networking site, LinkedIn. In another article by The Nonprofit Times, it is noted that not only is LinkedIn a free website to use, but many current constituents are probably already connected to it. LinkedIn users are slightly older than those on Facebook and Twitter and have a salary roughly three times that of the average Facebook user. The option to create online groups exists, which is a terrific way to earn the time and attention of people with the same interests and goals of an organization.
Find the perfect fit
For Los Angeles-based Center Theatre Group, the right website to increase their poor ticket sales was Goldstar. Entrepreneur noted that by signing up his performance venue with Goldstar, Director of Marketing Jim Royce was able to sell an additional $1 million worth of seats in 2013. This particular website lets potential audience members browse half-priced tickets to shows that have leftover seating availability.
It's important for every organization to find the best combination of online and software tools for its needs. Event management software helps nonprofit organizations view donations and subscription profiles all on one page, making connecting with donors simple. Media coverage and contracts can be managed, along with event staff, which can lead to much greater awareness among potential donors. The program links directly to a nonprofit's website, so users feel as though they are interacting directly with the organization and not a third party. It is invaluable and could mean a world of difference for this year's earnings.