Event ManagementVolunteer Management

How nonprofit management software assists with events

It’s hard to pull off a successful fundraising event without nonprofit software. From the big picture to the nitty-gritty details, software programs are an event manager’s right-hand man.

Events are crucial to a nonprofit’s development efforts. Whether it’s a live auction, 5k run or gala, these affairs gather together donors, volunteers and constituents. In fact, npENGAGE reported that for many NPOs events are some of the only opportunities to interact with stakeholders in person. Aside from building invaluable relationships, events help organizations raise brand awareness and target new networks.

Goals set the planning stage in motion
Defining concrete goals and objectives lays the groundwork for the planning stages. If this is an annual event, npENGAGE recommended looking at dimensions from previous years. These include returning and new attendees, pre-event dollars raised and earned media coverage.

A nonprofit software program can store all of this data and provide an in-depth analysis. With insight into past events, NPOs can avoid pitfalls and focus on the most effective strategies.

The budget affects the fundraising objective
It’s crucial to determine the fundraising goal. The amount should be what the organization plans to raise after expenses are deducted, The Fundraising Authority reported. The budget also factors into the fundraising objective. It may include staff, catering, entertainment, invitations and space rental, among other expenses. There may be unanticipated costs, so save some money on the side. Fundraising software can streamline this process, offering non profits a smooth planning and execution process.

Determine the target audience and begin marketing early
Part of planning the event is thinking of the target audience, The Fundraising Authority indicated. Who cares about the mission? Who is most likely to come? The event management team can sift through a donor management software program to tap into these qualified prospects. With a target audience in mind, a nonprofit should come up with a documented marketing plan. Reaching out to the most qualified prospects may result in a healthy return on investment, saving hundreds of marketing dollars.

Targeting constituents early will give the event more exposure. According to npENGAGE, an organization should publicize the event 6 to 12 months in advance. More time allows volunteer fundraisers to raise more money. Other fundraising methods include mailing invitations, direct mail and managing a phone bank.

Utilize a volunteer management system
Volunteers are the backbone of a successful event. Reach out to local service clubs and consider how to mobilize people to get involved. A software program can streamline this process. Many volunteer tracking software systems store a past volunteer’s contact information, volunteer activities and special interests and skills. Taking this into account, nonprofits can secure the more qualified volunteers.

Making a difference builds constituent loyalty
Stakeholders are more likely to return to next year’s event when they know the impact they are making. According to npENGAGE, the best way to retain attendees is to treat them like a VIP. Interactions with constituents should be personal and meaningful.

There’s no better way to retain attendees than to thank them. Sending thank-you notes to anyone involved, including contributors, volunteers, staff and vendors, will make all the difference.