A successful fundraiser for a non-profit means increases in overall revenue. This is only possible when donors have a good experience, and you can communicate your organization’s goals.
A successful marketing campaign lures your donors to register for the fundraising event. If your event ticketing process is simple and positive, it will leave a good impression on the donor. Event ticketing software provides a smooth experience when registering for the non-profit fundraiser.
Whether the event is online or offline, event ticket management software is a must for your organization. Here we will look into what event ticketing is and the best event ticketing software for non-profit.
What is event ticketing software?
The sale and purchase of event tickets online using desktop and mobile event ticketing systems are known as event ticketing. Digital event ticket sales should be approached with forethought, regardless of whether your fundraising event is personal, online, or hybrid.
Your online event website represents the true difference between tickets and box office sales. The online event page will probably be your company’s first and only impression when someone decides if they want to attend or not.
Event organizers provide the groundwork for donors to say YES to attend your fundraising event with ease and enthusiasm.
5 Crucial Features in Event Ticketing Platform
1] Multiple Ticket Choices
You will sell more when you provide various ticket categories for your nonprofit events. This is because individuals desire something different from your event and actively search for tickets to suit their demands. It is necessary to be able to provide “tables” tickets for various prices and advantages. Your ticket software should also make it easy to provide group tickets with special add-ons such as a free drink voucher, a free T-shirt, backstage access, etc.
2] Safe and Easy Payment Process
A secure payment gateway is the golden rule of online payment for any web service. At the same time, it should be as simple and feasible.
To do it, make sure that various payment alternatives are included for the participants. You may add, for example, VISA, Amex, Bank Transfer, PayPal, etc. to allow purchasers to choose from. This can assist you to improve conversion rates and provide you advantages such as decreased withdrawal from your check-out.
As a client, you should also keep in mind the terms & conditions of having these payment gateways on the portal. Before you start utilizing a ticketing platform, always reading the fine print to make sure you are happy with the fees and payout schedules affecting your cost and income. Ideally, you want to collaborate with a ticketing company that charges a flat fee without hidden expenses per ticket.
Determine how often your money is transferred to you on the ticketing site. You must get as soon as possible the money you make from ticket sales, but many platforms have high payment limits and time limits.
3] Integrated Marketing Tools
To increase the response rate, ticketing platforms should interact with other advertising and marketing apps. For example, your ticketing software should link with Facebook and Google AdWords so that you can track visitor behavior on your ticket sales page and retarget them with Facebook and Google advertisements. You can also automatically generate custom audiences and lookalike audiences from those who visit your sales tickets page by using the data from Facebook integration.
The ticket administration and promotional tools that can enable the platform to work with automated tools are of significant advantage for you.
4] Compatible with all Devices
The necessity of the hour is a mobile site. Whether it’s purchasing tickets via social media or planning the event jointly – today’s digital customers rely on their smartphones more. Therefore, the event booking site must be equipment-agnostic compatible with cross-browser. Meaning the participants should be able to book their tickets with a laptop, desktop, or portable device. Your event booking software should thus make sure it is compatible with all devices.
5] Quick Support System
When people buy tickets, what if individuals have issues or problems? What about your account configuration, ticket sales page design and integration, and event promotion? What if you have questions regarding your account? Does the ticketing software provide the assistance you need for your event? Make sure it does.
Importantly, ensure that the ticketing software provides help when and how you need it. Choose a platform that provides email and phone assistance seven days a week since you never know when you or your ticket purchasers may run into an issue or have a query.
Best Event Ticketing Software
iConnectX is a good alternative for people who desire not too expensive event software, however, it has all the capabilities needed to best advertise events and sell tickets. The platform is nicely built and is excellent for companies that desire considerable expansion and scalability. From online auction to seamless ticket administration, the firm can offer solutions. You may utilize the tools on their website to include your event list, encourage your events with links to your Facebook page, and sell tickets.
iConnectX is inexpensive to all nonprofits enterprises and is suitable for all sorts, sizes, and complexities of events.
The purpose of Eventbrite is clear: connect live experiences with the world. They have the means to sell more tickets and know what is happening in the event business.
Eventbrite is an excellent choice to explore if you want something straightforward to use. There is, however, little opportunity for templates to be customized. One reviewer says that if you want to have complete control of the design, you cannot “remove” branding from Eventbrite.
Cvent is commonly regarded as one of the finest choices for event planners who want to sell and purchase. Cvent is software for important events and programs throughout the world that has been included. The program is complete, beautifully designed, and unbelievably easy to use. Whatever sort of event you conceive of, Cvent can help you obtain what you need. The program gives anyone who wishes to test it themselves a free demo.
Tix.com is a great alternative for anyone who seeks free and easy-to-use software. Software programs often charge you for the privilege that accomplishes the same job. Tix.com is a fantastic alternative for people who don’t want to pay, so you can easily put up your ticket page. The program is recognized for its particular guest commitment function, which makes it possible for event organizers to connect to the participants of the event.
Ticketbud is ideal for people who want software that gives them full control of all aspects in the process of event management and the sale of tickets. It is a wonderful way to aid people holding large events and who have no restrictions on the type of sales they wish to perform. The program also provides daily payments, so event organizers get paid more quickly than most other ticketing sites.
Accelevents is a low-cost software package for people who wish to build a ticketing platform. It is renowned to offer a broad variety of features and possibilities.
Regardless of what type of fundraiser you wish to hold, Accelevents offers lots of assistance to event organizers. It is recognized to be equipped with numerous integrated tools that may help event organizers do fund-raising, silent auctions, contributions, and other initiatives.
When it comes to organizing an event, you have to understand that it follows the principle of being judged by the book. Don’t jeopardize it by utilizing a ticket application with no proper functionality. Look instead for a platform that provides several types of tickets, integrated advertising and marketing, built-in advertising tools, payment processing, and support. In this sense, event ticketing serves as your cover since it provides the initial impressions of your event and leverages all subsequent interactions. If the event registration profile you use coincides with the features you require, you do not have to doubt the success of your event.
The first cell phone came into being just 30 years ago. Our cell phones have been able to connect to the Internet for just 15 years. And just within the past 2 years, mobile giving has passed fundraising through desktop – we are online on our phones more than we are on our computers. That is a lot of technological change in a very short amount of time. Of course, nonprofits must adapt to keep up. If you didn’t grow up around technology like the millennial generation, how can you adopt the latest technology trends to help nonprofit organizations more efficiently?
To make the donation process easy for you, here are some features and methods of the iConnectX online donation process. iConnectX tool is easy for donors to use for all levels of nonprofit fundraising. There are several fundraising sites available for both individuals and nonprofits. iConnectX has made it possible for both.
iConnectX’s user-friendly platform enables anyone to set up a fundraising page to raise funds for the cause you are passionate about.
iConnectX has set itself as a platform for nonprofit fundraising to help nonprofits reach their goals.
Support Your Cause
Promote donations from your advocacy site in iConnectX, your fundraisers and events. Any collected monies are sent to your nonprofit weekly.
Increase Your Donations
Solicit donations on your advocacy page within iConnectX, also on your fundraisers and in your event pages. We make it easy by integrating the payment form from a single click button. Payments are sent to your nonprofit directly.
Fundraising Tool to Watch
iConnectX has features a new set of online fundraising tools that are timely and relevant for the year to come. This year’s tools tap into fundraising trends that have emerged because of the COVID19 pandemic, from text giving or mobile giving to virtual events to online donations for nonprofits.
In this guide, we will deep dive to understand the online donations process, new fundraising trends and more. Nonprofits are not immune to the new changes and COVID19 has forced many nonprofits cancel their fundraising events resulting loss of revenue to support the cause.
Turning one-time donors into recurring donors remains one of the major challenges for nonprofits. The benefits of recurring donations are obvious – more funds and the ability to plan more events and programs. Due to the cancelation of nonprofit events, nonprofits losing the funds.
iConnectX, a fundraising tool for nonprofits, offering a platform for millions of 501c charities to create virtual events, online auctions, ticketed events, online donations for charities and more. In this guide, we will deep dive to understand the iConnectX’s Online Donation process.
How to Accept Donations Online
- Select the nonprofits based on City or Industry to make online donation
- Go to the nonprofit page and click on Donate button
- Choose the option to donate with or without registering on iConnectX
- Enter the amount to donate and other details
- Save your details for future recurring donations
- Receive the receipt on your registered mail for your donation
What Are the Best Nonprofits to Make Donations?
Once if you have decided that you want to support a cause based on your interest. The next process is to find the best nonprofits based on industry or city that will use your fund to make impact on the community. If you are making donations then it should not be hard, iConnectX have brought you more than best charities to donate to and 1.5 million non-boarded charities to donate to on our platform. Whether you are looking for charities supporting coronavirus programs or charities doing educational work – iConnectX has listed nonprofit for every cause. Find the list of best charities to donate to.
Charity events like auctions, 5km runs, etc. were the mainstay of nonprofit fundraising till the end of 2019. In 2020, when the COVID 19 pandemic struck, nonprofits were left stranded!
How to organize fundraising events? How to connect with donors? How to raise brand awareness?
These were some of the questions that cropped up and needed to be addressed. While the nonprofits were struggling with these aspects, people in general and businesses had other issues to face! The economic downturn, health and safety issues were just the tip of the iceberg.
People across the globe were struggling with health issues, financial losses, loss of jobs, new norms of living, etc. In this tumultuous scenario, it is heartening to observe that the attitude of “giving” among people continued.
This implied that the onus was now on the nonprofits to connect with those who were willing to donate. And, this is where several nonprofits struggled initially!
Unfortunately due to the challenging circumstances, several nonprofits were forced to close down. However, some nonprofits adapted better to the changes and planned effective strategies to cope with the situation.
As we progress into 2021 several nonprofits have now learned to thrive in the new normal. One of the main takeaways from 2020 was that fundraising events are going to be virtual until the situation improves.
Virtual events have certain drawbacks. For instance, there is no physical interaction between participants, nonprofit organizations and participants need to familiarize themselves with technology, online fundraising strategies will have to be planned, etc.
However, looking on the brighter side, virtual events have a much wider reach. A nonprofit can connect with the audience from different countries. Besides, nonprofits now have an opportunity to engage a much larger audience. Also, the investment for engaging the audience virtually is much lower than that for a physical event.
So, if virtual is the only way, nonprofits need to think out of the box and organize creative events that can engage the audience.
Some of the most popular virtual fundraising events for nonprofits
- Online Auctions
- Virtual Galas
- Online Team Games
- Peer-to-peer Fundraising
One of the biggest challenges virtual events face is holding the interest of the audience throughout the entire duration of the event. Event hosts need to pool in the best ideas to organize engaging events.
Some of the best online events include
- An eminent individual as a keynote speaker.
- Keep the event duration under an hour.
- Drive engagement through high-quality content that adds value to the guests.
- Organize events that offer an opportunity for the attendees to interact through polls, chats, etc.
How do you do a virtual fundraising event?
Establish Your Goal
When organizing a virtual fundraising event, you need to clearly establish your goals. Your goal could be a specific amount of funds you need to generate through the event, or if you are trying to attract new donors or retain old donors, increase your brand awareness. Having clarity of your goals will simplify the process of organizing the event.
Understanding your Audience
Once you have determined the goals of your fundraising event, you need to plan the event so that it engages the audience. Therefore, you need to understand who your audience is and what they like/dislike, what their needs are, etc. This will help you organize the event customized to their needs.
Select the Mode of Online Event
An online event means an interactive zoom meeting or webinar for most people. However, there are different modes of delivering online content in an event.
- Live Streaming: It is an online event held in real-time with active participation from the attendees. However, live streaming requires technological expertise for successful hosting. Live streams are quite popular and can be fun for the participants.
- Pre-Recorded: In this case, compelling videos are created and recorded before the actual event. This is best suited for event hosts who are not very tech-savvy.
- Streaming: This is ideal for one-time events that are available on a specific day and time.
- On-Demand: The event is available to the audience for a specific time frame. These events can be watched again and again by the interested parties.
You can choose the mode that is best suited to the type of event you are hosting.
Before hosting the event make sure that the following aspects are on track:
- Plan the event well in advance with your team. Take care of all aspects of your event such as logistics, event platform, ticketing, etc.
- Create a list of attendees and send the invitation emails to them.
- Ensure that your technology is working seamlessly at least 24 hours before the actual event.
- Make sure that your linked donation pages, chats, etc. are in order before you start the event.
- Send reminders to your guests a week, a day, and an hour before the start of the event.
With all the above aspects in order, we come to a vital question, “How do I sell my fundraiser tickets online?”
For the past few years, even before the pandemic struck, most nonprofits had started using online methods for selling tickets for events. Several event ticketing platforms are available for nonprofits to streamline the ticketing process.
Here are some best online tickets sales practices for nonprofits:
Your online event page is something that informs your audience about your event. Create an attractive event page with an eye-catching image or a video. Make sure that your event page is aligned with your brand and it clearly communicates all details such as the event lineup and sponsors, and other relevant information about the event. This page should provide the contact details of your organization.
The page should be easy to navigate with a clear CTA (Buy Tickets). Make sure that the event page is mobile-friendly and loads quickly on different devices.
Hassle-free Payment Process
It is recommended that you provide your guests a seamless payment process. Using automation simplifies the ticketing process. Several nonprofits are using an automated process wherein a confirmation for the payment and the tickets are emailed as soon as the payment is made. Virtual event platforms like iConnectX include such automation that simplifies the process of selling event tickets.
Hosting virtual fundraising events is less expensive than a physical event because of the reduced overhead costs. Therefore, it is a good idea to keep the price of the tickets for your virtual event on the lower side.
Make Sure your Tickets are Ready at the Initial Stages
As soon as you conceive the event, there will be many supporters of your nonprofit who will be ready to purchase tickets. So, make sure that your tickets are ready as soon as you start planning your event.
Clear Ticket Descriptions
Clearly communicate details of your event on the ticket such as the date, timings, login, password, dress code, if any, etc. It is a good idea to communicate how the funds raised will be used. Be creative and write a concise description that covers all aspects.
Email drip campaigns are extremely effective in creating awareness about the event and driving sales.
Social Media Campaigns
Make sure that you leverage different social media channels to spread the word about the event. Create social media campaigns tailored to different platforms to create a buzz about the event.
Incentivize through Pricing
You can increase your ticket sales by offering “early bird discounts.” You can use the data on the tickets sold for creating urgency among your audience for ticket purchase. You can send messages on social media and other channels like, “X” number of tickets left! Buy before they get sold out!
A little creativity and out-of-the-box thinking can help you organize engaging fundraising events. The success of a virtual event depends to a large extent on the technology used. Several event management platforms with different features are available for hosting nonprofit events to choose from.
iConnectX is one of the best platforms for hosting nonprofit events! This platform includes all the features required for an efficient virtual event planner!
2020 has been a tough year for most businesses globally. The non-profit sector has also suffered its wrath. Fundraising was way below the expected goals. Almost 38% of nonprofits had to close down in the last year.
Fundraising post-COVID is likely to become more challenging for nonprofits for several reasons:
- Unemployment and financial losses: COVID 19 has taken a toll on the global economy. Many businesses have had to close down, people across the globe have lost jobs, there have been massive pay cuts, etc. All these have impacted fundraising. People who were donating funds to charities before COVID are finding it difficult to do so currently. Under, the circumstances the future of fundraising does not look very bright.
- Lack of in-person events: One of the most effective ways for non-profits to raise awareness about their brands and market them was through in-person events. Events offered an opportunity for donors, etc. to interact with the members of the non-profit and this helped build trust. Besides, hosting nonprofit events also involved contributions by sponsors. Sponsors also helped market the brand. But physical distancing and other restrictions have put a halt on events like 5km runs, etc.
The good news for nonprofits is that although monetary donations were not much, that the pandemic did not deter people from giving in kind. A report by Women’s Philanthropy Institute shows that 56% of US households indulged in charitable giving in 2020. (Source: Philanthropy)
This goes on to show that the willingness is there among the donors although they may lack the means. The onus is entirely on the nonprofits to think of ways of spreading the word about their organization, connect with donors, engage them and motivate them to donate.
Technology emerges as the ray of hope that can completely transform the nonprofit sector. Technological innovations have been around and many nonprofit organizations had been leveraging them even before COVID. But many nonprofits shied away from using technology for fundraising and other activities either because of the costs associated or because they felt it was too complicated to implement.
However, today we can safely say that the future of nonprofit fundraising will depend on how well it uses technology. In other words, technology is no longer a choice but a Must for nonprofit fundraising!
Let us delve into how technology can help a nonprofit organization
Since in-person interactions have been restricted, the only way for nonprofits to connect with their audience is virtual. Besides nonprofits need to offer online methods for donations. Also, nonprofits need to engage the tech-savvy Millennials and Gen Z donors.
These are technological tools that nonprofits require and how they can benefit from them:
Nonprofits will need a strong online presence with the help of websites that clearly communicate to the audience what the brand is about. Websites should explain the mission of the nonprofit. Websites should also include donor forms and offer the provision to donate. It is also essential that the website is mobile-friendly.
Benefit: A website helps raise awareness about your brand. It can also help you inform your visitors about any upcoming events, etc. It is easy to keep your visitors coming back to your site by refreshing the site with new content. Your website helps you establish authority in your field when you share relevant content about your niche.
The internet is full of a variety of websites. Then how do you attract your audience to your site?
Digital marketing is necessary for you to ensure that your brand stands out in the digital marketplace. Different digital marketing strategies like social media marketing, search engine optimization, email marketing, etc. are used to increase the visibility of the site.
Benefits: Digital marketing strategies help enhance the ranking of your website on search engines. When your website ranks high, it will attract more visitors. Strategies like email marketing enable you to offer a personalized marketing approach. This helps build trust and loyalty. Social media marketing is one of the most effective ways to connect with a wide audience.
Nonprofits need to ensure that they offer simple online fundraising methods to their audience. They can provide donation facilities through their website or even social channels.
Benefits: Online fundraising tools help attract more donations as donors find it easy to donate.
Virtual Event Platforms
Events are most effective to connect with the audience. Since physical events do not seem likely in the near future, virtual events are the only alternative. Virtual events have become popular during the past year.
Virtual events are hosted using software platforms. Nonprofits must familiarize themselves with different platforms and use them for hosting events.
Benefits: Virtual event platforms include a myriad of features to simplify the process of organizing events. They include online registrations, breakout rooms, feedback forms, and many more to help the hosts. Platforms like iConnectx.com are customized for hosting nonprofit events. They include all the features required to organize a successful nonprofit event.
These are some of the technological innovations and their benefits to nonprofits. Many nonprofits are a little skeptical about using technology because of the costs. However, technology cannot be ignored in the current times and even in the post-COVID times.
Nonprofits need to invest in technology because of the benefits it offers in the long run. Besides in the current pandemic situation, technology is a survival technique!
There is no denying that technology is expensive compared to the conventional techniques used. However, how much a nonprofit spends on technology is something that can be controlled. It is recommended that a nonprofit budgets its expenses and allocates fixed sums to different technological tools it uses.
The nonprofit organization can determine the blend of technological tools it requires and invest specific funds for each. You can assess the effectiveness of the technologies leveraged by analyzing the returns they provide.
It is beneficial to work within the budget so that the expenses incurred are well in control.
The pandemic has driven home the important point that the future is highly unpredictable! And, since we cannot control or predict the future, we need to have the ability to adapt to it. While the future of nonprofits also cannot be predicted, one thing that has become apparent is that adopting technology is a must for nonprofits. Technology offers several benefits that justify the funds invested. While the initial investment of funds, time, and efforts might seem tedious and expensive, it is worthwhile in the long run. One of the best technologies that are tailored to managing all aspects of running a nonprofit in the future is iConnectX!
Connect with iConnectX for better fundraising!
Just like the other sectors, COVID-19 has turned the nonprofit sector on its head. With around 5-10% of the US economy and 10% of the US employment dependent on nonprofit services, the pandemic has only made the country realize the power of this sector. And for good!
However, the way it has evolved during these unprecedented times is commendable. The nonprofit sector has, thus, given a path to a few trends that have made their way into 2021 and will continue to hold a firm grasp.
In this guide, we will dive deeper to understand 4 ways the nonprofit sector will evolve stronger in 2021.
1. Nonprofit Sector Will Turn Digital & Virtual
Because COVID seemed to be in no mood to leave us alone, the nonprofits eventually shifted from in-person to virtual events. While this shift was expected to be short-lived, the news is that it will continue over 2021 and beyond.
That’s precisely because digital events succeeded in blurring the geographical barriers, letting people (who otherwise wouldn’t have) participate.
Further, the lack of in-person volunteering has and will continue to make the virtual aspect of nonprofit marketing outshine the previous methodologies. This means that nonprofits will (have to) incorporate live-streaming, curate content for live events, install chat apps and promote virtual volunteerism.
This move will eradicate the largest barrier to volunteering i.e. volunteers citing busy schedules as an excuse. Volunteering from the comfort of their homes, thus, gives people their own space to bring about a difference in their own way.
Not just this, the focus will also shift a little more on digital communication, be it for meet-and-greets, fundraising, or likewise.
We might also see an evolution of virtual events. Here’s why!
Post a recent study from the Goodman Center that pointed out how 65% of the respondents raised concerns regarding videoconferences adding up to their fatigue, fear of virtual fundraising events becoming difficult cropped up alongside.
For example – For nonprofits that offer educational services, videoconferencing is not the best source.
Thus, the virtual event market is likely to experience a seachange and new tools will be introduced to support the online programs. This will enhance the experience of the attendees and donors.
2. High-Tech Technology Will Help Nonprofits Find Their Donors
Nonprofits will delve into high-tech solutions like
- Artificial Intelligence
- Blockchain for Fundraising
- Outcome Management
- Enhanced Communication
This will be done to find the right donors.
For Example Direct mails or social media conversations are the primary mode of communication for nonprofits to target their potential audience.
However, these are still too basic to make an impact. AI is expected to wave its magic wand and introduce tools like automation which will personalize the messages along with reducing the effort while increasing the impact. Cool, right?
But how can these tools be managed?
Well, it’s simple! These tools can be added through managed cloud services, thereby letting the nonprofits boost their services whenever needed.
With tools like chatbots, AI can really turn the tables in terms of conducting better and brighter campaigns/events; be it serving the community in whatever way.
Long story short, nonprofits will enhance their communication using the latest technology.
Mobile, for one, will become a hotshot in 2021; thanks to the mobile marketing techniques that are impressively improving at an exponential rate.
According to research from the Blackbaud Institute, mobile donations represented 26% of all online donations in 2019, up from just 9% in 2014.
Giving Tuesday has seen $2.47 billion in donations in 2020 which is much higher than $1.97 billion in 2019. It is interesting to note that most of these donations have been through mobile.
3. Nonprofits Will See More Partnerships, Mergers, and Joint Ventures
As every business does, even nonprofit organizations tend to grow their branches into different areas where they can expand their programs. While they have the resources to carry out the expansion of operations, they don’t really have the right knowledge to do so. A human can only know so much, after all!
Because a single entity can’t have all the specializations, taking into consideration the technological and demographic shifts, 2021 will see nonprofits forming joint ventures, mergers, and partnerships.
In other words –
- Some nonprofits will enter into strategic partnerships with other nonprofit organizations.
- Some nonprofits will form joint partnerships with for-profit organizations.
- Some nonprofits will consider mergers, either with other nonprofit or for-profit entities.
In 2021, we’ll witness nonprofits having concrete conversations regarding this with one another and also with the corporations to make a better impact.
Not just this, but many nonprofits are attuned to both private and public organizational goals and needs. This will make them create more public-private partnerships in 2021.
4. Grantmaking Will Become More Collaborative
Even before COVID-19 gave us all a blow, nonprofits were witnessing a shift in the grants process. Everybody related to this industry knows how crucial grants as resources are for nonprofits to fund and boost services that are offered to the communities.
But nobody worked towards making the grant process easier even after knowing how cumbersome it is for both the grantor and the grantee.
However, last year, we all saw how traditional grantmaking succumbed to pressure. This was because the demand for funds exponentially increased and grantors hustled to get grants out faster.
It is indeed commendable that nonprofits and Grantmakers could collectively raise their concern regarding this issue after all these years, thus coming up with a solution.
For Example: Outbound Funds Module is an open-source product that was built to help organizations disburse funds quickly and easily.
To enhance the collaboration between grantors and grantees, salesforce.org has built Grants Management as a complement to Outbound Funds. This has improved the grants experience right from the step of applying for the application to its distribution to its reporting.
Another example is The Malala Foundation. It records donor interactions through Grant Management and takes supporters on a convenient ride – right from the first step of initial conversation to the last step of donating. This not only lets them have an insight into how the donor’s journey has been but also the zeal to improve since they have the loopholes.
Thus, the relationship between grantors and grantees is likely to turn less transactional and more collaborative in 2021.
Some key changes that will be introduced are –
- Better processes
- Higher transparency
- More feedbacks
With the world adapting to the new normal after the pandemic, it is only natural that people will adapt to the changes introduced in the nonprofit sector.
Because the world demanded it, even iConnectX as a brand revamped itself and now offers all nonprofits a digital platform and the right technology to hold virtual events, raise funds, carry out auctions, and more.
The thing is one can’t really lag when there’s a shift in the needs of the community.
Nevertheless, all the trends that are bound to evolve in the nonprofit sector will only give it a push to achieve newer and better heights. Even though it might seem difficult to replace the personal touch of a call, technology will soon take over, turning automation into the new “personal.”
It’s all subjective.
In case you are struggling or ever struggle dealing with the digitalization/virtualization of nonprofits or any of the points discussed above, remember iConnectX is just a live chat/call away.
We are in the last few days of 2020. What a year it has been! While we awaited the year to bring us some of the most revolutionary technologies, the year has brought us the pandemic! However, the overall change that was expected has almost remain unchanged-in the sense that the concept of normal has been re-defined!
We have now reached a stage where the phrase “new normal” is something that we are learning to accept! The new normal has a lot to do with transitioning to a digital space where online working, online education, online shopping, virtual meetings, virtual events are now becoming a way of life!
While many of you might be familiar with the other aspects of the virtual world, the concept of “virtual events” might come as a surprise!
Wondering how an event can be held virtually?
Without any further ado let’s get into the nitty-gritty of a virtual event:
What is a virtual event?
A virtual event is one in which the attendees interact in a virtual space instead of a physical location. It is held through webinars and webcasts. These events offer the look and feel of a physical event.
A traditional event is hosted at a specific venue. All attendees arrive at the venue at a fixed time and they have discussions in a physical space. On the other hand, in the case of a virtual event, the interaction is in a virtual space.
Although virtual events may seem very different compared to a traditional event. The planning and hosting process is quite similar.
Best Practices for a Virtual Event
Step 1: Define your objective
Before you plan your event, you need to identify the reason for holding the event. Are you trying to create awareness for your brand, training, or focusing on lead generation? Your objectives for the event must be in sync with the goals of your organization.
Step 2: KPIs
Identify the KPIs before you start with the planning process. These are metrics that will help you understand whether your event was a success or not. Based on the data collected post the event, you can assess the ROI after the event is over.
Step 3: Identify your Audience
- Who will attend your event & why?
- What are the demographics of your audience?
- Which social media platforms do they use?
Prepare a list of such questions to understand your audience and customize your event according to their needs.
Step 4: Choose the Type of Event
Virtual events can be hosted in different ways. Choose the one most suitable for your event based on the nature of the event and its purpose.
Types of virtual events are:
- Virtual conference
- Hybrid Events
- Internal Training
- Livestreamed Keynotes or panel discussions
- Virtual Exhibitions
Step 5: Details of Presentation
You need to create the event based on the specific needs of your audience. Therefore identify the expert in the field who will present. Also, draft the content relevant to your audience.
Step 6: Tech Set-up
Make sure that you have all the video conferencing tools in working condition.
Choose the best event technology platform.
Integrate the attendee data between the event technology system and the virtual event platform.
Ensure that you have a backup so that the event does not get interrupted due to connectivity issues.
Identify the tools for the attendees to network and schedule appointments.
Step 7: Finer Details of the Event
Type of event-live/on demand/mix?
For how long the on-demand sessions will be available to users after the event is over.
Will you charge a fee for the event or will it be free of charge?
Step 8: Registration
Determine the date and time for the event before asking your attendees to register.
Ensure that you have a robust online registration tool for your attendees to register. </>
The registration tool offers vital details such as personal information of the attendees, their preferences, and many more. This information helps to create customized events. Additionally, the registration tool can be used to collect payments if needed.
Step 9: Promote the Event
Leverage all marketing channels such as social media, mail marketing, and other channels to effectively connect with your audience.
Create a buzz on relevant channels to attract the attention of your audience. Encourage them to register. Offer incentives if possible, etc.
Step 10: Guiding your Potential Attendees
There are several technology options available for hosting virtual events. There is a possibility that the members of your audience may not be familiar with the technology that you are using. It is a good idea to help them by offering a guide that explains how to access the event sessions, etc.
Step 11: Hosting the Event
This is when the actual event takes place. Before the scheduled time of the event prepare a checklist and ensure that the entire setup is working seamlessly. During the vent, make sure to record it. Also, facilitate hassle-free communication between participants by resolving any technical/non-technical hitches.
Step 12: Engaging Attendees
Engage your audience by making the sessions interactive by including polls, Q&A, etc. where the members of the audience can participate, and their interest is sustained.
Another vital aspect of creating an engaging event is the duration of the event. While the duration of a physical event is ideally 60 minutes, it is difficult to hold the interest of the audience for 60 minutes in a virtual event. Therefore, keeping a traditional event as a yardstick, you can plan your virtual event around 15-20 shorter. For instance, if your physical event is planned to last for 60 minutes for a specific topic, schedule your virtual event for approximately 45 minutes.
Step 13: Data collection
Make sure to gather all the relevant data during and after the event. This is valuable information that helps evaluate the success of the event, qualify leads, identify gaps, etc. These inputs can help to enhance the quality of future events.
This is an overview of how a virtual event can be organized so that it is beneficial for the attendees and the host.
Virtual events have gained popularity in recent times due to restrictions imposed to restrict the spread of the coronavirus.
Although virtual events have become popular during COVID times, people are now realizing the benefits they offer, and they have the potential to be adopted even post COVID.
Here is a quick comparison between a traditional and virtual event:
|Sr. No||Factor||Traditional||Virtual||Benefits of a Virtual Event|
|1||Venue||Required||Not Required||Expenses incurred towards a venue are nil.|
|2||Interaction||Physical space||Can be attended from Home||1. Convenient for Attendees
2. Saves expenses towards accommodation, travel, etc. of attendees.
|3||Flexibility||Once fixed no changes are possible.td>||It is flexible and changes can be made at any stage.||Expenses incurred towards a venue are nil.|
|4||Reach||Limited reach||Worldwide audience|
|5||Distribution||It is not possible||The link to the event can be shared with a larger audience.||People across the globe can access relevant events at their convenience.|
|6||Scalability||There is a limitation on the number of attendees.||A larger audience can be accommodated.||More people stand to benefit by attending events relevant to their area of interest.|
|7||Reliability||Weather conditions can impact the number of people attending the event.||Unaffected by weather||Attendees can view the event from anywhere without being affected by weather changes.|
|8||Analytics||Relevant stats are collected with the help of post-event survey forms which most attendees tend to ignore.||Metrics such as viewing stats or engagement details are readily available.||Valuable data points help create more engaging events in the future.|
|9||Sustainability||Lots of events imply lots of attendees traveling to the venue. More vehicles on the road are detrimental to the environment.||Has a positive impact on the environment because it reduces the number of vehicles on the road.||Virtual events not only help save traveling expenses but also minimize the impact on the environment.|
|10||Better Participation||Some attendees may have their inhibitions in interacting during the event.||Virtual events include online polls, live chats, downloadable resources, etc. making the event more interactive.||Virtual events make it easier for participants to interact and gain from the event.|
Therefore, we can conclude that a virtual event is cost-effective and convenient for both the host and the attendees. However, on the flip side, it does not offer an opportunity to network as effectively as a physical event. But, if we compare it with the positives it offers, it is surely a great option, especially during current times.
One of the most vital constituents for a successful virtual event is the event management platform being used. While choosing an event management platform, make sure it has the following features:
- It should offer end-to-end event management solutions.
- It should be easy to use and should have the flexibility to be customized for different types of events.
- The platform should facilitate live and on-demand delivery of the content.
- It should offer audience engagement tools.
One such event management platform which offers all these features, and more is iConnectX! It is a platform that is ideal for hosting non-profit events such as online auctions, fundraisers, and many more! iConnectX offers end-to-end management of your event by providing all the essential tools and support to host a successful event.
Connect with iConnectX for the best event experience!
Coronavirus or COVID-19 is spreading at such a pace that the number of cases in some areas are doubling each week. So far, over 6.9 million cases of the novel coronavirus have been officially declared globally, with around 410,000 deaths, leaving many in the critical condition fighting for their life. Due to this high-rising increase, many countries are falling short on person protection equipment such as masks, gloves and other medical equipment required for treatment.
Economies are declining, Healthcare infrastructures are failing, and the small business community is shut down. Schools are closed, malls, restaurants, and many other businesses are either closed or only keeping a small porting of their business in place due to the government issued lockdown. The world could see another recession that can be worse than the last recession in that took place in 2009(Source: IMF ).
So, what can you do to help?
Fundraising for Coronavirus: How to Raise Funds for victims and families of the COVID-19 Pandemic
1. Support industries that are Impacted by Coronavirus:
The hospitality industry is one of the most affected industries due to the pandemic. Most hospitals are overcrowded and do not have enough personal protection equipment for the workers. Most companies have seen a drop of 70-80% in sales resulting in huge profit losses and corresponding unemployment in affected countries. Also, hourly workers or employees being not paid during their lockdown are among the most vulnerable during this pandemic, making low-income household families more vulnerable and in need of immediate financial assistance.
2. Create a Fundraiser:
Another way to support these victims is to create a fundraiser for a local nonprofit helping victims and families affected by the Coronavirus. By setting up a fundraiser, you can support the nonprofits who are raising funds to provide food & water, medical supplies, and volunteering support due to the spread of coronavirus. Once the fundraiser is created, share your updates to your audience, invite them to join your cause and make donations to support your fundraiser. Invite your professional connections to build your network and support your nonprofit fundraising cause.
3. Directly Donate to Nonprofit Organizations:
A great way to support the victims and families affected by the Coronavirus is to donate direct to these nonprofits who are helping or providing necessities to people affected by COVID-19.
If you are looking for charities serving people during this hard time, you can click here and find local or national nonprofits supporting these causes. You can help through monetary donations, or providing food, water, medicine, toiletries, and more. If you’re not able to donate items or want to do your own nonprofit fundraising, consider starting a fundraiser to support a local charity. Using iConnectX, you can find over 144 local onboarded nonprofits or 1.7 million non-onboarded nonprofits and start fundraising on their behalf.
4. Shift away from traditional events and move to Virtual Events:
The COVID-19 pandemic across the USA and world has brought fundraising events to a halt that forcing the nonprofits to change the tactics to raise the funds to run the programs supporting the community by basic necessities.
During these times, nonprofits have to be more mindful and sensitive when asking for funds to support their cause, as we are all concerned about our own financial situations. Leveraging iConnectX, nonprofits or individuals (through fundraisers) can create virtual events to solicit online fundraising auctions or sell tickets to a virtual event. They can invite their networks to participate. Find out more on how to create a nonprofit virtual event.
Now, more than event, it is important to stay connected with your top donors who consistently donate to your causes and volunteer in your programs. Reach out to your existing audience and/or target the new “giving-minded” audience in iConnectX and promote your online auctions or virtual events. Using iConnectX, create an account and connect with professionals willing to donate to nonprofits during these challenging times the country is going through.