Are you planning a nonprofit event? Suppose you’re still in the concept phase or have started selling tickets. In that case, we recommend you start considering how to publicize your event. We’ve compiled a list of ideas to ensure your success.
Identify your target audience
The first step is identifying your target audience and planning the communication strategy and an event type that speaks to them. As you know, an environmental nonprofit requires distinct communication and events than one for Veterans. The rule is to create an integrated marketing communication strategy and campaign that speaks to the hearts and taps into the subconscious of your target audience. One way to dial in on your audience is to create a target supporter persona, a fictional representation of the supporter you are trying to reach based on qualitative and quantitative data. This helps your organization relate to your supporters as actual people. A key point to remember is that your organization’s priorities are not the priorities of your audience.
Make a budget (and stick to it)
Design your event to generate income in several ways. The most common income sources include:
- Table sales
- Individual ticket sales
- Sponsor, benefactor, and patron donations
- Food and drink sales
- Advertising sales
- Sales of goods and services
Your event will cost money unless you have a sponsor to cover all expenses. Costs include:
- Advertising and promotion, including invitations, flyers, photography
- Insurance – you will need liability insurance in case someone gets hurt at the event and shipping insurance to cover the cost of donated items
- If any part of the event is in person, you will want decorations, equipment, and promotional materials
- Office expenses
- Location and venue charges – will you have tents, tables, space rental, tables, and chairs
- Promotional expenses such as advertising and printing
It’s critical to secure funding from local and regional businesses and foundations. Sponsorships are mutually beneficial relationships; they are great for companies and foundations for PR purposes. In turn, they are great for nonprofits not only because of the financial benefits; they add legitimacy to the charity and can often secure donations for attendees’ gifts, food and beverages, and goodie bags. To enlist these sponsors, you need a plan – requesting sponsorship for events might be challenging. Yet, the odds are improved by following these steps:
- Start with local businesses and ask event registrants if their companies want to get involved and reach out to local restaurants for gift cards and food donations.
- Before asking for sponsorship, have your event plan ready
- Offer donation tiers. Business owners will probably ask, what’s in it for me? Ensure your team is prepared to provide a compelling answer. Donation tiers are giving levels that correspond with specific rewards or perks. For example, a black-tie gala may offer the following tiers:
- $500 gets two event tickets and a program listing
- $1,000 brings the above benefits and an announcement of appreciation during the event.
- $5,000 gets six tickets, a statement of gratitude, a promotional listing, and a post on social media
- $10,000 gets everything the $5,000 donation receives, plus an award during the event
- Higher-level donations can receive everything the lower tiers receive, plus naming rights for the event
We recommend you customize the tiers based on a donor’s giving history, opportunities your organization can provide, and event type. A 5k race in a local park requires more affordable levels. Also, keep these tiers to four or five options, so supporters do not feel overwhelmed. Supporter tiers are meant to create a feeling of exclusivity.
Nonprofit Event Promotion Tips
Make an event and registration landing page
A landing page is a standalone webpage distinct from the main website, and it has a single objective. Event landing pages promote the event; the registration landing page’s goal is to persuade page visitors to sign up or buy event tickets.
When creating an event registration page, it is critical to focus on conversion rate optimization. The conversion rate is the percentage of page visitors that sign up or purchase tickets, and optimization is a system that helps increase that percentage.
A platform like iConnectX offers a unique landing page that nonprofits can customize for their needs with a private event URL that makes your event easy to find.
Pick a short and memorable event name
Events with longer names fail to get noticed. This may be because most content is consumed on mobile devices, and long titles do not look good on small screens. Concise titles allow readers to immediately understand the event.
Create an event hashtag
These are more than fun. Efficient hashtag use is a powerful promotional tool to engage supporters and encourage them to share your organization’s information and event with their own networks. Hashtags can also help new audiences find you and support your cause.
Craft an on-brand hashtag that’s memorable and encourage supporters to tag it when they share. Also, add the tag to your social account bios before and during the event and include it in all promotional materials you send out.
Update your social media accounts
Have a solid grasp of your social media strategy; this increases awareness, helps raise more money, and attracts attendees to your event. Make sure your social accounts are prepared for new supporters. This means double-checking your organization’s bio to ensure it’s up to date with a concise, clear description of your organization’s mission. Make sure to highlight the benefits and value your supporters will get by supporting your cause.
While you are deciding what to post, think about where to post. Each social platform is best for certain kinds of content:
- Instagram – the optimal platform for video and images. Develop stories that link event details together with shorter event descriptions. Encourage your social followers to find information from the event page.
- Twitter – an excellent platform for hashtag promotion. Here is where you can provide event updates – short and sweet is best.
- Facebook – share event updates, graphics, and target specific follower segments. Facebook is the platform that tolerates longer content, so share event details and links to your event landing page.
- Snapchat is a platform for event-related short videos and entertaining graphic elements. Here you can create an event-specific filter or lens for your attended to use leading up to your event and during the event, too.
Build momentum and urgency
Create momentum by promoting in stages. When in the beginning phase, share a teaser, like a countdown and an event date announcement. Next, offer early opportunities for tickets and registration, like early bird ticket discounts or VIP registration deals. Limited time offers create a sense of urgency for
It takes a considerable, coordinated effort to throw a successful nonprofit event. Offer your supporters behind-the-scenes footage to help build anticipation. Ensure you are authentic; show staff and volunteers making early morning coffee errands or share challenges your team faces during event preparation.
Cross-promotion increases social media post views exponentially to increase event awareness and bumps up registration. Ask hosts, sponsors, board members, presenters, and attendees to promote your content on their social networks.
Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to reach out to supporters and potential supporters. An advantage of email marketing is that it creates a personal connection since you can send updates and promotions directly to their inboxes.
Email marketing is a powerful content marketing tool that helps generate leads that eventually convert into supporters.
Here are a few email marketing tips:
- Get insights into supporter data and learn from those insights to improve future campaigns
- Use email analytics tools to find the best time to send out a specific message or content
- Utilize email automation tools and triggers to send out campaigns automatically, reminders, and newsletters
How iConnectX can help
A heartfelt mission with dedicated staff and volunteers can accomplish a lot no matter what you decide to do. iConnectX helps simplify and streamline event management so your organization can engage with supporters and run events rather than being tied to administrative duties.
Our platform offers:
- Dedicated URLs and customizable landing pages
- Ticket sales
- RSVP management
- Guestlist communication
- Virtual hosting capabilities
- Secure payment processing
- Recurring donation capabilities
- And much more!
We hope you find some from encouragement this list! If you found inspiration, tried any of these ideas, or wanted to share your own, please share with us by commenting below or reaching out on social media. We’d love to hear from you!
You can find us on: