It’s that time of year again, party season! Gala organizers are constantly asking themselves, “How do we best maximize our fundraising efforts THIS year?” One of the most impactful ways to increase your fundraising potential the night of your gala is to leverage the latest mobile giving technologies. Fundraising technology providers quote success rates of 20 – 25% incremental gains in fundraising at events tapping into these new solutions. And mobile campaigns inserted into your event flow are terrific ways to engage your guests and make it easy for them to donate on the fly. These smartphone and tablet-based solutions are perfect for events with Millennial or Gen X or Z audiences who are sure to bring their smartphones with them to the event to snap party pics and upload them to social media.
Here are our best insider tips about the benefits to going mobile at your upcoming non-profit gala:
START SOME PRE-EVENT BUZZ. Most mobile fundraising platforms include a website to host key auction items on in advance of the gala. These solutions, importantly, allow those who can’t attend the event to feel as if they were there and keep bidding (remotely) during the event. They will feel like they contributed to the event even if they don’t win! Hosting your auction in advance is also a great way to start the event buzz before your event, getting your guests engaged and excited.
TEXT TO GIVE CAMPAIGNS. Texting has become as common as placing a phone call. In fact, in many age groups, texting has almost completely replaced the phone call! Include a “Text To Give” campaign at your gala and you provide an easy call to action which will add a virtual “paddle raise” fundraising opportunity. MobileCause, Text2Give, GiveByCell and other text-based fundraising solutions are simple to implement, and while they do require nonprofits to pay setup and other transaction fees, most include an option to display a giving thermometer at your event further encouraging guests to be generous throughout the event. Be sure to include plenty of signage highlighting when you will be kicking off the campaign and volunteers to explain to guests at the event how mobile giving works. And the best part, you can continue the campaign after your event to keep the mobile giving spirit engaging your guests all year long.
MOBILE LIVE OR SILENT AUCTIONS. Mobile auctions such as those incorporated in mobile bidding platforms such as BidPal, AuctionsByCellular and others are a great way to “21st century” a silent or live auction. Bidding takes place via smartphone, tablet or units provided by the mobile auction solution team. If a guest is outbid, text alerts stream to their mobile device to alert them to bid again. Guests can enjoy conversations wherever they are at the event without having to rush back to an auction table to rebid. For guests who prefer to sit at their tables and chat with friends, they have easy access to the entire silent and live auction program from an iPad at their table. No need to wander! Let’s face it. It’s hard to win more than one item when a guest has to hover over a sheet of paper to guard their item! Mobile auction solutions are also a great way to inspire the competitive spirit among your partying guests. Like it or not, part of the fun of the silent auction is the battle to win. As an organizer, you want your guests to get attached to at least one silent auction item and bid it up and up and UP!
EASY CHECK OUT. The other advantage of using these mobile auction solutions is the ease of checkout where winners, having swiped their credit card at registration, are then automatically billed when the event is over. Nonprofits can also immediately total the night’s proceeds and track progress over the course of the auction without the need to fill the auction with spotters, collect winner bid numbers and risking missing bidders and donations.
Need more tips about planning your nonprofit gala in the Bay Area? Just call us!
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