7 Stellar Ways to Streamline Your Fundraising Event Registration
Guest Post by Josh Meyer
Fundraising events can be anything from casual walkathons to extravagant galas, but with each event, your nonprofit’s team is hard at work organizing guest lists, promotion, and other event details.
While planning your event, make sure you don’t forget about your event registration process! You’ll want your donors to come into your event with a positive mindset and an easy way to achieve that is by simplifying your event registration process.
Streamlining your event registration makes the process easier for donors and makes it more manageable for your organization! Luckily for you, we’ve crafted 7 stellar (and easy) ways to make registration easy:
- Find the right event registration software.
- Offer diverse ticket packages for registrants.
- Craft an event registration microsite.
- Keep your event registration form short.
- Match your event registration form to your organization.
- Predetermine seating arrangements.
- Create a swift event check-in process.
Are you ready to learn how to streamline your event registration to make the process easier for both your nonprofit and your constituents? Let’s dive in!
#1 – Find the right event registration software.
Event registration tools should be part of any event fundraising software solution. Your organization most likely won’t be able to purchase event registration features separate from an event fundraising solution, so be sure to evaluate the whole product to know what you’re getting.
Before beginning your search for the right provider, you’ll need to think about what your organization does and doesn’t need (as well as what you can and can’t afford).
When it comes to event registration, you’ll want a tool that is scalable so it can grow as your organization does. Look for a provider that offers the right features for your nonprofit. Popular event registration features include:
- Diverse ticket packages
- Donor cultivation tools
- Microsite creation
- Seating arrangements
Be sure to take your time when deciding on a provider and look into any demos that may be available.
Bonus! Check out OneCause’s Top Features for Online Event Registration for more in-depth tips on what to look for.
The bottom line: An event registration software provider will eases the administrative burden when it comes to events and helps to make the process easy and fast for both you and your supporters.
#2 – Offer diverse ticket packages for registrants.
Depending on your audience, offering different ticket packages might be the best solution for supporters!
Different donors will be interested in different packages based on how involved they are in your organization’s community and how much they’d like to spend on a ticket.
On top of your average ticket package, plenty of nonprofits consider selling VIP packages that are offered only to major donors. This package might reserve these donors better seats, more merchandise, or overall, more incentivized additions. Similarly, if you have a significant amount of donors who average a lower gift size, you can offer Early Bird specials that offer discounted tickets if purchased within certain time constraints. Plus, this way, you’ll be able to start a guest count for your event.
The bottom line: Providing your guests with diverse ticket packages allows them to participate in your event at a price that fits their wallets.
#3 – Craft an event registration microsite.
You’ll want to invest in an event registration solution that enables you to create microsites for every event you host, whether it be a silent auction, a walkathon, or a gala!
In order to simplify registration, you’ll want to make sure your constituents can purchase tickets online through a microsite.
Your microsite can feature all the essential information your donors need about your upcoming event, like why you’re hosting it, where proceeds will go, and how it fits into your nonprofit’s overall mission.
All of your registrants’ data can immediately be exported from your microsite to your event fundraising software or CRM. With this data, your organization can tailor your event even more to your attending guests. Plus, you’ll be able to post photos and videos on your microsite to update your supporters! A microsite lets you stay in contact with your supporters while you eagerly await your event date.
A microsite also helps you promote your event. Because it’s completely separate from your nonprofit website, your event’s microsite won’t be confused with any long-term campaigns your nonprofit is running or any other fundraising events. Just make sure your microsite is customized to your organization’s branding.
You can share this site on your nonprofit’s social media accounts to reach even more potential donors!
The bottom line: A microsite provides so many beneficial options to your organization including a way to keep donors updated, sell your tickets, and promote your event.
#4 – Keep your event registration form short.
Just like your online donation forms, you’ll want your event registration form to be short and sweet.
Keep the number of required information fields to a minimum. We suggest limiting your form to just the necessities, which are your donor’s:
- Contact information
- Ticket package selection
- Payment information
The longer it takes donors to fill out your event registration form, the more likely it is that they’ll give up!
The bottom line: Don’t make the process difficult for your constituents. The shorter the form, the less time it takes to fill it out and the more likely your event will see a bigger turnout.
#5 – Match your event registration form to your organization.
Just like you’ll match your microsite to your organization, you’ll want to match your form to your organization as well!
Think about your color scheme and your logo when crafting your form. The importance behind customizing your form comes from building trust with your donors.
If your constituents are led to a registration form that looks nothing like your organization’s microsite or general site, they may be hesitant to input their payment information as well as their contact information. On the other hand, if your form features your nonprofit’s colors and sports your logo proudly in the corner, your donors will instantly recognize it and feel more comfortable submitting their information to your form.
The bottom line: By customizing your form to your nonprofit, you’ll be building up trust for your donor relationships.
#6 – Predetermine your seating arrangements.
If you’re hosting an event like a gala or luncheon, you’ll more than likely want to invest in an event registration solution that can handle seating arrangements, too.
When your donors fill out their registration forms, they can make seating requests so you can place them at the best table. You’ll want software that can immediately help you organize your seating chart, sitting certain guests next to others upon request.
When it’s time for check-in, you should be able to view your guest’s seat and table number at the same time, making for a speedy and efficient process. Invest in a solution that lets you group donors by ticket package, sponsorship level, or other affiliations.
The bottom line: Organizing seating arrangements is an easier feat when you have event registration software by your side.
#7 – Create a swift check-in process.
Because you’ll have narrowed down your event registration to an easy, intuitive process, you’ll need to make sure your check-in process is just as seamless to finish up the job. Running your check-in process through tablets or iPads is an easy way to avoid long lines and irritated guests. Remember, it’s all about your donors’ experiences.
With no wires or restrictions, a tablet check-in makes your process both speedy and mobile. Guests can check in, receive their seating details, give additional donations, and begin to enjoy your event! Depending on your provider, your check-in process can be a breeze. They simply confirm their name and payment information upon arrival to your event, and like that they are ready to give.
The bottom line: With just one easy step, your attendees can enter your event with their moods high and their wallets open when you create a speedy check-in process with iPads or tablets.
Want to get more great fundraising tips and strategies sent to you each week by e-mail? Be sure to sign-up for our free Weekly Fundraising Round-Up using the form below:
About the Author
Joshua Meyer brings over 14 years of fundraising, volunteer management, and marketing experience to his current role as the Director of Marketing for OneCause. Currently, as a member of the OneCause sales and marketing team, Josh manages all of the firm’s marketing efforts. He has a passion for helping to create positive change and loves that his current role allows him to help nonprofits engage new donors and achieve their fundraising goals.
Photo Credit: Culture Republic