Postponing or Cancelling Your Ticket Event

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Coronavirus is affecting the entire run/walk/ride and event industry, and could be a real threat to your nonprofit event. You can check out other RunSignup/GiveSignup blogs to learn more about the precautions we are taking to protect our customers and our company. 

How to postpone/cancel your existing ticket event

If you need to cancel or postpone your ticket event on GiveSignup, you have several options that will allow you to quickly communicate with supporters and mitigate some financial risk for your nonprofit.

Cover Pages

Whether you are postponing, cancelling, or waiting for further developments before you make a decision, you can use your event website to put out messaging for your supporters. Using our Cover Pages, you can create content blocks in seconds with custom messages about the status of your event. 

Add a link or use a button to direct attendees to your Contact Us form, which comes with every event website. You could also add custom URLs to contact forms on your nonprofit’s website, or to your Facebook page. 

Here’s an interactive example: https://www.givesignup.org/TicketEvent/CleanRiversConference

Steps to Postpone

If you still plan on holding your event later in the year and want attendees to be able to keep their tickets, you can postpone the event. 

Here are some steps you should take:

  1. Either close registration or put up clear messaging on your site that communicates that while supporters may still register, the event is postponed. To close registration, you’ll need to go into the ticket wizard and adjust your purchase period dates in Step 3. 
  2. If you’re leaving registration open, change your event date in the wizard (Step 2, Start and End Times). If you have already chosen a new date, you can change it to that date. Otherwise, you could keep it the same and hide it by closing registration or using a cover page. 
  3. Establish a clear policy on refunds. We recommend that you allow ticketholders to request refunds on their ticket purchases. Otherwise they might attempt chargebacks against your event. The money in your refund reserve will be used to pay out these refunds. Learn more about RunSignup/GiveSignup’s current policy for holdbacks and the refund reserve. 
  4. Make sure donations are turned on for your event website. 
  5. Send an email to all current ticketholders. Update your social media pages as well. Include the link to the donate page on your site and encourage all your supporters to donate.
  6. Communicate with vendors, sponsors, event venues, volunteers, and any other stakeholders in your event so that they know what steps you are taking. 

Steps to Cancel

If you need to totally cancel the event, immediate communication is crucial. 

Here are the steps you should follow: 

  1. Close registration: go into the ticket wizard and adjust your purchase period dates in Step 3. 
  2. Publish and follow your policy on refunds. We recommend that you allow ticketholders to request refunds on their ticket purchases. Otherwise they might attempt chargebacks against your event. The money in your refund reserve will be used to pay out these refunds.
  3. Make sure donations are turned on for your event website. Even if you’re cancelling the event itself, you can still let your supporters know that they can donate to your nonprofit.  
  4. Send an email to all current ticketholders. Update your social media pages as well. Include the link to the donate page on your event website and encourage all your supporters to donate.
  5. Communicate with vendors, sponsors, event venues, volunteers, and any other stakeholders in your event so that they know the event is cancelled.

How to Process a Refund

Issuing a refund for an entire purchase

Go to Event Dashboard>>Reports>>Ticket Purchases. Search for the transaction you want to refund. Select Manage. At the bottom of the page, select Start a Refund.

Enter the amount you would like to refund into the empty fields for each ticket, or select one of the three options below them.

  • Balance Less Processing Fee will refund only the amount you advertised for the event (for example, $20), not including any processing fees they paid for that ticket.
  • Balance will refund the amount you advertised and the amount of the processing fee.  
  • None will not refund any money (choose this only if you are trying to cancel a ticket with no refund). 

Next, choose whether you want to cancel the tickets or not.

There is an option to include a note on a refund for internal communication purposes.

Note: GiveSignup charges a fee of $1 for processing refunds. Also, we keep the original processing fee since we incur charges for the transactions. For questions, reach out to your account manager or info@givesignup.org.


Issuing a refund for a single ticket or partial purchase

Go to Event Dashboard>>Reports>>Individual Tickets. Search for the ticket you want to refund or cancel. Select Manage. At the bottom of the page, select Start a Refund.

Enter the amount you would like to refund into the empty field, or select one of the three options below it.

  • Balance Less Processing Fee will refund only the amount you advertised for the event (for example, $20), not including any processing fees the buyer paid for that ticket.
  • Balance will refund the amount you advertised and the portion of the processing fee that represents that ticket. So if you are refunding one of two $20 tickets, the buyer will get $20 plus $1.50 (half of the $3 they paid for the processing fee) back.  
  • None will not refund any money (choose this only if you are trying to cancel a ticket with no refund).

There is an option to include a note on a refund for internal communication purposes.

Note: GiveSignup charges a fee of $1 for processing refunds. Also, we keep the original processing fee since we incur charges for the transactions. For questions, reach out to your account manager or info@givesignup.org.


Refund Reserve

This is found under Financial on the Event Dashboard sidebar. It is very important to set up if you expect to process any refunds, and is also required for Referral Refunds.

screenshot-docs.google.com-2019.05.23-10-06-44

There are three ways to fund the reserve: 

  • Enter your credit card to add money to the reserve. This may be necessary if all payments have been made to you and there will not be future ticket sales, yet you want to process refunds. This situation might occur if you have to cancel an event.
  • Set an additional hold. This will hold back a set amount of money from future transactions until that additional amount is reached. GiveSignup is already doing this for all payments temporarily. See here for details: Tools for Planning and Chargeback Reserves
  • Move money to the refund reserve. If you are awaiting the payment of a balance owed to your nonprofit, then you can set aside some of that future payment into the refund reserve.

Example language to use in emails, on your website, or on social media

Postponed:

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the NAME OF EVENT (originally scheduled for DATE) is being postponed to a later date.

All attendees who have already bought tickets may request a refund at any time. Please (click the button below /  email us at email@mail.org)  to contact us about a refund.

You also have the option of staying registered and attending the event on the new date once it is announced. 

In the meantime, please consider making a donation to the NAME OF NONPROFIT so that even in this uncertain time, we can continue to INSERT DETAILS OF NONPROFIT MISSION.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

Cancelled: 

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the NAME OF EVENT (originally scheduled for DATE) is being cancelled.

All attendees who have already bought tickets may request a refund at any time. Please (click the button below /  email us at email@mail.org) to contact us about a refund.

In the meantime, please consider making a donation to the NAME OF NONPROFIT so that even in this uncertain time, we can continue to INSERT DETAILS OF NONPROFIT MISSION.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

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