Fundraising events are opportunities for your nonprofit to raise money, increase brand awareness and engage supporters in optimal ways. And in the nonprofit world, events are both widely used among charitable organizations and highly attended by loyal supporters. The aspect of fundraising events that draws the most attention is that they’re multifaceted. There are so many different kinds of events a nonprofit can host — one of the most popular being a fundraising gala.
Your supporters love attending galas because they get to learn what type of impact your organization is making on its community, socialize with like-minded people and support a worthy cause in the process. Plus, who doesn’t like getting dressed up, networking and enjoying good food and drinks? Galas are a celebration of your accomplishments, and by hosting one, you’re giving your supporters a magical and luxurious experience and putting very high-value donors in the same room, giving you the opportunity to tell more people why your mission matters and encourage them to join your community of altruistic and impact-driven supporters.
Especially during the pandemic when nonprofits had to get creative with their fundraising galas, technology has further proven itself both helpful and necessary, elevating gala experiences and giving your supporters more options to choose from. As the leading technology provider that has invested resources into helping fundraising events thrive, our nonprofits at GiveSignup | RunSignup continue to use our purpose-built technology to give their gala attendees premium experiences. Read on to learn three ways that technology can upgrade your next fundraising gala from ordinary into extraordinary.
A gala is typically held once a year — it’s the big fundraising event that a nonprofit hosts to share details about the impact the organization has made and raise funds from loyal donors along the way. As the pandemic halted these high-value events most of 2020 into 2021, nonprofits had to get creative about how to pull off these in-person fundraising events.
The Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado had to improvise its annual in-person gala due to the pandemic by selling free tickets and collecting donations for its Gala at Home, an event that was livestreamed. An extra level of creativity: The organization offered attendees the option to receive the “Gala in a Box” party pack that came with wine and a prepared dinner. With GiveSignup | RunSignup’s free solution, the Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado gained access to our ticket platform and also received the benefit of collecting supporter information and making a soft ask for an optional donation.
While the pandemic is slowly moving past us, your supporters will continue to look for virtual options. That means while people are excited to participate face-to-face again, others will still look to participate in your gala virtually — especially if you’ve attracted supporters from all over the world. Offering virtual options with your in-person event doesn’t have to feel intricate or time-consuming. It could be as simple as:
- Livestreaming the event so those who can’t be there can still participate virtually
- Allowing supporters to donate or fundraise on your event website
- Offering supporters the opportunity to participate in activities (e.g., raffles, auctions)
- Sharing real-time event updates on social media and actively engaging with people
Custom Ticket Options
Nonprofits that host fundraising galas know that these events have the potential to bring in significant fundraising revenue, as gala tickets can be set at a much higher price compared to other fundraising events (e.g., run/walk/ride, festival fundraiser). On your event website, where people can go to learn more about your event and buy tickets, we recommend offering multiple ticket levels. On top of selling individual tickets, also give supporters the opportunity to reserve the entire table. For example, Patriot Award Gala offers two ticket options: individual seats for $150 or the entire table for $1,500.
GiveSignup | RunSignup ticket events offer flexible ways to display the ticket options to potential gala attendees. One of the advantages of our flexible ticketing platform is that it allows you to create as many different price levels or purchase periods as you need for your event.
Remember to leverage social sharing tools in your efforts to get the word out about your upcoming fundraising gala. It’s important to engage your followers on social media and share riveting stories to gain exposure to new supporters. They’re excited that you’re hosting a gala in their community, but they also want to learn more about your mission and why it’s important. So, showcase emotion-provoking stories of the people or animals you serve, share their heartfelt testimonials about how much the generosity of your donors has changed their lives and include photos and videos so that people can further relate to your mission.
Additionally, make sure you’re encouraging social sharing with your registered attendees. Don’t miss out on additional registrations by not encouraging an attendee to share the event on their social channels after registration. With GiveSignup | RunSignup, once someone registers for your fundraising gala, they are prompted to share the event on their desired social channels through a pop-up window. For further customization, our platform allows you to personalize the event description and images, giving you control over your brand and messaging.
GiveSignup | RunSignup also offers a referral rewards program that you can use for your ticket event, which allows you to give attendees money back if they hit a certain referral threshold (e.g., $20 back for getting five people registered for the event). It’s a great way to incentivize your attendees to tell their friends and family about your upcoming gala and to sell tickets even faster. To learn more about how you can upgrade your gala with our diverse suite of fundraising tools, click here.