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Top 10 Online Tools You Need for Your Nonprofit Fundraising Event

With fundraising software and online platforms growing increasingly more sophisticated, charities and nonprofits now have excellent online tools to make fundraising events more successful. Whether you’re hosting a traditional in-person gala, a virtual fundraiser, or a hybrid event that lets you reach out to both live and online audiences, today’s online tools help your fundraisers run more smoothly.

But which online tools should you really focus on when getting familiar with your fundraising platform and software? After hosting hundreds of successful fundraising events, PayBee knows which features get the most use from our clients. Here are the top ten online tools you absolutely need for your next nonprofit fundraising gala.   

1.     Ticketing/Registration

No fundraiser ever gets off the ground without a successful ticketing campaign. Even if you let people into your fundraising event for free, you still need the information from all the tickets to assign seating and get meals prepared. Likewise, you may want to offer a raffle ticketing campaign to raise additional funds for your nonprofit.

Luckily, PayBee’s software makes it easy for you to set up and customize any ticketing campaign you might require. From entry tickets to dinner tickets to raffle entries, you can produce any type of online ticket for your guests.   

PayBee’s online platform also makes it easy to check in guests, accept donations, record bids, and checkout your audience at the end of your event. The PayBee mobile app, in particular, enables your event staff to manage all of these event functions right from their smartphones. This is a vital tool to have when you need to keep everything organized and running smoothly.

2.     Event Page

When you’re hosting a virtual or hybrid fundraising event for your audience, having a good event page is essential. Your online guests will use this page to make donations, view the live stream of your events, and bid on auction items. This is also the page from which they’ll interact with other guests via live chats.

PayBee automatically sets up an online virtual event page that you can customize for all your event needs. This page is also able to be accessed via desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, and mobile devices. Such easy accessibility will quickly attract larger audiences—and a larger pool of supporters.

3.     Automatically Generated Bid Paddles

Here’s something we’ve discovered after hosting countless in-person live auctions — people really enjoy holding up bid paddles when they see an auction item they want. There’s just something about being able to use a classic auction paddle that resonates with audiences and increases the excitement (and bidding potential) of your live auction events.

Of course, just because you want to supply your guests with traditional bid paddles doesn’t mean you can’t include some modern touches. PayBee makes it easy for you to automatically generate and print numbered paddle sheets for each audience member and then attach them to any handle you like.

Plus, each bid paddle includes a QR code that guests can scan to make checking out or donating a breeze. Who says you can’t improve upon a classic? 

4.     QR Codes for Donations

Speaking of QR codes — successful nonprofit fundraisers make sure to use these scannable items everywhere at their event. This includes on your silent auction bid sheets (allowing guests to bid on auction items by scanning the QR code with their mobile phones) to flyers and printed materials. Scanning the codes immediately takes guests to your online donation form, allowing them to give instantly. And with so many opportunities to donate, your revenue can only improve.

That’s not the only use for QR codes. PayBee event tickets come equipped with special QR codes that can be easily verified by event staff, enabling volunteers and ushers to immediately guide guests to their tables. This reduces congestion, makes seating more convenient, and puts guests in a much better mood (which just makes them more likely to donate).

5.     Virtual Event Interface for Hybrid Events

When you’re hosting hybrid events, you’re essentially offering two different experiences for two separate audiences—a live, in-person audience and an online audience. However, both audiences need to enjoy a seamless experience where they can easily interact with guests and participate in your event activities.

PayBee’s easy livestream/live event integration feature makes this simple by offering guests a live chat and livestream activity monitor that shows simultaneously to your in-person and virtual guests. You can use all your favorite live-streaming platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, and more—and you can even host live auctions that make it easy for in-person and virtual guests to bid simultaneously, creating much more lucrative bidding matches.

6.     Automatically Generated Silent Auction Bid Sheets

Want to create hype for your upcoming nonprofit fundraising event while also raising revenue for your programs? Silent auctions are a great way to get your guests to participate in your events days or even weeks before the official fundraiser starts. This keeps your upcoming gala in their minds and also allows them to contribute early.

Of course, in order for a silent auction to be successful, you’ll need bid sheets—and PayBee makes this process simple by automatically generating silent auction bid sheets for your guests that can be printed from PDF files. Each item on the bid sheet will also have a unique QR code that lets participants place their bids online with their phones.

PayBee also offers other great features for your silent auction, including the ability to advertise each auction item with an enticing description and photo. You’ll also be able to offer bidders a “Buy Now” option where they can simply pay a set price for an auction item, saving them time and raising you instant money.

7.     Table Assignment Software

Ask anyone who’s hosted more than a few fundraising events and they’ll tell you that creating and managing a detailed guest list is vital to running a smooth fundraiser. Good guest lists provide your staff and volunteers with vital information about your attendees, letting them know where each guest needs to be seated and any special notes (such as food allergies) that need to be addressed.

PayBee’s system helps manage this process by creating table assignments that let your volunteers and ushers know where every guest is assigned. As your events get bigger, this feature will become increasingly more important to keep everything organized.

8.     Automatic Table Name Card Creation

Adding personalized touches keeps your guests happy (and in a donating mood). PayBee assists in this by auto-generating table name plates for every single one of your guests. Not only does this make it easier for all of your guests to find their seats, each name plate comes with a unique QR code that makes donating and checkouts easier.

You can even take this a step further by asking your guests for their favorite color during registration and offering name cards and individual décor in their preferred hue. Who knew catering to your guests’ liking could be so easy?

9.     Credit Card Swipe Checkout

Many nonprofits know that guest checkout can be a chaotic experience at fundraising events, leading to delays and hassles with donors and supporters. This is unfortunate since, no matter how well the rest of your event may have gone, supporters will always remember issues with checkout.

That’s why PayBee offers plenty of online tools to make the checkout process much smoother. The PayBee Event app lets your volunteers and staff checkout guests using their smartphones. You’ll also be able to connect your app to a physical card reader via Bluetooth to make the process much easier. And of course, the QR codes on your guests’ auto bid paddles can be used for checkout as well.

10. Auto Follow-Up Emails for Pending Pledges

Once your fundraising event is done, there’s still a lot of work left for your staff and volunteers. Many guests may have left pending pledges during your gala that need to be collected.

To make sure you receive all your revenue, PayBee allows you to send follow-up emails to any guests with pending pledges, in just a single click, informing them of their donations and offering easy ways to pay.

What’s more, you’ll be able to use the backend reporting system in PayBee’s online platform to bring up a full breakdown of all donations and attendees. Not only will this make it easier to keep track of your event financials, you’ll be able to see where (and from whom) most of your donations came from, letting you know what events (and which donors) to focus on in the future.

Final Thoughts

As fundraising technology continues to develop, you’ll have an ever-expanding array of online fundraising platforms and software packages to choose from. In many cases, your organization won’t need all of these bells and whistles—or the higher price tags and long-term contracts that come with certain nonprofit fundraising software.

However, some online tools never go out of style. Make sure your online platform offers features that help with registration, checkout, and ticketing campaigns. Focus on tools that make managing your guest list and creating table assignments easier. Take advantage of QR codes, not only to make donating easier but also to assist in the checkout process.

If you plan on offering a live or silent auction, online platforms like PayBee offer plenty of tools to make setting up and hosting this popular fundraising event much easier. From automatically generated bid paddles to silent auction bid sheets, you’ll have everything you need to put on a very lucrative fundraiser.

Ready to learn more? Sign up for a free demo of PayBee’s online platform. Not only will you be able to ask all of your questions about PayBee’s features to our team of experts, you’ll also be able to take part in a live virtual auction that shows just how easy our online platform is to use. Come discover why PayBee has helped host hundreds of successful nonprofit fundraisers by signing up for a free demo today

Tags
Nonprofit Fundraising
Nonprofit Tips
Charity Fundraising
Michael Jung

Michael-Jung