You spend HOURS planning your fundraising event with every detail considered. From the moment a guest enters your event until the end, nonprofit development directors create opportunities for new donors to learn about the mission. This article is to make sure you don't miss some easy, pre-event steps to engage donors through the event ticketing procedures. As our clients know, your event is a campaign and begins the moment a guest receives a ticket.
In fact, we estimate that your nonprofit has 4 to 5 potential "touches" during the event ticketing process.
No time - just catch the highlights here (30 seconds).
(1) Invitation to Purchase a Ticket or Ad: What does your invitation, email or ad suggest about the cause? A guest can be engaged from the initial touch. An email invitation with a quick link to a video from last year's event is a perfect way to engage and invite new donors. If your event requires a printed invitation, consider a small insert with a quote from a program recipient.
(2) Purchasing a Ticket: Ticket acquisition is the second touchpoint. Where do guests go to obtain a ticket? Can you use this page to showcase images from your cause, a quote or video link?
Are Your Complimentary Ticket / Table Guests Connected to the Event?
Additionally, many guests to a nonprofit event receive their tickets through complimentary sponsorships or as a table guest. What do they experience? Are they receiving information from you prior to the event? OR did you simply receive a name from a host and put it on a spreadsheet without any contact with the guest. Create a way for complimentary and table guests to obtain tickets through a portal where you can engage them early and ensure that you obtain their contact information.
We love to send an email to complimentary ticket guests with an online link to their tickets and a message about your cause. If it is a sponsorship, this is the PERFECT spot to begin to thank your corporate sponsor.
We are so appreciative of your 2020 Golf Sponsorship. Your impact already matters. Check out this short video we recorded last week. (insert video link)
As a token of our thanks and as a part of your sponsorship package, your tickets to the event are located here (insert link). You can forward this link to attendees or simply enter the guest names. Each guest will receive information from us about the event which helps us ensure an absolutely perfect experience for everyone.
Then, in addition to the sponsor contact EVERY guest who is invited through a sponsorship link or through a table invitation can receive a ticket, an email and possibly even your website prior to the event.
(3) The Ticket: Guests may download or print your event ticket prior to the event start time. When they look at the ticket, what can they see? Consider customizing your ticket to include sponsor logos, information about your cause, other events they can support so that the ticket can serve as an activation. One of our favorite ticket ideas is a sponsor activation i.e. take this ticket to the Rose Apothecary for 15% off. Additionally, you can use the ticket to highlight an upcoming restaurant giveback night benefitting your cause.
(4) Ticket receipt: When a guest receives a ticket, it is typically attached to an email receipt (even if it is a complimentary ticket). This is another email that can include steps to learn more and engage with you. For example, stay up to date with (insert nonprofit name) and all of the event planning by following us on Twitter or Becoming a Fan.
(5) Logistics / Pre-Event email: Typically, this email is sent to all guests prior to the event and includes information about parking, venue, weather (if an issue), their table number and a map of the room. This email can become crowded with pertinent information so it's a bit difficult to include mission-centric points. Nonetheless, it's an ideal spot to activate guests by suggesting that they use your event hashtag when they are on the way. Example: Snap a photo of you and your friends headed to the luncheon and share online. We will choose a few winners online for the door prizes. #nonprofiteventhashtag
In short, don't miss these FIVE touch points prior to the moment a guest enters the venue. It's a great way to take some pressure off of the program, the engagement activity can be measured (thank you technology!) and overall you have created more opportunities for donors to learn about your organization.