You need to sell many tickets for your fundraiser to work, as no other metric will matter if your ticket sales are low. Fortunately, the ability to sell tickets online has given nonprofit organizations a whole new channel for increasing ticket sales.
While the concept is encouraging, implementing an online ticketing program can seem quite daunting if you are new to fundraising or are far from tech-savvy. This article explores fundraising, explains some of the advantages of selling tickets online, and offers several recommendations for setting up online ticket sales for your next fundraiser.
What Is a Fundraiser?
A fundraiser is an event designed to raise awareness and support for an organization’s mission, such as a charity walk or run, bake sale, or carnival. Nonprofit organizations rely on fundraising events in order to generate revenue to support their mission.
Advantages of Selling Online Tickets to Your Fundraiser
There are many advantages to selling tickets to your fundraising event online. Here are five of the most significant benefits:
- Accessibility – Selling tickets online allows your supporters to purchase tickets anytime from practically anywhere.
- Security – Online ticket sales reduce the hassle and risk associated with having staff and volunteers handle cash and check transactions. On the flip side, online transactions these days are extremely secure, making any concerns about theft or fraud practically nonexistent.
- Instant credibility – The ability to easily brand your tickets and immediately provide a receipt to your supporters upon purchase lets people know your nonprofit is organized and credible.
- Flexibility – Offering an online ticketing platform for supporters gives you the ability to easily change pricing as needed, and you can also offer several payment options to buyers.
- Low overhead – When you sell tickets online, you eliminate the costs and labor related to producing the tickets. No more worrying about running to the printer, picking them up, distributing them to staff and volunteers, and then handing them to supporters after the purchase. Shifting the focus of your ticketing process to online instead of in-person transactions will save money and time in the long run.
Steps to Selling Fundraiser Tickets Online
Between people using their mobile phones more often, as well as the sheer convenience and ease of online purchases, supporters have gone from hoping for online ticketing options to expecting to be able to purchase their fundraising event tickets online.
Here are the steps to implement an online ticketing platform for your next fundraising event:
Step 1: Use an Online Ticketing Platform That Is Designed Specifically for Nonprofit Fundraising Events
Some ticket-selling platforms are limited when it comes to the unique needs of a nonprofit organization, while others offer features you might not find elsewhere, like event registration, customizable invitations, partial payment and deposit options, and much more. Be sure to look for a solution tailored toward nonprofits instead of a generic one-size-fits-all platform that doesn’t meet your needs.
Step 2: Mass Market Your Event Using Multiple Online and Offline Channels
The best way to sell more tickets to your nonprofit’s fundraising event is to increase the number of times you reach out, use different channels, and follow up with potential donors.
Some examples of these channels include:
- Phone calls from your team to key supporters
- Creating a dedicated page on your website for the event
- Marketing your event on all of your organization’s social media accounts
- Direct mail campaigns
- Email marketing
Step 3: Make Sure the Ticketing Experience Is Personalized and Exudes Credibility
When it comes to online purchases, a lack of trust is the biggest cause for potential buyers to abandon their shopping carts. Go out of your way to create a customized guest experience that is branded with your nonprofit’s logo and contact information. Also, make sure trust symbols are clearly displayed to let the buyer know that their information is secure and their purchase is protected.
Step 4: Create a Sense of Urgency
This is practically a no-brainer when it comes to marketing anything, but is often overlooked. When it comes to letting supporters purchase tickets online, it is best to be subtle in your approach. One way to do this is to create ticketing tiers with various deadlines that basically reward buyers for purchasing early.
Step 5: Partner With Other Organizations That Are a Natural Fit
Forming a network with other nonprofit organizations in your area, in your niche, or both, is an excellent way to get others to promote your event at no cost to your organization. Reciprocation here is key, so be sure to reach out to others in your network on a regular basis in an effort to promote their events when it is appropriate and they do not conflict with any of your own fundraising efforts.