How to Raise Money and Support Victims of the California Wildfires

4 Ways You Can Raise Money and Support Victims of the California Wildfires

This post was last edited on 10.10.17 at 3:07 PM EST.

On Sunday night, fires ignited in Northern California in areas including Napa and Sonoma. According to CNN, these massive wildfires (in excess of a dozen) have already destroyed more than 1,500 homes and commercial buildings as well as covered approximately 120,000 acres and continue to consume even more in Napa wine country.

While the most immediate task for emergency crews is to help people evacuate residents, fire officials are working on a plan to end the wildfires despite the dry winds and lack of resources.

Because you’ve come to this article, you’ve likely heard this devastating news and want to show your support.

If you’re looking for a way to raise money, donate to, or volunteer to help victims in Northern California, we have 4 ways you can show your support:

  1. Launch your own crowdfunding campaign.
  2. Consider getting your donations matched.
  3. Encourage others to support causes on social media.
  4. Give to nonprofits that are supporting that community.

No matter how you decide to support the wildfire efforts in California, every amount donated counts! Get ready to learn how you can help.

If you want even more ways to raise money and support the California wildfire efforts, check out Fundly’s list of ideas.

1. Launch Your Own Crowdfunding Campaign

If you or someone you know is personally affected by the wildfires in California you might feel compelled to tell your story and start a crowdfunding campaign. Since the aftereffects can be extremely costly, raising money online is a great way to rally support in a short period of time.

Crowdfunding is a great tool to raise funds because campaigns can be set up in a matter of minutes and they’re inexpensive to create. 

If you’re still not convinced, look at these successful crowdfunding campaigns to see just how much you can raise.

Additionally, campaigns can easily be shared on social media, email, and via text message so that you can reach everyone in your network and encourage them to support your cause.

To get started, you’ll need to:

  • Choose a crowdfunding platform. The platform that you choose will play a huge role in the success of your campaign. Look for a platform that will let you keep the funds even if you don’t reach your goal or meet your deadline so you can donate every penny you raise. We recommend Fundly.
  • Set a goal. Having a goal is important as it will help you rally supporters and show donors how far you’ve come.
  • Write a compelling description and upload photos. If you or a loved one is personally impacted by the wildfires in California, don’t be afraid to tell your story. Even if you’re not directly impacted, use the description to show people why this cause matters.
  • Promote on social media. Last, but certainly not least, post your crowdfunding campaign on social media and send emails to your friends and family to encourage them to donate. The more you spread the word, the better chance you have of gaining donors and reaching your goal.

If you’re in a time crunch to look for the right crowdfunding platform, we have a list of our top recommended options.

We recommend Fundly because it’s a “keep-it-all” platform and has highly shareable pages. Sign up for a campaign by clicking here or the image below.

Head to the Fundly homepage and start your own crowdfunding campaign for wildfire relief.

Even if you can’t create your own campaign, consider donating to the many campaigns that are currently supporting the victims of the Northern California wildfires.

Here are two certified fundraisers for wildfire relief that you can give to right now.

1. California Fire Relief Fund — Double the Donation set up the California Fire Relief Fund on October 9 in response to the wildfires. This campaign promises to donate any funds raised to the fire departments combating these wildfires, as well as regional nonprofits that are serving the people affected by this great tragedy. Check out the campaign:

California Wildfire Relief Fund

2. Relief Efforts for Massive Sonoma County Fire — Launched by the Fundly Team, this crowdfunding campaign aims to help the victims of the wildfires in Santa Rosa, CA. It’s already gained quite a bit of traction. Check it out:

Relief Efforts for Massive Sonoma County Fire

2. Consider Getting Your Donations Matched

Whether you donate to a crowdfunding campaign or local nonprofit, don’t forget about matching gifts. Having your donation matched by your employer (if you’re eligible) will make your donation go much further in supporting the wildfire efforts in California.

Many companies will match your donations at a 1:1 ratio, which means that for every $1 you donate, the organization or crowdfunding campaign will get another $1 from your company.

Moreover, there are some companies that even match at higher ratios so that you raise additional funds for your organization.

Not sure if your corporation has a matching gift program? When you make a donation, look out for a matching gift search bar (either on the organization’s “Ways to Give” page or directly on the donation form), that will let you search for your corporation’s matching gift program.

Also, we’re making our matching gift search tool available to folks looking to get donations to the relief effort matched. Just type your company name into the search feature below:

By taking the initiative to have your donations matched, you’ll be able to raise even more funds for your organization with just a little extra effort on your part.

3. Encourage Others to Support Your Cause On Social Media

Spreading the word is an effective way to rally the support of others—and there is no better place to do this than on social media.

With so many followers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you’ll be able to reach even more people to encourage them to contribute.

No matter how much you donate, share your donation on your social media accounts to make others aware of the ways they can support the wildfire efforts in California.

Think about it this way: if you’re friends see that your invested and passionate about this cause, it might spark them to learn more and potentially donate as well. 

To craft the best social media posts:

  • Use images and video to draw people’s attention.
  • Link to the crowdfunding campaign or organization you donated to.
  • Share posts (like this one) to inspire your friends and family to get involved.

There are so many ways you can spread the word and encourage others to support those who will be impacted by the wildfires in California. For example, see how this campaign is being shared by donors on Twitter.

Sharing this wildfire relief campaign is bound to help it get the traction it needs.

With just a short tweet, this campaign supporter was able to spread the word about a fundraiser that’s working to help California stop the fire.

Find a campaign you can stand behind and give it a social share!

4. Give to Nonprofits That Support the Community

If you’re feeling the urge to help, but aren’t sure where to turn, look to the community-based nonprofits and organizations that are stepping up to the plate.

Nonprofits who are already cemented in key Northern Californian communities will know the best way to use funds and provide aid to those in need. Plus, you’ll be sending your support directly to the organizations—and people—who need it most.

Check out our list of organizations that can help the afflicted communities:

  • This emergency shelter information for Santa Rosa includes information about where volunteers are needed most. As the fire progresses, these shelters may need further supplies and donations.
  • The Red Cross is actively helping Northern California evacuees. See how you can help!
  • For families with animals, the Sonoma Humane Society is building a grassroots effort to find shelters that are open to pets.

Any of these organizations can help you send aid to the right places. After all, they’re already on the ground, helping those who need it!

For additional ideas we encourage you to check out this Fundly article which has even more ways you can donate to and support Northern California, Sonoma, and Napa Fire Relief and Recovery Efforts.


It can be difficult seeing what’s happening in Northern California and not knowing how you can contribute. Hopefully, these ideas have inspired you to take action, whether it’s through starting your own campaign or donating to a local charity.

5 Tips to Keep Your Giving Tuesday Momentum Going Year-Round

According to data reported by Blackbaud, Giving Tuesday 2017 has yielded at least a 28% increase in online giving over 2016 campaigns. In 2016, Giving Tuesday yielded over 168 million in donations. This figure does not include the amount of volunteer hours that were also provided to nonprofits due to the initiative.

Remember, a volunteer hour is estimated to be worth $24.00 so there is real value there.

Giving Tuesday offers nonprofits a unique opportunity to test online campaign messaging in front of a large-scale audience. How is your nonprofit using this data to optimize campaigns year-round? Is your nonprofit implementing the right strategies to keep your Giving Tuesday momentum going by reaching the right donor and volunteer prospects?

Here are a few tips to incorporate into your year-end giving strategy and year-round prospecting plan.

Keep Giving Tuesday Momentum Going by Creating Compelling Content

One of the biggest takeaways from Giving Tuesday is that compelling content drives donations and volunteer opportunity signups. Did you know that on average people view four pieces of content before deciding to take a specific action or not? How is your nonprofit captivating your target audience and enticing them to complete your call to action? A recent study conducted by the content marketing institute found that only 30% of nonprofits have a clear vision of content marketing success and how to achieve their content goals. The same study determined that only 25% of nonprofits have a documented content marketing strategy.

Even though many nonprofits do not have a clear process for content marketing many still see the value that content marketing creates. 65% of nonprofit professionals are creating more content than they were a year ago.

If your nonprofit wants to be successful in driving leads from your content marketing efforts a clear-cut plan is a must.

Here are a few tips that will help your organization create compelling content year-round:

  • Showcase your cause in a compelling and engaging way.
  • Share stories that demonstrate your organization’s impact.
  • Use your content as an opportunity to trigger urgency.
  • Use your content to appeal to your supporters on a personal level.
  • Make sure your content focuses on the end-goal (what do you want people to do?)
  • Incorporate actionable language into your nonprofit’s content.

Creating content that is compelling can help captivate your audience and drive prospects to support your cause.

Keep Giving Tuesday Momentum Going by Investing in Strategic Tools

There is a plethora of tools available that can help your organization create a process and strategically push your nonprofit forward. Fundraising tools and volunteer management can help to bridge the gap between your prospects and your organization and allow supporters to help market your cause.

Identifying and investing in the right tools can help your nonprofit increase engagement with supporters as well.

Did you know that the average first-year median donor retention rate in the nonprofit industry is only 29%?

Engagement with volunteers is also low. Believe it or not only 55% of nonprofits assess volunteer impact as a metric of success.

Here are a few ways fundraising and volunteer management tools can positively impact your organization:

  • Free up your staff’s time (time is money) to focus on other important aspects and growth.
  • Integrate with your nonprofit’s CRM system to provide more insights into prospect behavior.
  • Allow your organization to easily create actionable CTAs that can be incorporated into your content and collateral strategies.
  • Bridge communication gaps between prospective volunteer, donors, and your nonprofit.

Keep Giving Tuesday Momentum Going by Becoming Data Driven

Making decisions based on data is a must in 2017 and beyond. Organizations that make decisions based on data are on average 4% more productive and 6% more profitable than their counterparts.

Decision-making based on data can help your nonprofit avoid pitfalls, identify opportunities, and predict future trends.

Did you know that 44% of marketers have a data management platform and 33% plan on getting one in the near future? Marketers understand that data is the key to success and understanding your nonprofit’s prospects should affect all of your business decisions.

Here are a few ways to become data-driven in 2017:

  • Decisions need to be an integral part of your data collection process.
  • Manage reporting based on the data points that align with your organization’s goals.
  • Get support from upper management and your organization’s IT department.
  • Focus on data that will predict and optimize business outcomes.
  • Embed analytics into every action your nonprofit takes.

Keep Giving Tuesday Momentum Going by Leveraging Matching Gifts

Focusing on corporate philanthropy can help to increase your supporters and monthly fundraising commitments from prospects.

One of the best corporate philanthropy strategies is matching gifts. Did you know that over 18 million individuals work for companies with matching gift programs?

An estimated 2-3 billion dollars is donated through matching gift programs annually.

If your nonprofit is not promoting matching gifts there are a few steps you can take to take advantage of this corporate philanthropy strategy:

  • Fully understand the eligibility requirements for matching gift programs.
  • Identify a matching gift coordinator to focus on building corporate relationships.
  • Raise awareness in the community around matching gifts and the benefits.
  • Create dedicated matching gift pages as part of your fundraising strategy.
  • Easily allow donors to see if their company offers a matching gift program.


Giving Tuesday and the end of the year is a great time to build an audience around your fundraising campaigns and volunteer opportunities.

Nonprofits can keep the momentum going by creating compelling content, investing in strategic tools, making decisions based on data, and leveraging corporate philanthropy.

To learn more information on donor and volunteer management best practices download our report that provides insights from 200 nonprofits, including CRM utilization rates, donor management best practices, and tips for converting volunteers to donors here.

Author Bio

Eric Burger is the marketing communications manager for VolunteerHub, an organization that provides volunteer management solutions for nonprofits across the globe. Eric has worked in the B2B software industry for the past two years and has over five years of experience in digital marketing.

8 Ways to Raise Money for and Donate to Victims of the Mexico Earthquake

Updated 9:57 AM EST on Friday, September 22nd.

While reports come in about the earthquake that hit Mexico on Tuesday, the news keeps getting sadder and sadder. As of today, the death toll numbers 273 people and the rescue effort is still underway, meaning that number is likely to rise. Much of central Mexico has been turned to rubble, and this comes after the deadly earthquake that struck the southern coast of Mexico two weeks ago, killing upwards of 90 people.

Tuesday’s magnitude-7.1 earthquake struck Mexico City and its surrounding region including the states of Puebla, Mexico, and Morelos. The images and video footage from the region are absolutely devastating, and all evidence indicates that recovery from this natural disaster is going to take a long, long time.

It is hard to know what to do in times of such unthinkable tragedy. But if you’ve made it to this page, it is because you want to help the relief effort and are looking for some ways to get involved. Below, you’ll find a list to get you started.

8 Ways to Join the Relief Efforts for Victims of Mexico’s Earthquake

We’ll start with advice for organizing your own fundraiser.

1. Run your own fundraiser.

One of the most hands-on methods of fundraising for Mexican relief is running your own crowdfunding fundraiser. It sounds challenging but is actually relatively simple. Of course, seeing your campaign through will take true dedication, but helping the people of Mexico will be more than worth it.

Crowdfunding is an effective fundraising option for earthquake relief in particular, because it is quick, efficient, and global. You want to start your campaign (do so here) sooner rather than later, while the relief effort is still at the front of everyone’s minds. 

If you’re interested in launching your own crowdfunding campaign, here’s the rundown of how it will go:

  1. Choose a platform — We recommend Fundly because it is free and lets you create a visually compelling and highly shareable campaign in mere minutes.
  2. Establish your goal — Find a sweet spot between achievable and challenging. Donors need to feel like your goal is possible, but you also want to raise enough to provide for the people of Mexico.
  3. Set up your campaign — When you set up your campaign, you’ll be looking to include a few things: compelling copy, high-quality images, a descriptive title, and a verification of who you are.
  4. Promote often — Online fundraisers succeed and fail based on how their promotion goes. You have to generate an audience for your crowdfunding campaign.
  5. Collect your donations — When the campaign is over, it’ll be time to collect your donations and use them to fund the relief effort in Mexico.

We compared the top crowdfunding platforms and recommend Fundly for disaster-relief fundraisers! Click the image to start your campaign.Run a crowdfunding fundraiser to raise money for earthquake relief in Mexico.

Make sure you carefully select a recipient of the funds you raise, so look to local nonprofits or global organizations that are focused on disaster relief. In other words, trust the experts.

Next step: Click to start a campaign right now

Click to start a crowdfunding fundraising campaign to help the victims of the earthquake in Mexico with their relief effort.

2. Donate to a crowdfunding campaign.

Not everyone can run their own crowdfunding campaign, but the good news is, there are plenty of campaigns created each day that are worthy and in need of donations. So, if you support and appreciate the crowdfunding model but don’t have the time or ability to run your own fundraiser, you can donate to someone else’s campaign.

Head over to a crowdfunding website, like Fundly, and search the existing campaigns. You can either type your query into a search bar or browse through the platform’s categories. The picture below gives you a preview of what the disaster relief category looks like. Click the picture to be taken to the page and category shown.Check out the disaster relief category on Fundly's website for fundraising options for the earthquake.

Outside of looking through a crowdfunding website, you’ll want to visit your main social channels (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and see if any of your immediate contacts are running a campaign. If so, review their campaign goals and details and decide if you’d like to contribute to their work.

With minimal digging, either through your own social channels or through a crowdfunding platform, you should be able to find a number of campaigns to peruse. 

Just be careful to make sure that any campaign you donate to is legitimate. It’s a sad fact, but there are scammers out there who take advantage of natural disasters like these. Most crowdfunding sites do an excellent job of scrubbing illegitimate campaigns from their platforms, but as a donor, you should also be vigilant about doing your own research.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the organizer have an existing online presence?
  • Is the organizer Facebook verified?
  • Is the campaign transparent about its goals?

Once you’ve properly vetted the campaign and organizer, all that’s left to do is make a donation and support the recovery effort.

For example, here’s a great campaign that was recently started to help the earthquake recovery effort. The campaign is even has a special offer where all donations are being matched, meaning double funding for the relief effort.Donate to this crowdfunding campaign for the relief effort in Mexico following the earthquake.

Next step: Visit a campaign and donate.

3. Join the rebuilding effort.

The earthquake in Mexico absolutely destroyed much of central Mexico’s buildings and infrastructure. Construction and rebuilding in the region is going to be a huge priority and part of the recovery effort.

Luckily, you can help out by supporting nonprofits that specifically focus on fulfilling such needs. For example, consider donating to, raising money for, or volunteering with Habitat for Humanity.

You can donate to Habitat for Humanity or any earthquake-related campaigns run by Habitat for Humanity and use your money to help kick-start the rebuilding process. To donate, head over to and explore this page:

Supporting the Habitat for Humanity Global Village program is a great way to help the earthquake relief effort.

By donating to Habitat for Humanity, you’ll join the over 76,000 donors who have helped the organization raise $14,074,690 for its global volunteering program so far.

For example, here’s a campaign for a Habitat for Humanity build that is set to go to Mexico next year (donate here), when the region is going to most certainly need still need rehabilitation assistance:

Check out how you can help the rebuilding process in Mexico.

Next step: Donate to Habitat for Humanity’s rebuilding effort.

4. Get your gifts matched.

If you work for a company that has a matching gift program, that essentially means you can make your donation go twice as far.

Here’s the definition of matching gifts, for those who don’t know (learn more here):

“Employee matching gifts are donations a company makes to match its employees’ charitable contributions. Employee matching gifts are typically at a dollar-for-dollar rate but some companies go even further by tripling or quadrupling their employees’ donations.”

At Double the Donation, we build and maintain a database of companies that match donations along with the forms, guidelines, and steps you should take to submit your match. Across our database, 15-19 million individuals work for companies with matching gift programs.

And for relief for recent disasters (Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Imra, Hurricane Maria, and the two earthquakes in Mexico) we’re making our database available for FREE.

You can use our matching gift tool right now. In the search bar below, type in your employer (ex. Home Depot, Verizon, Microsoft, etc.) to see if your company offers a matching gift program and to access forms, guidelines, and instructions.

Or if you want to view a list of the top matching gift companies click here. It’s all really that simple, and by filling out a little bit of paperwork, you could be doubly helping the people of Mexico.

Next step: Search for matching gift companies with the above search tool. Then Link to this page ( from your website or social media to share this matching gift information with other supporters.

Click to start a crowdfunding fundraising campaign to help the victims of the earthquake in Mexico with their relief effort.

5. Donate to a disaster-relief nonprofit.

When in doubt, trust the experts. In other words, if you don’t know where to send your money, look to large and established nonprofits that already have folks on the ground and plans in place to aid the relief effort.

Primarily, you’ll be donating funds more than anything. While Mexico will surely be in need of items like non-perishable food and clothing, it’s often best to send money first that can than be allocated as needed. You certainly don’t want to end up sending goods that clutter airports and shelters and won’t be put to good use.

Nonprofits to consider include:

For example, Project Paz is working in conjunction with the El Paso Community Foundation to help raise money for earthquake relief in central Mexico.

Project Paz is just one example of a nonprofit earthquake relief effort you can contribute to.

At the end of the day, consider regional, national, and global organizations, and pick the program and relief effort that you feel most passionately about. A range of help is not only needed, it is necessary.

Next step: Review your options for donating and pick a nonprofit to support.

6. Share and promote fundraisers you support.

One of the quickest ways to help out a cause you care about, any time, is to share and promote the fundraising effort. For example, if you are a big proponent of your local homeless shelter and they’re running a campaign, you can help by sharing that campaign with your friends, family, and broader social media network.

The same principle applies to sharing and promoting fundraisers for the disaster-relief work being done in Mexico. So, visit your favorite campaign and share it.

Here’s an excellent example from Raul Gonzalez, who is the organizer of a crowdfunding campaign that is raising money (and doubling donations) for relief in Mexico following the earthquake.

Share and promote fundraisers that are for the relief effort for after the earthquakes in Mexico.

It might seem simple, but just a few clicks and short message can go a long way toward increasing how much money a fundraiser brings in and is able to put toward the cause. In fact, the average campaign share raises $97!

Next step: Find a crowdfunding campaign and share it to help the victim of Mexico’s earthquake.

Click to start a crowdfunding fundraising campaign to help the victims of the earthquake in Mexico with their relief effort.

7. Contribute to the United Way’s Fondo de Emergenicas.

The United Way is one of the most recognizable nonprofit names in the world. The United Way focuses on building strong, sustainable communities through three key areas of impact: education, income, and health.

The United Way has a branch in Mexico and has created an emergency relief fund dedicated solely to the recovery effort from the numerous disasters that have occurred in the country over the past month or so.

They currently have a 3-stage intervention plan that the funds will go towards:

  1. Advance team — A small, experienced group of people deployed to assess what each community’s most urgent needs are.
  2. Brigade — A larger group of volunteers who bring necessary support as specified by the advance team.
  3. Reconstruction — Longer term work to rehabilitate buildings and homes.

The United Way of Mexico has a disaster relief fund to help with the earthquake recovery effort.

Contributing is as easy as visiting their website. They even have an easy translate option for non-Spanish speakers.

Next step: Visit the United Way’s website and contribute to the fund

8. Support Direct Relief’s efforts.

For those who don’t know, Direct Relief is a nonprofit that serves all 50 states, as well as 80 other countries, including Mexico.

Their mission is simple: “Improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty and emergencies.”

Due to their emergency relief focus, they’re extremely well-equipped to help the people of Mexico recover from the devastating earthquake.

According to their website, “Direct Relief is coordinating with Mexico-based companies and national emergency response organizations to get desperately needed medicine to those impacted by the earthquake.”

Additionally, “Direct Relief has Donataria Autorizada status from the Mexican government, allowing companies in Mexico to receive tax benefits for donations to the organization.”

On top of accepting donations and doing vital work in the damaged region, their site also features frequent updates and news stories, to keep donors and supporters fully informed (shown below).

Direct Relief is not only providing earthquake recovery help, it also have a great news resource on its site.

As you can see, you can visit their site and not only donate, but read first-hand accounts about what is occurring on the ground in Mexico.

Next step: Check out Direct Relief’s website and explore how you can provide support.

There are the eight ideas. So hop to it. Start helping and spread the word about how everyone can support the relief effort. Mexico needs us, and we need to step up for them in this time of tragedy.

Raise money for Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria with crowdfunding or donate to a campaign.


8 Storytelling Tools to Boost Donation

Human beings like stories. We are exposed to them from the moment we are born and learn how to connect with and learn from others through storytelling. Although everyone is not a natural born storyteller, everyone does have the ability to tell a good story if given the right tools.

Developing storytelling skills is essential for nonprofit fundraisers because the key is nothing more than telling a great story to your donors. People are more likely to convert from visitors to donors when there is a narrative they can follow and connect with. Here is a list of 8 tips we have compiled to get you started on your storytelling journey.

1. Hands on experience

Write what you know. This is one of the first pieces of advice any young writer is give and, it still applies to storytelling for nonprofits. You can’t tell an authentic story if you have never experienced some aspect of it. I’m talking to you, development team, it’s time to get involved.

There is a natural divide that exists between program and development staff at any nonprofit. You view each other with distrust, always thinking the other is doing less. But as a member of the development team you need access to the best stories which means a good working relationship with your program staff. Make it clear that you value the work that they do. Set up bi-weekly or monthly meetings to share stories about your work. This will give your team access to stories which appeal to donors and humanize the development team to program staff.

Attend volunteer events. Your development team should be required to attend a certain number of volunteer events each year. This allows you to experience first-hand what your organization does and get you some great stories.

2. Write with your ideal donor in mind

One of the first rules of storytelling is to know your audience. While you are creating content for many people, that content is being consumed individually. For your readers, your content isn’t generated for the masses, it’s created for them.

Use donor surveys and craft donor personas. Your donor personas represent those who give to your cause. A donor persona includes job title, average age, gender, communication preference and other important information that tells you who your donors are. Once you know who your donors are, write to them.

3. Impart your vision

When you are storytelling for your nonprofit your goal should never be “to raise money.” It’s not specific enough and doesn’t give you a story to tell.

Consider instead what the money you are looking to raise will be used for. Is it a specific project? Tell the story of that project and what impact it will have on lives.

If you need money for basic operational or administrative costs tell the story of what would happen if your organization wasn’t able to do the amazing work it does. For example, if your organization didn’t exist- would lives be affected? How many? In what way? Craft a story around this idea with donors as the heroes, the ones who make your work possible.

4. Present conflict and make your donors part of the resolution

If you read your story and realize there is no conflict, then it’s not a story; it’s a pitch. This is essential because the conflict in your story is the reason your organization exists. If your organization builds wells in rural Zambia when individuals already have access to clean drinking water, then your organization exists for no reason.

When crafting your story and thinking about your central conflict consider the following questions:

How does your organization address issues in your community?

What do you need to address this problem?

How much funding?

What exactly will the money do?

Who provides the money?

Who is the hero of the story?

Asking these questions will help you story tell in a way that appeals to your donors.

5. Create a sense of urgency

Your story should be time sensitive. You should make donors feel that there is only a limited amount of time to give and to help. Adding a deadline is one of the easiest ways to create that sense of urgency.

International Rescue Committee does an incredible job creating a sense of urgency in their story about the Rohingya population from the Rakhine state of Myanmar. This population is facing persistent violence in Myanmar with hundreds of thousands of refugees in need of basic services.

6. Use a variety of methods and channels

Sometimes we get locked into the idea that stories can only be written. But in many cultures, storytelling is still a mostly oral tradition and there are many different ways to express them.

Remember the section on “knowing your donors above”? Well, not all donors are going to want to read your stories. Some, especially younger donors, want to see videos, pictures, infographics.

Tell the same story in different ways and see if one method yields different results. Stay creative and agile because storytelling is a fluid art.

The example above from shares Malala’s story in an interactive timeline,which integrates many different storytelling mediums from image to video to text. It is dynamic and easy to follow.

7. Inspire others to share their stories

Most people are more likely to connect with a story when it is autobiographical. This may not be applicable if your organization doesn’t work with people, but if it does, get the people you serve to tell their own stories. Interviewing people about their own experiences creates a more authentic story and allows your donors to connect to what you do on a more emotional level.

If you don’t work with individuals get donors to tell their stories. People like hearing from others who have given before because it legitimizes giving and provides them with realistic expectations about where their money will go and how to give.

8. Litmus test your story

You want to test your story before you send it out to the world. The best advice I have heard on this topic is to litmus test your story at the dinner table. If it doesn’t perform well there, then it isn’t good enough.

This also tells you how simple your story should be. How much do you hate it when someone monopolizes the conversation at the dinner table with a story that takes 15 minutes but could have been told in 5? Don’t be that person. You will bore and alienate your donors.


Great fundraising is great storytelling. Every great nonprofit fundraiser will tell you the same thing. If you want to boost donations, then further developing your storytelling skills is the best way to make it happen.

Just remember, you tell stories everyday and you have been telling them since you had the ability to speak.

If you want to read even more on the subject The Storytelling Nonprofit is a great place to start. Happy storytelling!

Author Bio

Emma Wolfe is the Communications and Partnerships Manager at Elevation, a full-service nonprofit web design agency. Emma has been involved in the nonprofit world for years working at multiple NGOs located both in the United States and abroad. Her experience ranges from refugee occupation counseling to empowerment programs for youth in West Africa. When she isn’t traveling Emma loves doing yoga and trying new food.

Before settling on Raiser's Edge, make sure you understand all the advantages and disadvantages this software has to offer.

Raiser’s Edge: 5 Critical Pros and Cons (You Need to Know!)

If your nonprofit is considering implementing Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge as your all-in-one fundraising solution, you’ll inevitably have a lot to think about.

While a number of nonprofits have made Raiser’s Edge (and its newest iteration, Raiser’s Edge NXT) their Blackbaud software product of choice, like any software, Raiser’s Edge comes with a number of advantages and disadvantages.

To help you navigate the myriad of product reviews and cut down on research time, we’ve compiled the most important pros and cons you need to consider before buying Raiser’s Edge.

We’ll look at the following:

  1. Pro: Nonprofits can use Raiser’s Edge for virtually all of their fundraising needs.
  2. Con: Raiser’s Edge isn’t always user-friendly.
  3. Pro: Raiser’s Edge is highly customizable.
  4. Con: Blackbaud may not supply enough Raiser’s Edge training.
  5. Pro: Nonprofits can integrate matching gifts into their Raiser’s Edge platform.

But before we dive into the details, you can take a bird’s eye look at the buying process by reading DNL Omni Media’s walk-through of Raiser’s Edge from consideration to implementation.

Nonprofits can use Raiser's Edge for virtually all of their fundraising needs..

1. Pro: Nonprofits can use Raiser’s Edge for virtually all of their fundraising needs.

If you need expansive fundraising software, Raiser’s Edge won’t disappoint.

With features designed to improve operational efficiency, enhance donor acquisition and engagement, and of course, boost fundraising revenue, Raiser’s Edge is truly comprehensive. 

While nonprofits of all sizes can use Raiser’s Edge, its broad functionality makes it an ideal fit for nonprofits who need to store a significant amount of data and implement more complex fundraising strategies.

For instance, Raiser’s Edge can play an instrumental role in streamlining all of the following processes:

  • Data enrichment.
  • Communications and marketing.
  • Online payment processing.
  • Event management.
  • Wealth analytics and prospect research.
  • Crowdfunding and social engagement.

Of course, if you’re not prepared to use all of the tools within Raiser’s Edge, this pro can quickly turn into a con.

Having an overwhelming set of fundraising resources in front of you with no idea where to start is a position no nonprofit wants to be in. To avoid that situation, make sure you’ve done your research to find out exactly what kind of fundraising software you need.

Or, seek out the help of a nonprofit technology consultant who can guide you through the implementation process and ensure you’re on track for success!

Raiser's Edge isn't always user-friendly.

2. Con: Raiser’s Edge isn’t always user-friendly.

Because Raiser’s Edge is so multifaceted, some nonprofits have a difficult time finding their way around the product.

While the newest version of Raiser’s Edge, Raiser’s Edge NXT, is a notable improvement from the earlier Raiser’s Edge 7 interface, there are still some bugs that limit usability for this platform.

Typically, users struggle with a few important aspects of the Raiser’s Edge system:

  • Implementation. Many users note that while Raiser’s Edge is eventually a workable platform, it takes a lot of trial and error, testing, and training to get them to a place where they feel confident within the software. If you have a hearty IT team and plenty of time to devote to figuring out the system, you’ll be able to work your way through Raiser’s Edge. But if you need to understand all the features Raiser’s Edge has to offer quickly, your team might have some frustration to deal with.
  • Creating queries. Raiser’s Edge provides the ability to pull information on specific groups or segments of constituents using their query tool. However, many users have found that this feature is difficult to understand and utilize, and that the query process can leave them with duplicate information.
  • Generating custom reports. While Raiser’s Edge allows organizations to run reports on virtually any metrics within their database; unfortunately, a number of users aren’t able to take advantage of the full scope of analytics available because of the complicated process. Instead, they rely on the canned reports that come pre-set in Raiser’s Edge, which might not fully address their needs.

Blackbaud does have a highly competent support team who can walk you through these issues if you do encounter them. Even so, it might be necessary to look into third-party help (i.e., a nonprofit consultant) who can ensure you’re getting the most out of your software.

After all, what good is a comprehensive fundraising solution if you can’t take advantage of all of its features and tools?

Raiser's Edge is highly customizable.

3. Pro: Raiser’s Edge is highly customizable.

For organizations who like to get under the hood of their fundraising software and design a platform that’s fully unique, Raiser’s Edge may be a good fit.

With a multitude of configurable settings and customization options, Raiser’s Edge is most useful when organizations take advantage of the ability to adapt the platform to their needs.

Let’s look at just a sampling of what your team can configure:

  • Role-based views and permissions.
  • Donor profile settings, including addressees and salutations.
  • Business rules and defaults.
  • Tables.
  • Constituent categories.
  • Fields.
  • Integrations and links to other platforms.

And that’s truly just a taste of what you can customize!

However, it’s important to understand that Raiser’s Edge configuration is not a task just anyone can try their hand at. There are resources to help you understand the customization process, but even getting through the configuration guides may be a major time commitment (most Blackbaud online guides range from 60 to 200+ pages!).

To truly capitalize on the advantage of in-depth customization, your organization will need to work with an experienced professional. 

A web developer or nonprofit technology consultant with Blackbaud expertise can save you time, headaches, and potentially damaging mistakes. Plus, a nonprofit consultant can take the time to understand your fundraising strategy and then implement the customizations that are proven to put you on the path toward success.

When Raiser’s Edge is already such an investment, you need to go the extra mile to make sure your configurations are in line with your goals and fundraising needs. A nonprofit technology consultant can be that missing link!

Blackbaud may not supply enough Raiser's Edge training.

4. Con: Blackbaud may not supply enough Raiser’s Edge training.

For a product that’s so extensive (and not necessarily user-friendly), you can anticipate that there will be a learning curve during the first stages of Raiser’s Edge use.

That being the case, you’ll likely seek out some form of training for your team as you get started with Raiser’s Edge. The problem? Many customers report that Blackbaud does not offer enough resources to adequately train nonprofits on using the platform.

While there are some online and in-person Raiser’s Edge training options offered by Blackbaud, it takes some digging around to find exactly what you need. (Though this master list of training resources from the Blackbaud experts at DNL OmniMedia can alleviate some of the time you spend on research!)

Moreover, a large population of users have found that the training options are not yet comprehensive, and that they still must do a great deal of self-training to get fully acquainted with the platform.

Obviously, not having access to robust training presents a major problem.

Many of your team members will be utilizing Raiser’s Edge on a daily basis, each in unique role-based ways. If everyone has a different level of understanding of how to use the software, you’re setting yourself up for inconsistencies, errors, and a lack of efficiency—which is exactly what Raiser’s Edge is supposed to help you avoid!

You can use Blackbaud Learn, the online Blackbaud Community, and free online guides and resources to supplement your learning, but the best way to ensure your team is all on the same page is to seek out dedicated Raiser’s Edge training from an expert Blackbaud consultant.

Your consultant can offer a personalized training plan with role-based paths, in-person coaching, and general counsel regarding using Raiser’s Edge as part of your fundraising strategy.

If you’re hesitant to invest in a consultant, look at it this way: do you want to spend your time and resources pulling together the information you need to use your software, or would you rather streamline the experience and guarantee your staff is ready to use Raiser’s Edge?

Nonprofits can integrate matching gifts into their Raiser's Edge platform.

5. Pro: Nonprofits can integrate matching gifts into their Raiser’s Edge platform.

Saving the best perk for last, we can’t forget that Raiser’s Edge makes it possible to seamlessly incorporate the oh-so-important matching gift process right into your fundraising software!

You already know how vital matching gifts can be to your fundraising strategy. Raiser’s Edge accounts for this by making it easy to store matching gift information within your database and use that intel to (literally) multiply your gifts. 

Within a Raiser’s Edge donor profile, you have the ability to view corporate giving data in a dedicated Matching Gifts section. All the relevant information, such as the company, match amount, and date, will be visible in one central location to make it easy to keep track of your matched funds over time.

Let’s look at a few ways you can take advantage of this pro:

  • Store donors’ employer information. You’ll have a hard time securing matching gifts if you don’t have your supporters’ employer data on file. You can request this information through event registration or donation forms, or simply reach out to donors to ask.
  • Create constituent profiles for employers. You should keep employers’ data on file in separate constituent profiles. That way, you can centralize important data such as matching gift ratios, deadlines, and eligibility requirements. Having their contact information on file also makes it easier to send them their own communications and thank-you notes for each matched gift.
  • Integrate a matching gift tool into your donation process. If you’re using Blackbaud NetCommunity as part of your Raiser’s Edge system, don’t forget to integrate Double the Donation’s easy matching gift tool on your donation confirmation pages and acknowledgement emails! Read this simple integration guide to find out how.

And if you’re a larger organization interested in implementing matching gifts into your fundraising strategy, see how 360MatchPro can help you take your efficiency to the next level through a Raiser’s Edge integration!

No software is perfect, but with the right guidance from a nonprofit consultant and a little research, Raiser’s Edge can be an excellent partner in your fundraising efforts.

Learn more about fundraising software by checking out these additional resources:

Find out if Blackbaud CRM is the right donor management solution for your nonprofit by reading through these 5 tell-tale signs.

Blackbaud CRM: 5 Ways to Know If It’s Right for You

If your organization is considering upgrading to new constituent relationship management (CRM) software, the well known product Blackbaud CRM might be toward the top of your list.

While Blackbaud is known for having a wide range of versatile nonprofit software products, Blackbaud CRM is a unique solution designed specifically for established organizations with highly expansive fundraising and constituent management needs.

That being the case, you’ll need to think carefully before choosing to invest in this powerful software.

To help you figure out if this CRM is the best fit for you, we’ve put together a list of 5 tell-tale signs that you should continue considering Blackbaud CRM:

  1. You’ve outgrown your current CRM.
  2. You need a CRM that can centralize your operations.
  3. You’re prepared to implement Blackbaud CRM.
  4. You have a plan to customize your Blackbaud CRM.
  5. You have room in your budget for Blackbaud CRM.

But before we start, make sure that you’re familiar with Blackbaud CRM by reading this helpful guide from Blackbaud experts and nonprofit consulting firm DNL OmniMedia.

If your current CRM doesn't have the scope or functionality to meet your needs, Blackbaud CRM might be a smart software choice to consider.

1. You’ve outgrown your current CRM.

As you may know, Blackbaud CRM was built for enterprise-level nonprofits and includes tools tailored to organizations with large-scale needs.

With that in mind, it makes sense that you should only consider Blackbaud CRM if your existing CRM system doesn’t meet all of your data management, fundraising, or donor engagement needs.

While some CRM software is built to be more lightweight to accommodate small or midsized organizations, if growth is a priority for your team, you’ll need a CRM with scalable functionality and a variety of features to support your many needs.

Blackbaud CRM comes with all of the following features to meet a diverse array of nonprofit needs:

  • Total relationship management for donors, volunteers, members, and more supporter types.
  • Support for multiple nonprofit chapters, field offices, departments, or programs.
  • Dynamic communications and marketing tools.
  • Custom analytics to measure success in all areas of your organization.

Plus, Blackbaud CRM can be even further expanded through configurations or integrations.

It’s important to note that if your organization doesn’t need access to tools that cater to such far-reaching needs, you’ll likely not want to invest in a platform as massive as Blackbaud CRM.

To get a better idea of how Blackbaud CRM’s feature set compares to other top-ranking software, read our reviews of the top 12 nonprofit CRMs!

Blackbaud CRM might be right for you if… your fundraising and donor management needs aren’t met through your current CRM solution.

If your nonprofit has far-reaching needs that require a number of fundraising and constituent management solutions, Blackbaud CRM can centralize your efforts.

2. You need a CRM that can centralize your operations.

In addition to enhancing your CRM functionality, Blackbaud CRM can also streamline your overall nonprofit operations in a holistic way.not

If your organization is currently relying on a variety of disparate fundraising platforms, donor management software, and other data sources, Blackbaud CRM can centralize those efforts.

Blackbaud CRM seeks to simplify the nonprofit management experience by giving you access to all of the information and tools you need in just one system.

Through the Blackbaud CRM platform alone (i.e., without any third-party software integrations), you’ll be able to manage all of the following aspects of your organization’s fundraising and constituent relationship management efforts:

  • Annual or capital campaign giving.
  • Major and planned giving.
  • Volunteer systems.
  • Social media.
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising.
  • Web design.
  • Multi-channel marketing.

(And more, if you can believe it!)

Having access to a full scope of fundraising capabilities in one system gives your nonprofit ultimate flexibility when it comes to planning out your strategies.

While you can always integrate external software or build out custom solutions, Blackbaud CRM comes equipped with a robust feature set that can allow you to manage every aspect of your nonprofit in one place, thus limiting the need for complicated data migrations and mitigating the risk of lost or damaged data.

Blackbaud CRM might be right for you if… your organization is using a variety of disconnecting platforms to manage your fundraising, donor management, and constituent engagement efforts.

The Blackbaud CRM implementation process requires time, money, and strategy.

3. You’re prepared to implement your Blackbaud CRM.

So far, we’ve spoken pretty highly of Blackbaud CRM. It’s multi-functional, powerful, and scalable—what’s the catch?

It’s true that Blackbaud CRM can do a lot, but before you can capitalize on all of its features, you’ll need to successfully implement the system at your organization.

The Blackbaud CRM implementation process can be complicated, time-consuming, and costly. If it is the right software for you, the payoff will be well worth the time you spend getting set up with the product; however, you’ll still need to carefully consider if you’re prepared to take on such a project.

Here’s what we recommend doing to make sure you can move forward with implementation confidently:

  • Set an implementation timeline. To stay on track and limit unnecessary interruptions, your team will need to establish a timeline for the implementation process. If you’re working with a nonprofit technology consultant, they can help you set a realistic time frame, complete with benchmarks along the way.
  • Appoint an implementation manager. Not only will an implementation manager help keep the team on track, he or she will also help resolve any confusions, report progress to stakeholders and your board, and work with your consultant to document your process and establish best practices moving forward.
  • Determine the best path for training. After you get your platform up and running, you’ll need to train your staff on how to actually use the Blackbaud CRM system. Know your resources and be aware that you’ll want to receive the most comprehensive training possible, not just a hodgepodge of videos and how-to articles.

Be forewarned: while it might be tempting to manage your CRM implementation and training on your own to save some money, when it comes to Blackbaud CRM, implementation is not a one-person job.

You’ll receive help from your vendor (and hopefully, your IT department), but we strongly recommend seeking the help of a nonprofit consultant to walk through the process with you as well. They’ll be able to provide structured support, guidance, and training, as well as an expert’s perspective on how to maximize your new system.

Blackbaud CRM might be right for you if… you’ve spent some time considering the implementation process and have mapped out a plan to minimize risks and maximize long-term success with your new software.

If you're considering Blackbaud CRM, make sure you know how you'll customize your software through integrations and configurations.

4. You have a plan to customize Blackbaud CRM.

To really get the full Blackbaud CRM advantage, you’ll need to make your software your own.

How do you do that? Simply put, you’ll need to customize your CRM to fit your nonprofit, which you can do in a variety of ways.

Working with an experienced developer or Blackbaud consultant, you can integrate third-party platforms or build out completely custom solutions within your CRM.

For examples of how you might integrate your platform, you might consider adding:

  • Matching gift tools (we suggest 360MatchPro!).
  • Mobile giving software.
  • Dedicated event fundraising software.
  • Payment processing software.
  • Email or direct mail marketing tools.

Integrations can be more complex than you might think, so before you decide what you’ll need to add to make your CRM complete, make sure you have professionals on hand to conduct the integrations.

In addition to integrating existing software, you can also work with a nonprofit technology consultant to build out your CRM in ways that are totally unique to your organization.

Before you dive into the search process for your perfect consultant, though, take some time to assess your current fundraising and stewardship strategies to find out how Blackbaud CRM can enhance your efforts. What areas could be improved through existing software? Where do you need to take a more custom approach?

Blackbaud CRM might be right for you if… you know how you’ll include integrations and configurations in your software, and you’re ready to work with a nonprofit technology consultant to carry out the customizations.

Blackbaud CRM is an expensive product, so your organization will need to map out a budget that makes room for all the associated fees.

5. You have room in your budget for Blackbaud CRM.

With so much to consider, it’s no surprise that Blackbaud CRM implementation will cost a bit more than some other CRM choices.

While you’ll need to reach out to Blackbaud for an exact quote, what we can tell you is that you can’t expect to get such a full-service CRM solution for a minimal fee. Blackbaud CRM is a pricey solution built for organizations who need—and are prepared for—a long-term investment. 

Of course, you’ll need to consider your Blackbaud CRM price quote before deciding if you can move forward with purchasing the software. But if you’ve been paying attention so far in this post, you’ll already know that you should also consider such expenses as:

  • Integrations. Syncing your CRM up to other software? You’ll need to pay for any products you don’t already own, and you may also need to purchase connector applications or pay for a third-party developer to conduct the integration.
  • Training. Blackbaud typically only offers the lowest level of training with their product packages, so you’ll need to either opt in to their more exhaustive training programs, or work with a nonprofit consultant to develop a personalized training plan that fits your needs and budget.
  • Additional fees. If you’ve ever used a CRM, you’re probably aware that you should add padding to your software budget to account for payment processing fees, expansions, upgrades, or other “hidden” costs you might incur down the road.

While some costs (such as a nonprofit consultant) are vital to your success, other costs (such as paying for constituent profiles or user access) may not be as necessary. Make sure you’re only paying for what you need and that the benefits of the software will outweigh the costs over time.

If you ultimately find that Blackbaud CRM is too much for your team right now, it’s not too late to backtrack and find another more cost-effective option!

Blackbaud CRM might be right for you if… you’ve laid out enough room in your budget (with some give-or-take for unexpected costs) and feel confident selling the purchase to your stakeholders and board.

Blackbaud CRM is a big purchase, so don’t take the consideration process lightly! Make sure Blackbaud CRM fits into your strategy perfectly and that you’re all set with the tools you need to use it effectively.

Need to learn a little more about Blackbaud CRM (or CRMs in general) before making your move? Read these additional resources to get up to speed:



See how these Salesforce features can impact your nonprofit's fundraising, engagement, and outreach strategies.

Salesforce for Nonprofits: 5 Features You Need to Know

A popular solution for for-profit businesses, Salesforce has earned its place as one of the most comprehensive CRM software options on the market. With so many companies relying on it for sales, marketing, and more, you’re probably familiar with Salesforce to some extent—but did you know that your nonprofit can take advantage of the full range of Salesforce features too?

It’s true! Salesforce CRM can be a powerful tool in your constituent management and fundraising arsenal if you know how to maximize your use of this robust software.

Since nonprofits have such specific needs, you’ll have to know how to use Salesforce the right way to stay on top of your most important efforts, including:

  1. Constituent management.
  2. Event management.
  3. Fundraising campaign management.
  4. Marketing and communications.
  5. Reports and dashboards.

In this post, we’ll walk through how you can use built-in Salesforce features as well as powerful Salesforce apps and integrations to manage all of your most vital nonprofit initiatives and actually enhance your strategies through your CRM’s innovative functionality.

Ready to learn how Salesforce can push your nonprofit forward? Let’s get straight to it!

Nonprofits can use Salesforce features to manage their donors, volunteers, members, and other constituents.

1. Top Salesforce Feature for Nonprofits: Constituent Management

Potentially the most important task for any nonprofit is staying on top of all the supporter information you have access to and then using that data to drive more effective fundraising and engagement strategies.

Without your constituents, your organization wouldn’t be able to move your mission forward through fundraising campaigns, volunteer work, or advocacy initiatives. That’s why it’s imperative that you know who your supporters are and how to properly connect with them!

As a CRM, Salesforce should be your first resource for managing constituent data. Let’s lay out a few of our favorite strategies for using Salesforce for better donor, volunteer, and other types of constituent management:

  • Consider Salesforce’s nonprofit products. Did you know Salesforce offers “re-imaginations” of their core products built expressly for nonprofits? With the Nonprofit Success Pack, you’ll gain access to all the features of standard Salesforce CRM pre-configured to better meet nonprofit donor management and fundraising needs.
  • Build out your supporter profiles using custom fields and relationships. Anyone can add custom fields, objects, relationships, and other elements to their CRM without being an IT expert. By creating unique data sets, you’ll see a more intentional view of your constituents, which can then inform all of your strategies.
  • Use Salesforce’s web-to-lead feature to capture information online. Salesforce’s web-to-lead feature automatically converts online forms into lead profiles in your CRM. That way, anyone who signs up for more information online (e.g., signing up for your mailing list or requesting a volunteer schedule) will instantly be logged in Salesforce.

Proper constituent management can also inform your fundraising strategies, specifically how you incorporate important elements such as corporate giving!

When you have complete, manageable data sets, you’ll be able to better target matching gift prospects and communicate opportunities for corporate philanthropy to the right supporters.

An integration with 360MatchPro can help large nonprofits use their Salesforce data to power more effective matching gift strategies. Take a look at how this powerful matching gifts software can put your constituent information to good use with these actionable matching gift reports:

Use 360 MatchPro to enhance the built-in Salesforce features and power your nonprofit's corporate giving strategies.

As you can see, 360MatchPro breaks down the constituent data you’re already storing in your CRM by matching gift eligibility and status.

The more you lean on Salesforce to manage your constituent data, the more time you’ll have to focus on other things—like actually using that data to drive your fundraising tactics!

Next Steps for Using This Salesforce Feature

Interested in learning more about how your CRM can (and should) help you improve donor management? Check out our thorough guide to nonprofit constituent relationship management software to learn everything you need to know.

Nonprofits can use built-in Salesforce features as well as integrated or native apps to manage large and small events.

2. Top Salesforce Feature for Nonprofits: Event Management

For many nonprofits, fundraising events are the cornerstone of their fundraising efforts. Whether you’re planning a variety of small-scale events or one extensive annual fundraiser, you’ll need a way to manage your event logistics, guests, marketing, and more.

While you can look to a third-party solution to plan your event, having access to all of your event management features within your Salesforce system will provide a more holistic view of your efforts and allow you to streamline many of your event-related tasks.

While you can use some of Salesforce’s built-in features to plan your event, to truly maximize your event management experience, we recommend finding a native Salesforce app to extend your CRM’s functionality to include dedicated event tools.

With the help of the right Salesforce event management application or integration, you can tackle all of the following vital event elements without ever leaving your CRM:

  • Event registration. Set up a fully customized event microsite with an intuitive registration process. Set up multiple ticket types, build out tracks with unique sessions, and even offer merchandise as an add-on to registration using an interactive eStore interface.
  • Total logistics management. Track speakers, sponsors, venue arrangements, and other necessities within your CRM. Since no two events are alike, make sure that your app can accommodate whatever you’re planning, from golf tournaments to mega-conferences to stakeholder meetings and more.
  • Guest experience. Empower guests to build and manage their own event agendas, share your event with friends via social media integrations, and complete pre- and post-event surveys to provide invaluable feedback to your event team.

With the power of Salesforce and the right event management app, you can centralize your event planning efforts and design a more productive (profitable!) event for your donors.

Next Steps for Using This Salesforce Feature

Find the right Salesforce partner for your next event by reading our reviews of the best event solutions on the AppExchange. Each of these tools can help your nonprofit’s next event thrive in a unique way, so all types of nonprofits can benefit from integrating these helpful solutions.

Nonprofits can use Salesforce features to track and process donations, manage matching gifts, and perform prospect research.

3. Top Salesforce Feature for Nonprofits: Fundraising Campaign Management

It goes without saying that in order to keep your organization’s mission moving forward, you need to find creative ways to bring in money for your cause.

Those efforts typically combine a lot of different fundraising techniques and strategies, from hosting fundraising events to cultivating long-term major donor relationships to simply setting up an online donation form.

Thankfully, your Salesforce CRM can help you balance all of your fundraising efforts in a way that drives your campaigns forward (and hopefully, above and beyond expectations). 

By using Salesforce’s features and a few well-placed integrations, you can manage a multitude of fundraising tactics, such as:

  • Online fundraising. Being able to accept gifts on your website is essential! You can customize your web-to-lead capture so that online donation form data appropriately transfers to any field in your database, or work with an online giving tool that offers a custom Salesforce integration.
  • Matching gifts. A vital part of many nonprofits’ fundraising strategies, matching gifts can have a place in your Salesforce system, too! You can manually track employer information on your donor profiles, but for best results, you’ll likely need to implement a custom integration.
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising. By integrating a peer-to-peer fundraising platform with your CRM, you’ll be able to seamlessly transfer all of your fundraiser and donor information into Salesforce. Because peer-to-peer fundraising is so unique, it’s important to find an app that can map your data to Salesforce in a streamlined way.

You’ll be able to track all of these campaigns within Salesforce so that you have a real-time snapshot of who is donating, how you’re collecting donations, and how you’re measuring up to your short- and long-term fundraising goals.

Next Steps for Using This Salesforce Feature

Fundraising campaigns are the backbone of nonprofit organizations. Get started building out a Salesforce system that can cater to your fundraising campaign management needs (and other vital nonprofit efforts) by checking out these top nonprofit Salesforce apps.

Nonprofits can use Salesforce features to communicate with constituents.

4. Top Salesforce Feature for Nonprofits: Marketing and Communications

Whether you’re getting the word out about fundraising projects or inspiring supporters to make a donation, your marketing and communications initiatives can have a huge impact on your overall fundraising and donor engagement strategies.

However, with so many channels through which you can communicate, it’s difficult to nail down how you’ll connect with your supporters and how you’ll track those efforts within your CRM. Luckily (you guessed it), Salesforce can help!

Within Salesforce, your nonprofit should be able to manage your marketing and communications in a comprehensive way, taking advantage of all the most relevant, engaging channels, such as:

  • Email marketing. Perhaps the most universal communication channel around, email can be your go-to for newsletters, donation solicitation, acknowledgements, event marketing, and virtually anything else. Design branded email templates and build out custom automations based on content or recipient list.
  • Social media. Whether your supporters are using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or all of the above, your nonprofit’s web presence relies on active social media profiles. Store your constituents’ profile information within your CRM so that you can keep track of their interactions and manage your own posts effectively.
  • Direct mail. If you think direct mail is out-of-date, think again! Still a powerhouse marketing means for many organizations, direct mail appeals to individuals of all demographics. Streamline your snail mail efforts by creating unique direct mail workflows and tracking responses in Salesforce.

For an example of how to use your CRM for email marketing, take a look at this example email promoting matching gift opportunities:

Use Salesforce features to promote matching gifts through email marketing.

No matter what type of communication you choose to employ, Salesforce should make it easy to organize and segment your recipient list, design professional materials, and track responses and interactions intuitively.

Next Steps for Using This Salesforce Feature

To actually follow through with these efforts, you can take advantage of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, which offers all-in-one marketing solutions, or look to third-party integrations or Salesforce apps. If you’re interested in exploring your options, take a look at our list of the top nonprofit marketing software.

Nonprofits can use Salesforce features to measure their success through reports and dashboards.

5. Top Salesforce Feature for Nonprofits: Reports and Dashboards

With all of the data you’re compiling in Salesforce (not to mention any apps or integrations you’ve paired with your CRM), you’ll need a way to make all the information you’ve stored meaningful and useful.

Salesforce has a wide range of built-in reporting tools to help you make sense of your different data sets. With Salesforce, you’ll be able to pose questions in order to generate custom reports. Then, you can display those reports visually using dashboards.

What kind of questions might you ask in Salesforce? Here are just a few examples of how Salesforce reports can help you break down data:

  • Donor acquisition. Measure how many new donors you engaged during your last fundraising campaign or at your last event by running reports on new leads generated or contacts added during a set time frame; you can even automate these to run on a schedule that keeps you updated regularly with no extra effort on your end.
  • Fundraising progress. Discover how your organization is tracking against your goals by building a dashboard to show a real-time picture of the revenue you’ve earned toward your end goal. Don’t forget to display this dashboard on your Salesforce home page so it’s always at front of mind!
  • Survey responses. A great way to measure engagement, surveys can provide you with a large amount of data at once. After building a custom object for your survey in Salesforce and the mapping that data so it flows into your CRM in a meaningful way, you can then run reports and generate dashboards for all of the information you collect or break down the answers into smaller reports.

You might also view dashboards related to donors’ matching gift eligibility, as shown below using 360MatchPro’s CRM:

Use your Salesforce features to break down data in visual dashboards.

When you have a clear view of how your nonprofit is performing in all the most important areas, you’ll be able to move forward with a stronger vision than ever.

Next Steps for Using This Salesforce Feature

Salesforce’s analytics features can help you determine a more strategic plan forward in terms of fundraising, donor engagement, and other vital areas. For more help putting together your nonprofit strategy, check out this post!

Now that you know how useful Salesforce can be, it’s time to start making the most of this impressive CRM!

But before you dive into your Salesforce strategy, check out these additional resources too:

  • Top 10 Salesforce Apps for Nonprofits. Learn how to take your Salesforce system from adequate to out-of-this-world by implementing these amazing Salesforce apps, all designed for nonprofits!
  • Salesforce Event Management: The Ultimate Guide. If event management is your Salesforce goal, you’ll need to know the best ways to go about it. Fonteva’s got you covered with this thorough guide!
  • Top Nonprofit CRMs. If Salesforce isn’t quite your speed, you’ve got plenty of other nonprofit constituent relationship management software options. Check out our favorites!

The Eventbrite Salesforce integration is more complicated than you might think, so make sure you're prepared by reading our thorough review.

Eventbrite Salesforce Integration: Our Actionable Review

Eventbrite is a popular web-based event management app designed to simplify ticketing and registration for any type of event. Individuals, organizations, businesses, and virtually anyone else can use the platform—even Salesforce users!

If your organization uses Salesforce to manage constituent data, you’ll need to integrate Eventbrite with your Salesforce CRM in order to see all of your important information in the same place.

While an Eventbrite Salesforce integration is a viable option to manage events in Salesforce, you should be aware that the data migration and platform implementation processes aren’t always as seamless as you might think.

Before you opt for Eventbrite as your event planning tool of choice, let us walk you through our key takeaways from the Eventbrite Salesforce integration:

  1. You have options for how you implement the Eventbrite Salesforce integration.
  2. Customization can complicate the Eventbrite Salesforce integration.
  3. You’ll want a data manager to oversee the Eventbrite Salesforce integration process.
  4. The Eventbrite Salesforce integration might be costly (and time-consuming).

When you know what the Eventbrite Salesforce integration really entails, you’ll be able to decide if it’s the best path for your organization to take!

Not confident Eventbrite is the right event management software for you? Take a look at this list of excellent Eventbrite alternatives instead!

Your organization will need to determine how you want to conduct the Eventbrite Salesforce integration, either with a third-party connector app or by using the Eventbrite API.

1. You have options for how you implement the Eventbrite Salesforce integration.

Before we can dive into our thoughts on the Eventbrite Salesforce integration itself, let’s discuss how exactly you can get these two platforms to work together in order to plan your event.

Because Eventbrite was not designed for Salesforce, you’ll need to manually integrate the two systems so that you can store your event details within your Salesforce CRM.

Essentially, to integrate Eventbrite and Salesforce, your organization will need to take one of the following routes:

  • Utilizing a third-party connector app.
  • Creating a custom integration using the Eventbrite API.

Let’s run through an overview of the potential pros and cons to each path.

Eventbrite Salesforce Connector Apps

A third-party connector application essentially does the hard work for you by transferring data from Eventbrite to Salesforce.

You can find these platforms on the Salesforce AppExchange, or you can do some independent research to find the best connector tool for your specific integration needs.

It goes without saying that the major advantage to using a third-party integration platform is that they take away the need for any knowledge of coding or API. Instead, you can implement scheduled imports following preset parameters or create your own configurations using a user-friendly field-mapping alternative.

However, if you choose to go with a dedicated connector app, keep in mind that there’s always a risk when you automate any data transfer. You’ll need to pay careful attention that the data is migrating in the way you want it to, and that you’re not losing any data along the way.

Custom Integrations

If you’re especially Salesforce-savvy, you can forgo the middleman completely and perform the integration yourself.

The benefit to working directly with the Eventbrite API is that you’ll have full control over every aspect of the integration. 

Of course, in order to confidently (and successfully) pull the correct event data and send it to the right location in Salesforce, your organization will need to have a fairly robust IT department on hand to facilitate the integration.

If not, you can opt to work with a nonprofit technology consulting firm who knows their way around the Salesforce interface and can make the necessary configurations to get your team synced up to Eventbrite.

Key Takeaway: Before you can integrate Eventbrite with your Salesforce CRM, you’ll need to decide if you’ll use a third-party connector app or manage the data transfer yourself (and you’ll need to understand the challenges for each route).

The more customized your Salesforce CRM is, the more configuration you'll have to do during the Eventbrite Salesforce integration.

2. Customization can complicate the Eventbrite Salesforce integration.

No two Salesforce systems are alike, and most likely, your organization has already gone to some length to configure a CRM solution that uniquely fits your needs.

So, how does Eventbrite fit into the mix when you already have a complex CRM system? From our experience with the Eventbrite Salesforce integration, there are 3 considerations to keep in mind:

  • Connector apps may limit your Salesforce functionality. If you’re using preset formulas to dictate how to transfer your data, keep in mind that these will only work effectively if your existing CRM uses the same fields. If you’ve got highly customized fields and data relationships, the connector apps will need to be customized too, which may take some time (and trial and error).
  • You may sacrifice some custom data during the import process. Depending on how you’ve integrated Salesforce and Eventbrite, not all data may make it from point A to point B. For example, if you ask questions on your registration form that aren’t tied to a specific Salesforce field, those answers may get lost during import, leaving you with holes in your data set and more manual data entry to do on the backend.
  • You may need additional tools to manage every aspect of the event. Since Eventbrite’s functionality is relatively limited, you may find yourself integrating other apps (such as accounting tools, speaker/vendor management tools, etc) as well. Beware—the more integrations you have, the more data you’ll have in transit at any given moment, meaning you’re more likely to lose or damage information along the way.

While Eventbrite is a solid web platform for lightweight event planning, you should understand that the Salesforce integration will not suddenly turn this tool into an end-to-end event management solution. In fact, the more you try to build Eventbrite out into comprehensive, customized software, the more complicated your event management process will be. 

Key Takeaway: The Eventbrite Salesforce integration offers some customization options, but Salesforce users who need a highly robust event management solution should likely find software that’s more inherently built to support complex needs.

A data manager will need to oversee the Eventbrite Salesforce integration to keep your team on track and ensure no data gets damaged during migration.

3. You’ll want a data manager to oversee the Eventbrite Salesforce integration process.

As with any integration or data migration, your nonprofit should expect to spend some time getting to know the new system and ensuring that all aspects are working properly before rolling the product out to your whole team.

With the Eventbrite Salesforce integration specifically, we found that the best way to streamline your integration efforts is to appoint a data manager to oversee the entire process.

This member of your team will be responsible for:

  • Working with your nonprofit technology consultant or IT team to determine the best path to integration.
  • Communicating with your board to establish a feasible budget for the integration.
  • Developing a timeline for the integration.
  • Overseeing a clean-up of your database prior to integration.
  • Documenting best practices for data entry moving forward and communicating those policies to the team.
  • Testing your new processes prior to full implementation.
  • Establishing a plan for training the team on using the integration.

Depending on your resources and the extent of your integration, you may need to appoint a small committee or task force rather than an individual. That way, no one person is burdened with the entire project.

In order to effectively incorporate Eventbrite into your event management strategy, you might need to utilize other tools to get all the functions you need. If you do appoint a small committee to handle data migration, it’s important that they’re aware of any other Salesforce apps that you’re using.

For instance, if you’re hosting a silent auction during your event, you’ll need an additional Salesforce app to manage bidding and checking guests in and out. It’s important that your team knows what data needs to be migrated from which tools so that your Eventbrite data is as comprehensive and effective as possible.

Key Takeaway: Because the Eventbrite Salesforce integration can be complicated, your organization should consider appointing a team leader to guide the rest of your staff through the integration process.

You'll need to make room in your organization's budget and schedule for the Eventbrite Salesforce integration.

4. The Eventbrite Salesforce integration might be costly (and time-consuming).

Any new software is going to cost your team some time and energy—and money, of course! But let’s be honest: your organization spends a lot of time laying out a workable budget and hiring the right staff to keep your operations efficient and productive.

That being the case, one of your chief concerns going into any software purchase or integration process is going to be the amount of precious time and hard-earned funds you’ll be spending to obtain and implement your new product(s).

When it comes to the Eventbrite Salesforce integration, costs (of both time and money) will vary depending on a number of factors, but here are some considerations to keep in mind as you’re budgeting:

  • Using a custom API may require significant time and money. If you have your own IT department to handle the project, you’ll cut back on expenses, since an outside developer or consultant won’t come free. That said, a consultant can help you save on time, since they’re proficient in the systems and can walk you through the process with your timeline in mind.
  • Connector tools are an additional cost to consider. On top of Eventbrite’s fees, you’ll also have to pay for any connector apps you use. As third-party platforms, these tools have their own sets of fees that you may incur upfront or over time.
  • You may need third-party counsel or training. If your integration is especially customized or extensive, you may need a professional’s help to oversee the implementation and train you on how to get the most from your newly improved CRM. Eventbrite’s training options are limited, so you’ll most likely need to pay for a third-party consultant.

If you don’t think you have time to create and implement a custom Eventbrite solution, the alternative would be to search for a native Salesforce event management application (i.e., one that doesn’t require integration).

Native Salesforce apps are built in Salesforce, so you don’t have to consider any extra time or money spent on data migration and integration. All of your data is automatically synced in your CRM, and all you have to do is click “install.”

Native event management apps can still be customized, but since they’re designed for Salesforce, the process is much more intuitive and streamlined than any integration. You can learn more about the benefits of native Salesforce applications by reading this helpful post from Fonteva!

Key Takeaway: Any integration will cost time and money, and the Eventbrite Salesforce integration is no exception. If you want to avoid spending all of your resources fretting over integrations, turn to a native Salesforce event management app instead!

With these 4 takeaways in mind, your team should have a much clearer picture of what the Eventbrite Salesforce integration looks like. Now all you have to do is decide if it’s the best route for your organization!

For more insight into Salesforce event management, check out these additional resources:

  • Our Favorite Eventbrite Competitors. If Eventbrite isn’t for you, never fear. There are plenty of amazing Eventbrite alternatives that can help you stay on top of your events and engage your constituents better than ever.
  • 3 Reasons Eventbrite Isn’t the Best Salesforce App. Want to learn more about the limitations of Eventbrite? Read Fonteva’s in-depth examination of the drawbacks to using Eventbrite on Salesforce.
  • Top 10 Cvent Competitors. Also a popular event management tool for Salesforce users, Cvent is a widely used app—but it may not be the best one for you! See the top Cvent competitors to find out if there’s a better event management app for your organization.
  • 10 Best Salesforce Apps for Nonprofits. If you’re looking for more apps that integrate with Salesforce, check our in-depth list. We cover apps for event management, peer-to-peer fundraising, charity auctions, and much more!

Improve your fundraising strategy with Double the Donation's Fundraising Strategy Ultimate Assessment.

The Fundraising Strategy Ultimate Assessment (Free & Easy!)

No two nonprofits are the same. All organizations have their own unique aspirations, limitations, and culture that shape the way you serve your community.

One thing all nonprofits do share? Every nonprofit could benefit from assessing (or reassessing) their fundraising strategy.

No matter how well you feel your organization is doing, it’s always worth it to take a step back and see if there’s anything your nonprofit could be doing better.

Similarly, if your nonprofit is running into roadblocks but you can’t quite identify where the trouble stems from, a comprehensive fundraising strategy assessment might help reveal your organization’s blindspots.

(Looking for some professional guidance to help your nonprofit meet its goals? Be sure to consult our list of the top ten nonprofit consulting firms to get your organization on track!)

Luckily, assessing your fundraising strategy has never been easier. In this article, we’ll cover all the areas of fundraising assessment, including:

  1. Fundraising Strategy Planning
  2. Fundraising Strategy for Communications
  3. Fundraising Strategy for Events
  4. Fundraising Strategy Evaluation

Ready to revamp your nonprofit’s fundraising strategy? Let’s explore each category in more detail. 

Assess your fundraising strategy by examining your fundraising planning process.

1. Fundraising Strategy Planning

At the heart of your organization, you need to have an intimate understanding of your nonprofit’s direction before you’re ever able to strategize the fundraising process. Before focusing on specific arms of your fundraising efforts, you need to look at the big picture of your nonprofit.

To get a better idea of the scope of your organization’s fundraising needs, here are a few important questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you have clear, realistic goals?

    Your organization should know what it wants and be able to clearly articulate what you’re trying to accomplish as a nonprofit. You’ll likely have a variety of interrelated aspirations, and by identifying them you’ll better be able to strategize fundraising. For example, you may be interested in developing goals related to:

    • Fundraising.
    • Donor acquisition.
    • Donor retention.

    Once you’ve determined your goals, share them with the rest of your team so that everyone is on the same path to realizing your objectives.

  • What is your budget?

    You should not only be familiar with how much you’ve allocated to spend on your organization in total, but also know how much you’ve set aside for individual projects. Keep your budget as detailed and forward-thinking as possible. Your budget should account for:

    • Fixed operational costs (rent, taxes, payroll).
    • One-time expenses.
    • Projected revenue.

    Your budget should also take into account unexpected circumstances so that you’re prepared for everything.

  • Do you have a gift range chart?

    A gift range chart is a diagram that breaks down amount of funding you’ll need to collect to reach a goal. The chart can illustrate:

    • The number of donors you need to reach your fundraising goal.
    • The number of individual gifts needed to reach that level.
    • A suggestion of how fundraising should be distributed among major gifts and smaller donations.

    Gift chart are often used for larger fundraising campaigns like capital campaigns, but they can be used for virtually any campaign.

  • Do you have a case for support?

    Your case for support is the elevator pitch of your organization. Why should donors care about your cause? What makes your nonprofit special? Your case should communicate:

    • A brief history of your organization.
    • Your nonprofit’s mission statement.
    • Specific, actionable goals you look to achieve.
    • A clear path toward achieving those goals.
    • A call to action for donors and stakeholders.

    If you’re not sure where to get started with your case statement, you can always hire a fundraising consultant. This professional will help evaluate your goals and determine the best way to translate them into a case for support.

  • Have you delegated responsibilities to a capable team?

    Successful nonprofits always delegate responsibility among capable team members. Identify areas where duties need to be more evenly shared, or where individual staff members need to pick up the slack. Some ways you can support task delegation include:

    • Creating subcommittees within departments.
    • Sharing your fundraising calendar across your team.
    • Using a calendar matrix to indicate task responsibility.

    Be clear when delegating tasks so that there is less confusion between team members.

    Additionally, you’ll likely need the support of your board and the assistance of your executive director. Inform them at every major step in the fundraising strategy process.

  • Have you identified fundraising channels?

    Fundraising channels determine the audience you reach when making the case for support from potential donors. Depending on trends in your constituency, you might rely on:

    • Direct mail.
    • Phone calls.
    • Events.
    • Donation pages.
    • Social media.

    Using multiple online and traditional communication methods will ensure that you’re reaching all of your supporters.

  • Have you outlined fundraising sources?

    To fundraise efficiently, you should know exactly where you’ll be focusing your fundraising efforts. You can use prospect research and wealth screening tools to determine good candidates for giving. Some fundraising sources to consider might include:

    • Major donors.
    • Corporations.
    • Foundations.
    • Grants.

    Additionally, consult your nonprofit CRM to segment your various supporters so that your outreach is effective.

  • Have you developed a calendar of fundraising events?

    To best keep track of your fundraising efforts, you need to develop a detailed calendar of fundraising activities. On this document, you should track:

    • Deadlines.
    • Allocation of resources.
    • Desired results of fundraising activities.
    • Improvements from year to year, etc.

    With an organized calendar of events, you’ll have a better idea of when to start promoting events or follow-up with donors after a campaign ends.

  • Do you have the necessary software to support your fundraising plan?

    Nowadays, fundraising software is the workhorse that nonprofits rely on to help carry out the basic functions of their day-to-day operations. Is the software you’re using helping you achieve your goals? Your nonprofit might benefit from:

    • Constituent relationship management (CRM) software.
    • Online giving software.
    • Wealth screening software.
    • Fundraising event software.

    Bonus! Take a look at our rundown of expert fundraising software resources to see what solution might be right for your nonprofit.

  • Does your board support your fundraising strategy?

    Determine if your board supports your fundraising strategy. With a supportive board, you’ll be better equipped to achieve your goals. If your board doesn’t support the way your fundraising strategy, your assessment is the time to ask why.

Takeaway: Doing a big-picture assessment of your fundraising strategy is a great way to get an idea of where to focus any further investigations.

Assess your fundraising strategy by examining your communications process.

2. Fundraising Strategy for Communications.

Now that you’ve looked at your overall fundraising strategy, it’s time to turn the spotlight on individual arms of your fundraising efforts. In particular, the way your nonprofit approaches communications can influence the success or failure of your fundraising strategy on the whole.

You can identify areas where your nonprofit’s communications techniques need improvement by asking:

  • Have you determined viable communications channels?

    What communications channels result in successful donations? Are there lines of communication you rely on that don’t seem to connect with donors? Some ways to determine channel viability consist of:

    • Using A/B testing to evaluate channels.
    • Collecting communications preferences from donors.
    • Collecting data on which channels lead to the most donations.

    Moreover, don’t just stick to one communication method. Diversify your channels so that you can connect with as many supporters as possible.

  • Have you developed a marketing plan?

    Your marketing plan is a key tool in your arsenal that will help you successfully fundraise. If you haven’t developed a marketing plan, take the time to create one that is tailored to the fundraising needs of your organization. Your marketing plan should:

    • Target key donor segments, such as major donors, volunteers, recurring givers, etc.
    • Address donors at every stage of the donor life cycle.
    • Not only focus on fundraising, but also donor growth, retention, etc.

    Refer to your overarching goals when creating a communications plan because it will help you determine the types of content that you’ll send to donors.

  • Is your online content optimized?

    Make sure that your content is as user-friendly as possible. Most donors will interact with your nonprofit online, so it’s important to make the process seamless. Focus your efforts on:

    When your content is accessible on multiple devices, it’s not only more user-friendly but also available to a larger group of users.

  • Have you provided clear calls to action (CTAs) for donors?

    Your online content should prominently feature CTAs to direct your visitors to donate. These streamline the visitor-to-donor pipeline by making it easier for individuals to complete a donation, as well as encourage donors to give specific amounts. A strong CTA:

    • Uses action words.
    • Is concise.
    • Stresses urgency.

    Your CTAs should be specific and clearly stat what action you want supporters to take.

Takeaway: When it comes to your fundraising strategy, your communications assessment should focus on what your nonprofit is doing to ease engagement between donors and your organization.

Assess your fundraising strategy by examining your fundraising strategy for events.

3. Fundraising Strategy for Events.

As with communications, your fundraising strategy is intrinsically tied to your approach to hosting events. Events help anchor your fundraising efforts as well as unite your donors as a community.

To guide an evaluation of your event fundraising strategy, you should ask yourself:

  • Do you have clear goals for each event related to your overall fundraising strategy?

    Are you giving enough attention to the specific goals you’re trying to accomplish by holding your event? Depending on the type of event you’re holding, your goals may vary. For example:

    • Stewardship events will focus on donor retention and engagement with fundraising being a long-term goal.
    • Fundraising events might have a specific fundraising goal they aim to meet, focusing efforts on immediate accomplishment.

    Bonus! Improve your fundraising efforts even further by checking out our list of 113+ Amazing Fundraising Ideas.

  • Do you have a budget for each event?

    Be sure to set individual budgets for each event you hold. Know up front what each event will cost and plan accordingly. You don’t want to be caught with any surprises! Leave room in your budget for:

    • Event-specific marketing.
    • Venue costs, catering, clean-up.
    • An emergency fund.

    Your strategy should also take into account ways you can raise money for events in case you go over your budget. By raising event donations from corporations, restaurants, and individuals, you’ll be able to stay within budget (or even save money!).

    To help stay on track of your budget and manage other fundraising event details, your organization should use an event management tool. Luckily, we have a list of top providers to jump-start your search.

  • Do you have a marketing plan?

    You should draft a marketing plan specifically designed to promote your events. Your events will need special attention, so don’t just rely on general marketing efforts to get the word out. You can promote your events by using:

    • Social media.
    • Event micro-sites.
    • E-mail campaigns.

    Use the communication methods that your donors are actively using.

  • Do you have a follow-up and retention plan?

    Events can help grow your organization, but only if you follow up with your constituents after-the-fact. Keep track of the donors you engage with, and use the event as an opportunity to collect their contact information if you don’t have it already.

    You can increase retention by sending these donors thank-you letters following events, using the attendance list of an event targeted donor outreach, and requesting attendee feedback to shape how you plan future events.

  • Do you have a clear base of staff and volunteers who can run the event?

    Your volunteers and staff will be the ones who make your event a success. Be sure you know who you can count on, and keep track of them as well as you do your donors. A great way to mobilize volunteers and staff is to break them into subcommittees. At an auction, for example, one might need:

    • A procurement committee to handle the items on auction.
    • A marketing committee to promote the event.
    • A stewardship committee to follow up with donors after the event.

    Committees have clearly defined goals so that no task goes to the wayside.

  • Do you have corporate partnerships to support your event?

    Corporate partners can help bring your event to the next level, and they’re also a great source of fundraising revenue. Seek out corporate partners who:

    • Have a history of philanthropy.
    • Have ties to your community.
    • Will match fundraising.

    There are plenty of corporations that are willing to provide donations to organizations; just look at this list of companies that accept donation requests.

Takeaway: Other arms of your organization, such as marketing and fundraising, all intersect when it comes to your organization’s events, so it’s important to take the time to assess how well the moving parts work together.

Assess your fundraising strategy by reviewing how you evaluate your nonprofit's fundraising efforts.

4. Fundraising Strategy Evaluation.

Evaluation should be a core part of any nonprofit’s fundraising strategy. Without assessing how well your fundraising strategy is performing, you won’t know where to make improvements.

(With the help of nonprofit event fundraising software, your organization can collect and analyze important data to see where these improvements should be made.)

To assess how well you’re evaluating your fundraising strategy, you should ask yourself:

  • Do you have metrics to determine the success of your fundraising strategy?

    Have you been collecting performance data, and has the data been collected consistently? Tracking performance metrics will help you understand trends in your nonprofit. Some areas to track include: cost per dollar raised (CPDR), return on investment (ROI), and conversion rate. 

  • Do you have a team member in charge of revising the fundraising strategy?

    Your nonprofit should have a dedicated staff member in charge of revising fundraising strategy so they can stay focused on the big picture of your fundraising efforts. The responsability might fall on your:

    With a designated person revising your fundraising strategy, you’ll have someone that can make changes when your goals evolve.

  • Have you established milestones for your strategy?

    To see how your organization is progressing, you should establish milestones for your nonprofit to evaluate itself. They might relate to:

    • Donor growth/retention.
    • Webpage views/CTA clicks.
    • Major giving.

    These milestone will make it easier to measure the success of your goals.

  • Have you designated times in your calendar to check in with your fundraising strategy’s performance against key metrics?

    You should periodically review your fundraising performance strategy. This way, if a strategy isn’t working, you can fix what’s broken. Consider reviewing strategy:

    • Annually.
    • During campaigns.
    • Following fundraising events.

    Use your fundraising software to analyze data to gain a better picture of how your fundraising efforts are progressing and make changes accordingly.

  • Do you have a process in place for updating the fundraising strategy?

    Making regular adjustments to your fundraising strategy is an integral part of keeping your fundraising process optimized. Be sure it’s easy to correct course and that you can make changes as you go along. You might regularly consider adjusting your fundraising strategy by making evaluations after:

    • Your fundraising plan reaches certain milestones.
    • Key fundraising events.
    • The end of each quarter.

    Bonus! One surefire way to evaluate your fundraising strategy effectively? Enlist the support of a nonprofit consulting firm.

Takeaway: If evaluation isn’t a part of your strategy, your fundraising efforts are likely not as effective as they could be. Keep comprehensive, consistent data, and use that to inform how you move forward.

Now that you’ve assessed your fundraising strategy, your nonprofit is ready to get started on your next successful campaign. Use what you’ve learned to guide your strategy moving forward, and be sure to periodically assess your strategy to stay on track. Good luck!

Want to learn more about improving your fundraising strategy? Check out these additional resources to improve your nonprofit’s approach.

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The Top 8 Eventbrite Competitors

The Top 8 Eventbrite Competitors (Reviewed and Tested!)

Let’s set the stage: your organization needs to plan a killer event that will engage your constituents and enhance your fundraising power (without causing too many headaches for your event planning team). You search for an event management solution to help you streamline the planning process, but software like Eventbrite doesn’t have the tools or capabilities to meet all of your unique needs.

If this situation sounds familiar, don’t fret! To help you find an event management solution that can meet all of your needs, we’ve taken the liberty of reviewing the top Eventbrite competitors on the market.

In this post, we’ll highlight 8 solutions that are like Eventbrite, but even better:

    1. Fonteva Events
    2. Ticketbud
    3. Eventbee
    4. Gather
    5. ZapEvent
    6. Fundly CRM
    7. Doubleknot
    8. Picatic

Each of these Eventbrite alternatives offers a unique take on event management, so every organization can find a solution that’s perfectly suited for their needs.

Fonteva Events is a top Eventbrite competitor for organizations with unique event management needs.

1. Our Top Eventbrite Competitor: Fonteva Events

Product Overview

Fonteva Events is an all-in-one event management solution designed for Salesforce users.

With Fonteva, you’ll have access to virtually unlimited tools to plan, execute, and follow up on your event. Their all-encompassing features include:

  • Total logistics management, including event setup, speakers, vendors, and sponsors.
  • Attendee management tools such as a guest agenda builder.
  • Intuitive registration and ticketing options.
  • An event microsite generator.

Hesitant about using such a comprehensive platform? Trust us: Fonteva’s software could not be more user-friendly. Your staff will have no problem implementing the solution and actually capitalizing on all of its features.

Comparison to Eventbrite

Eventbrite was designed as an online solution, so Salesforce users who want to create Eventbrite events will need to integrate the platform with their Salesforce system.

Fonteva, on the other hand, was built explicitly for Salesforce users. Fonteva Events is a native Salesforce application, meaning there’s absolutely no integration required to sync up the two platforms; Fonteva and Salesforce work hand-in-hand!

If your organization already uses Salesforce, you can still use an external platform like Eventbrite, but you’ll be spending significant time and money to force the two solutions to work together. Why not spend that time planning your event instead?

Fonteva Events is the best Salesforce app for event management.

Ticketbud is a comprehensive Eventbrite competitor that offers event management features alongside other nonprofit tools.

2. Eventbrite Competitor: Ticketbud

Product Overview

Ticketbud is an online ticket sales and event registration platform designed for event organizers.

Its comprehensive features are perfect for nearly every single event type out there. You have a wide reach with a lot of different ways to sell tickets through these Ticketbud features:

  • Sell tickets at the door and collect card and cash payments with the Ticketbud point of sale system.
  • Sell tickets on your website and Facebook page with the Ticketbud ticket widget.
  • Track all of your marketing efforts with Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel integrations.
  • Manage collaborators and volunteers in one place.

Comparison to Eventbrite

Ticketbud has a fairly similar feature set compared to Eventbrite.

However, where they differ is that Ticketbud offers daily payouts for ticket sales, whereas with Eventbrite you have to wait until after your event to get paid. Also, with intuitive data reporting tools and customer support available by both phone and live chat, Ticketbud focuses more on the organizers and their needs.

Ticketbud's intuitive dashboards make it a strong Eventbrite competitor.

Eventbee is an Eventbrite competitor with a similar look and feel to Eventbrite.

3. Eventbrite Competitor: Eventbee

Product Overview

Eventbee is an online event management software available for any type of event, from small-scale parties to business events, festivals, or conferences.

Eventbee offers a number of features that are similar to Eventbrite, such as:

  • Online ticketing and customizable registration forms.
  • Flexible payment processing options.
  • Branded event pages on Eventbee’s website.
  • Check-in via Eventbee mobile app.

Plus, Eventbee offers event management options specific to businesses or nonprofits, so any type of event planning team can access the most useful tools.

Comparison to Eventbrite

Eventbee stands out from the crowd thanks to their flat fee pricing, making them a cost-effective alternative to Eventbrite.

They offer four distinct fee structures ranging from $1 to $3 per ticket sold. You can even use their handy cost calculating widget on their website to find out exactly how much you’ll save when you switch from Eventbrite, Ticketmaster, or Ticketleap!

Gather is an Eventbrite competitor for venues, restaurants, and professional event planning companies.

4. Eventbrite Competitor: Gather

Product Overview

A comprehensive event management solution, Gather can provide a robust look at all the elements that make up your event.

Designed for venues, hospitality groups, and event planning organizations, Gather includes features such as:

  • Workflow and team management tools.
  • Events calendar with past, present, and future viewing options.
  • Custom reports and data tracking.
  • Responsive web app for planning events on the go.

Gather also offers a number of useful guides and other resources to those who subscribe to their event management newsletters!

Comparison to Eventbrite

Because Gather is designed for event planning professionals, it provides a much more inclusive look at event management than Eventbrite does.

While still easy to use, Gather is a better choice for organizations and businesses who know their way around event planning software. If you’re new to event management or have only sporadic event planning needs, you might be better off choosing a more lightweight Eventbrite alternative.

ZapEvent is a lightweight event ticketing platform and top Eventbrite competitor.

5. Eventbrite Competitor: ZapEvent

Product Overview

ZapEvent is a web-based event registration platform designed to make selling tickets simple and secure for organizations of all sizes.

With an extremely user-friendly interface, ZapEvent provides all of the following essential tools:

  • Custom event pages.
  • Social media integration.
  • Flexible ticket and payment options.
  • Preset registration and financial reports.

Not only does ZapEvent make setting up your event easy; they make pricing easy too! ZapEvent’s flexible pricing model allows organizations to choose how they’ll handle processing fees, and they provide a price calculator to make mapping out a ticket strategy that much easier.

Comparison to Eventbrite

What sets ZapEvent apart from other event apps (including Eventbrite)? Their customers would agree that ZapEvent’s exceptional customer service seals the deal on the event management experience.

ZapEvent provides a wealth of videos and other online resources to help both novice and veteran event planning teams get the job done most effectively. On top of that, their team of event specialists are available to help you personalize your event and optimize your strategy.

Fundly CRM is a top Eventbrite competitor for nonprofits who need both donor management and event planning tools.

6. Eventbrite Competitor: Fundly CRM

Product Overview

For small to midsize nonprofits who want to manage constituent data and event logistics in the same system, Fundly CRM can provide all of the tools you need to do both (and a lot more).

In this robust constituent relationship management software, you’ll have access to built-in event management tools including:

  • Customizable registration forms.
  • Event project management tools.
  • Sponsorship management.
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising tools.

Unlike some nonprofit CRMs, all of Fundly CRM’s event management tools are included with their base package, so you don’t have to break the bank to afford these fantastic features!

Comparison to Eventbrite

Fundly CRM isn’t just an event management platform; it’s an all-in-one nonprofit constituent relationship management software.

If your organization already uses a nonprofit CRM to manage supporter data, you’ll have to integrate outside event management software to use both platforms simultaneously. Because integrations can be costly (and often ineffective), it might make more sense for your organization to upgrade to a CRM that can handle all of your fundraising needs, including event planning!

Doubleknot is an Eventbrite competitor that's perfect for museums and science centers.

7. Eventbrite Competitor: Doubleknot

Product Overview

Designed for specific types of nonprofits including zoos, museums, and retreat centers, Doubleknot offers intuitive event registration and program management tools to make event planning easier.

Doubleknot’s software comes with rich features to help you manage all types of events and programs. With Doubleknot, you can:

  • Configure a custom event with ease.
  • Build registration forms that capture all the guest data you need.
  • Manage capacities and waitlists per session or event.
  • Create unique event categories based on your organization’s common needs.

You’ll also have access to all of Doubleknot’s impressive integrated nonprofit features, such as communications and marketing, reporting and analytics, and payment processing. Everything you need will be visible in one simple solution!

Comparison to Eventbrite

Eventbrite doesn’t provide half of the program management tools you’ll gain with Doubleknot.

Because Doubleknot was created with unique organizations in mind, this software allows you to design events and programs that are truly complex. Whether you’re planning a straightforward fundraising gala or an ongoing class with multiple track options, Doubleknot can adapt to your needs—not the other way around!

Picatic is a top Eventbrite competitor for organizations or individuals.

8. Eventbrite Competitor: Picatic

Product Overview

A web-based event management and ticketing software, Picatic can be a useful tool for individuals, businesses, nonprofits, or other organizations. Much like Eventbrite, nearly anyone can use this simple tool!

With Picatic, you’ll be able to manage your event using the following tools:

  • Ticket management with options for discounts and promotional codes.
  • Custom guest survey builder.
  • Email marketing tools.
  • Personalized event site generator.

Picatic also offers a Pro option for organizations with more advanced event management needs. If you opt in to Picatic Pro, you’ll have access to all the essential features as well as more in-depth analytics, greater customization options for your event site, and more.

Comparison to Eventbrite

Similar to Eventbrite’s extensions, Picatic offers a variety of integration options to provide the most holistic event management experience possible. From Mailchimp to Google Analytics, Picatic is able to work with the other solutions you’re using (after you integrate them, of course).

Even better, Picatic offers embeddable widgets to allow you to sell tickets and promote your event outside the Picatic website!

Now that you know your options, it’s time to start planning your event!

Check out these additional resources for more event management help:

  • Top Cvent Competitors. Didn’t find the event management solution you were looking for in this post? Check out our breakdown of the top Cvent competitors to continue expanding your knowledge of the best event management products around.
  • Salesforce Event Management Guide. If you’re planning an event using your Salesforce CRM, look no further! Fonteva has the ultimate guide for using Salesforce to plan lucrative, effective events your constituents will love.
  • Our Favorite Event Fundraising Solutions. Discover even more nonprofit event management solutions! We’ll walk you through the top fundraising software to meet any need your organization has.

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