4 Ways Your CRM Can Help With Your Next Nonprofit Event

Partner Post, 21 April

By Jay Love

When it comes to planning your nonprofit’s events, there are a host of tools that your organisation will rely on, from your event management solution to your event microsite. However, it’s important to remember the crucial part that your nonprofit CRM plays in your event as well.  

Your nonprofit CRM, donor management and event software are essential resources for your organisation. They can provide a centralised location where you store important information about your attendees, volunteers, sponsors, and their interests and interactions with your nonprofit organisation. 

Together, nonprofit event software and a donor management solution can help during the following stages of your event processes:

  1. Volunteer recruitment
  2. Attendee marketing
  3. Sponsorship outreach
  4. Event follow-up communications and supporter appreciation efforts

By leveraging the information already in your CRM software to reach out to supporters about your event and saving event information in your CRM, your organisation can develop a better strategy for promoting and hosting your events. 

Let’s get started to learn more. 

1. Volunteer recruitment

Volunteers are an incredible asset for your nonprofit’s events. They can do more than just help with the setup and tear down of the event itself. They can assist your staff with the online portion of hybrid events, run various in-person activities, and more. 

You can reach out to prospective volunteers whose information you’ve saved in your CRM software and send them personalised messages that will encourage them to get involved. Reach out to those in your CRM with the following qualifications: 

  • Supporters who volunteered with your organisation at past fundraising events
  • Supporters who expressed interest in volunteering but have not yet done so

Write personalised messages for each group of supporters, tailoring your message to each of their previous experiences. For example, you might introduce this volunteer opportunity as a great way to launch a relationship with your cause for those who have expressed interest in volunteering but haven’t yet done so. 

After you’ve recruited the best volunteers for your fundraising event, don’t be afraid to reach out to volunteers to ask for a donation as well. Volunteers donate ten times more often than non-volunteers do. Plus, nearly 70% of people surveyed said they donate to the same organisation where they volunteer. This means you shouldn’t hesitate to ask them to both volunteer and donate. Chances are, they want to do whatever it takes to help your mission succeed! 

2. Attendee marketing

Just as the information in your nonprofit CRM can inform your outreach to your prospective volunteers, it can also help inform your marketing efforts to recruit attendees for your fundraising event. By leveraging your donor segments and the data you’ve collected about various supporters, you can address the specific interests and needs of each supporter to engage them in the event opportunity.

For example, consider how you would change your marketing strategy for these common segments.

  • First-time donors. First-time donors are just getting to know your mission and your organisation. Therefore, you might discuss the event as an opportunity for them to introduce themselves to your team members and to other supporters with similar interests.
  • Monthly donors. Your monthly donors are committed to your cause and give on a regular basis. However, you still need to keep them engaged throughout the year. Therefore, in these messages, you might focus on how your event will support new campaigns and further impact your mission. Plus, you might offer these supporters a discount on merchandise in your store or a free t-shirt as a token of appreciation.
  • Long-term supporters. Your long-term supporters have likely attended events in the past. Consider the most popular elements from past events and highlight the similarities in your upcoming one. This reminds your supporters of the fun they had in the past and encourages them to attend again.

The type of relationship you have with your supporters should determine how you interact with them. This means that you shouldn’t talk to all of your supporters the same way. Consider how you can develop unique messages that resonate with each segment to encourage them to register for your event

Additionally, integrate your Charity event software with your CRM so that you can record new information about how each supporter interacts with your event. If your non-profit event software doesn’t integrate directly, you should regularly download the information from your event software and upload it to your CRM for accurate record keeping. This gives your organisation up-to-date information about all of your supporters’ latest interactions. You can use this information in future event marketing campaigns as well.

3. Sponsorship outreach

As you’ve likely found, it can be expensive to host an event and require manpower to sell charity tickets. Therefore, you should consider securing sponsorships to offset the expenses associated with a charity event. 

As you look for sponsors for your upcoming charity event, consider reaching out to the ones who have business connections and asking them about their interest in becoming a corporate sponsor. For example, you might reach out to: 

  • Company leaders who also donate to your cause. Ask leaders in different companies to financially sponsor your event. In exchange for their sponsorship, you can offer to promote their business and include their logo on promotional assets like social media and email invitations as well as at the event itself.
  • Businesses whose employees volunteer or donate to your cause. If a lot of people from the same company volunteer their time or donate to your cause, you might reach out to the business owner and ask if they’d like to sponsor or partner with your nonprofit organisation because of their employees’ shared passion for your mission.

4. Event follow-up communications and supporter appreciation efforts

After your nonprofit event, you should follow up with your donors, volunteers, and sponsors to show your appreciation for their contributions. Because you’ve collected contact, registration information, and ticket sales data in your CRM, you’ll be able to personalise those follow-up communications based on how each supporter interacted with your cause. 

Here are some ways that you can show appreciation for: 

  • Donors. Thank them for their financial contributions, noting the impact that their donations will have on your campaign and mission as a whole. For example, you might say something along the lines of, “Thank you for your generous contribution to the Superhero 5K! Your gift helped us raise more than £25,000 to help find the heroes in our community who will foster and adopt animals in need.” 
  • Volunteers. Thank your volunteers for making your nonprofit event and your campaign possible. For example, you might say something like, “Thank you for volunteering at the Superhero 5K! Because of your hard work, we successfully hosted 3,000 runners and raised more than $25,000 to help find the community heroes who will foster and adopt animals in need.” 
  • Sponsors. Thank your sponsors for the contributions that helped make the event possible and discuss the impact on your mission. For example, you can say something like, “Thank you for your support in making the Superhero 5K possible. In addition to helping us host our largest event ever with more than 3,000 runners and 2,000 spectators, your generous support helped raise more than $25,000 to help find the community heroes who will foster and adopt animals in need.”

As you can see, each of these messages has a slightly different twist based on the interaction the supporter had with your event, highlighting their impact on your mission, on the event itself, and on the community. 

 

When you collect data about your supporters in your CRM software, you can use the information to secure donors, volunteers, and sponsors to support your next charity event. You can also use the information already in your CRM to send personalised messages that will engage them and encourage them to get involved. 

Be sure to save the data you collect from your event as well so that you can use it in the future to inform marketing and event opportunities in addition to the follow-up communications from your event. Good luck!

Jay Love - About Author

Co-Founder and current Chief Relationship Officer at Bloomerang.

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