Fundraising, like many things, is most effective when kept simple. Too often we see pledge drives/Fund-A-Need moments struggle to maximize an audience’s potential because of an overcomplicated process or an unclear message.
Givergy has helped a significant number of clients build not only stunning pledge drive platforms, but also guide them as to how best to utilize it during a fundraising event. We work closely with our clients to help advise them throughout the night of the event and importantly, at what moment ‘the ask’ is most powerful.
When should you host the Fund-A-Need moment?
Often, organizations instinctively place the pledge drive towards the end of the program, as a climactic end to the evening. Statistically, this is not the best time to orchestrate a giving moment, simply because an audience has passed the optimum point on their ‘fundraising journey’. They are less engaged at this time, because let’s face it, many of the guests start to think about how best to beat the traffic home, how much they owe the baby-sitter, and what they will be wearing at their 9am meeting the following day.
We advise the pledge drive to be placed in the middle of an event, just before the main course is served. An audience is still completely engaged in the organization’s message and more likely to participate in the fundraising. Additionally, it also gives an audience plenty of time to engage with the Givergy leaderboard screens to see how much has been raised, watch their names flash up when they make their pledge, and collectively as a wider audience, they know just how close they are to the target.
Statistics from recent Givergy events utilizing our Fund-A-Need platform.
Pick the right Master of Ceremony
Having a charismatic and professional fundraiser on stage to help drive the moment is also strongly encouraged; but keep in mind… there is a difference between an ‘entertainer’ and a professional fundraiser. The latter will not only keep the audience captivated throughout, but fundamentally, they are able to increase the level of audience participation as opposed to just focusing on the top spenders. The key to any successful Fund-A-Need is participation. If conducted effectively, a feel good factor will be instilled resulting with everyone leaving the venue feeling like they ‘did their bit’, no matter how large or small their donation.
Set the tone before your Fund-A-Need moment
We advise holding your pledge drive during the middle of your event, but a little push still might be needed later on. That push can come from the MC, a guest speaker or simply someone from your organization; nothing works better than an emotive speech. Remember: Our world is unfortunately imperfect, and you are putting some incredible efforts to make it a better place. Let your guest know what you are seeking to accomplish and why; show them your achievements and make it clear how their pledge is vital to your cause.
Make giving so easy your guest won’t resist donating!
Fundraising technology makes it easier than ever to give at an event. With the option to have tablets right in front of your guests, it creates a gentle reminder of the purpose of the night and that donating is just a click of a finger away!
Teach for America Chicago event pledging tablet on the guests’ tables.
Use real time data
Keep the room updated! Let them know how far away you are from the target via live figures from totalizer screens. This way they can see the thermometer grow, display the names of the donors (if not anonymous) and create a little competition by showing how much was raised per table.
Harry Santa-Olalla, Givergy’s recommended on stage fundraiser based in NYC, has had great success orchestrating pledge drives for the past year. He says, “I love to be on stage delivering a fun and engaging pledge drive, and to feed off the energy of the room for that focused 8 to 12-minute push thanks to a slick pledging system. My goal is always to maximize the return for a client by encouraging the whole room to participate at a level they are comfortable at. I always aim to get as close to 100% participation as possible!”
We hope these pledge drive and Fund-A-Need tips will help you maximize your fundraising totals at your next event. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of experts, they’ve got a lot more to share with you!