Technology helps us achieve our goals faster, more efficiently and more creatively. As fundraising groups and not-for-profits, technology has become an essential component of what we do, and it’s important you know what is available out there, to help you maximise your potential.
What are the benefits of technology?
- Technology can help us communicate effectively, and tell our stories in new and vivid ways
- Technology can save us time and money by allowing us to do tasks that we previously would have had to outsource
- Technology allows us to reach supporters and donors well beyond our community
- Some technology can take the place of, or reduce reliance on volunteers
- Technology makes it easier than ever for people to donate money
- Technology enables us to organise ourselves and others
This article has been kindly sponsored by Galabid.
When organising an event of any size, it helps to have a system to keep you on track. Trello is a free, board-based project management tool, which allows people to collaborate on projects by allocating tasks (like digital sticky-notes) within one or more shared boards (like a pin-up board). It’s crammed full of features and can be used to manage almost any type of project. Learn more here.
Volunteer Sign-up system
Once you know what event you’re holding, you need to start finding volunteers to assist. There are a number of free volunteer management tools which allow you to create detailed tasks or time-slots for jobs and then have people sign up to volunteer to do that job. SignUp.com is one of these online tools, which is straight-forward to use, has a number of options to customise your sign-up page and is suitable for any size group or event, from a huge fete to a bring-a-plate dinner. Learn more here.
Social Media and Marketing
It is essential these days to get your message as far and wide as possible, which means utilising social media. Social media includes Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter, and you may choose to use one or all of them, depending on your event.
Facebook for example, allows you to create a free page that you customise with images and branding, you can constantly post new information about your event, initiate discussion, promote and advertise, receive messages and more. Learn more here.
Graphic Design Technology
Of course, you will want something visually arresting and easy to read to share on your social media pages. Therefore it’s essential you find a comprehensive graphics site like Canva to help you design everything from posters and brochures, social media posts, invitations, certificates and more. Canva is exceptionally easy to use and you don’t need any graphic design skills to use it. Simply select from one of the many hundreds of themed templates, customise with your own choice of images, text and layout and you’re ready to go. Learn more here.
Social media is great for getting short messages out to the widest possible audience, but newsletters are also important for getting detailed information to a dedicated audience. There are a number of free newsletter programs such as Mailchimp and MailerLite, both of which offer a range of features far beyond basic newsletters. As the most basic level though, they provide easy ways to sign people up (you can embed sign-up forms onto your social media pages or website), create beautiful newsletters and then send instantly to your entire community. Newsletters are a good way of distributing information that you don’t want shared more publicly and you can use their reporting functions to see who does and doesn’t open your emails.
Online Fundraising System
When you are holding a significant fundraising event, you need a system that is all-inclusive. Mobile technology from Galabid allows you conduct silent auctions and raffles for any sized event, and they can also provide unique and desirable prizes on consignment to help attract even more attention (and donations). The white-label system means you can brand the platform with your own logo and information, and the full service nature of Galabid also means you receive an account manager to take you through the process, an integrated payment system and even tech staff on the night if you need it. Learn more here.
Online Ticketing System
Once your event is set up, you will need to sell tickets, and while there are dozens of available sites (check out my article here) one of the newest and most admirable is Australian site Humanitix. It has all the bells and whistles of the other sites, but is a registered charity and donates 100% of its booking fee profits to assist a range of inspirational educational projects both here and abroad. Humanitix is free to use for free events and has a small cost for paid events. Learn more here.
Money Collection Tool
If you are needing to collect money for something that is not a ticketed event, then a collection tool like Group Together is a good option. It allows you to collect money for anything you need, from an end of year teacher’s gift to a group wedding present, with easily customised invitations that are emailed to your group. It is easy to see who has donated and once the collection is finished, you can withdraw the money to a bank account or use it to buy a gift voucher or hamper directly from the site. Your group can even add photos and messages for a group card. Learn more here.