It’s springtime and here in Tampa Bay that means we are in full non-profit event mode. Every day there are countless fundraisers going on ranging from casual happy hours to black tie galas. And while the region has certainly, as I like to say “grown up” in the past two decades since I moved here, it is still a relatively small community when it comes to the pool of people that can contribute significant money and support to various causes.
So what is a non-profit to do if they want to really stand out? Well, for starters, they need to think about creating an “experience” for the attendees (in most cases, one that is fun and entertaining if that is the tone they want to set), but will also pull at their heartstrings and ultimately translate to getting more donations. And while it may be hard for some organizations to believe that additional money can be raised hiring an event production company, like Extravaganza Productions (EPI), that has the capability, knowledge, resources and, probably most importantly, creativity, to WOW everyone, it truly makes sense if the goal is to elevate the status of an event year after year. Seriously, why should any non-profit or association spend their very precious time and money trying to design and execute an event? Isn’t it much better spent on getting people in the seats and sponsors onboard?
If an organization claims they can’t afford an event production company then unfortunately they are not thinking big enough and may never get beyond the dollars they are currently raising. But, remember, even the coolest design, decor, attention to detail and in-kind donations from the event production company does not guarantee a successful event. One of the best ways an organization can actually be successful and profit is to engage with one of the many software systems for managing everything from online ticketing, sponsorships and donations to registration and checkout, seating, mobile bidding and a live auction.
The best one? Hands down…BidPal. In fact, EPI recently became a premiere partner and we are very excited to be able to offer their services moving forward at a discount. They have proven to be the most efficient software system in this category, giving each organization full access to a unique BidPal Giving Center website for an entire year. Translation? The “event” never really ends and, therefore, the organization stays present in their supporters minds. Remember, mobile devices are with us at all times and our desire to use them for practically everything is here to stay. So it stands to reason that if someone cannot make it to the annual event, why wouldn’t an organization want them to still be able to participate in a silent and/or live auction or make donations throughout the year simply by downloading an app?
Bottom line, if an organization’s fundraising efforts have hit a plateau, it is time for them to evaluate the systems they have or do not have in place. The days of just providing a wine and cheese reception and crossing your fingers hoping the tally at the end of the night was worth it truly limits any organization’s ability to increase their contributions.
Extravaganza Productions, Inc.
5556 56th Commerce Park Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33610
813.621.4700, ext. 232