Imagine an event night with seamless transactions and automation systems that track bid packages, bids, and donor activity. Many nonprofit organizations are managing their single largest fundraising event on Access or Excel spreadsheets. This can create certain challenges like version control if there are a number of people managing the events details. It might be time to consider software if your organization:
- Has high volume of new volunteers each year. Software maintains history
- Has multiple people who need to enter attendees, donations, items etc. – Cloud software can have unlimited users and real time updates
- Needs to sell tickets and take donations online – Software reduces data entry
- Is not able to tell its auctioneer or board which part of its auction raises the most money
- Is not able to tell your auctioneer or board the average % of value your silent and live auction delivered at an event
- Doesn’t know what sold well the year before
- Doesn’t know who its most generous donors are
- Has long lines at check-in and out and spends weeks afterwards collecting the money
- Doesn’t know who was thanked from the event guests to coordinators
- Needs to reduce the stress of its volunteer and paid staff
There are many types of software out there. Determine what actions your organizations need to be able to do. For example, do you need a website to share information about your event? Do you need to take donations, ticket sales, preview your catalog, sell sponsorships and display your sponsors? Do you have one person entering and managing auction data or a team? Once you’ve answered some of these questions, start comparing and contrasting software to your list of musts.
A PC version is nice for one person but when an organizations has multiple people managing auction details, an online version means multiple users can work at the same time. Furthermore, the IT team doesn’t have to install it on a network. Information is available 24/7 for the auction team.
Software helps you keep the history of the event to hand off to next year’s team. Also, software that runs reports helps organizations measure areas of success and opportunities to improve. Lastly, it can help with quick registration, entering winning bids and checking attendees out quickly.
It might be time for software if you’ve recently said, “I’ll never volunteer again!”
Debby Roth-Bush, Greater Giving for Elite Auctions& Fundraising Services