By Tia Crawford

Now that we’re deep in the season of giving, we’ll take a little time to look at the remarkable ways that technology has changed the landscape of fundraising events. Although fundraising galas will always rely heavily on a beautifully decorated venue, exquisite dining and excellent entertainment, technology is—not surprisingly—becoming more and more prevalent in these events. Here are some of the many ways that technology can support and enhance your efforts—encouraging your guests’ generosity!

  1. Registration – event registration software is the foundation of modern events—fundraising events are no exception! Whether online registration, onsite manned registration, or self-registration is most appropriate for your fundraising event, registration software lays the groundwork for administration, guest services, personalization, efficiency, and accurate data collection.
  2. Guest Data – you already have a database for guest information, and your database—when combined with the right event hardware and software—becomes the gateway to a technologically advanced event where you’re able to effortlessly gather and utilize attendee information, providing guests with a personalized, customized, convenient experience and fast, effortless check-ins.
  3. Badge Printing – produce and print barcoded badges that can facilitate every aspect of the attendee experience. Barcoded name badges can instantly provide attendee information, seating assignments, bidding information and payment information.
  4. Bidding and Auction Data – for fundraising events that incorporate auctions, barcoded badges and barcode scanners are an excellent method for streamlining bidding and keeping track of vital auction data.
  5. Digital Document Library – your organization has a mission, and that mission relies on educating and informing guests about your policies, procedures, and projects, as well as making your organization’s needs known. A digital document library is an elegant and unobtrusive way to help guests access the information they need to feel most connected to your purpose.
  6. Payment Collection – fundraising brings its own unique set of financial concerns. It is essential that your event has a secure network through which it can process the donations and bidding payments that your event brings in.
  7. Hybrid Events/Auctions – hybrid events work especially well for fundraisers, since auction bidding can be opened up to a world of virtual attendees, rather than in-person guests alone. If remote bidding is an option that your organization is willing to consider, tech solutions such as live video feeds and video walls can go a long way towards bringing long-distance contributors into the heart of the action.
  8. Sponsorships – whether you choose on-screen logos and videos, or branded wraps on kiosks, charging stations, and iPads—for every document and registration kiosk, or every video wall and touchscreen monitor, there is an opportunity to allow sponsorships for like-minded businesses—sponsorships that can go a long way towards helping you meet your financial goals.
  9. Social Media Feeds – every non-profit organization strives to expand its network of supporters. Social media is one of the greatest networking tools that society has ever known. Distribute information on your event through social media. Establish a hashtag for your event and generate interest and conversations regarding your mission. People enjoy being seen doing good work in a lively atmosphere. Give your guests every possible chance to share their enthusiasm for your cause with their social network. Use video walls and LCD monitors to display real-time social media posts, tweets, and photos—it’s a great way to encourage social sharing.
  10. Reports and Data Analysis – at the end of the evening, it’s time to count up the donations, collect data, and generate reporting on the overall success of the event. From demographics and attendee information, to detailed reporting on the donations and bids, the registration event software and barcoded badges you utilized will provide you with a clear and accurate assessment of the evening’s activity!

SmartSource Rentals has laptops, desktops, tablets, kiosks, touchscreen monitors, iPads, and video walls that can enlighten and delight your guests, and help your fundraising event shine!