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What I Learned at Money for Our Movements

Tim Sarrantonio

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending and presenting at the Money for Our Movements 2012 conference in Oakland, California. It was organized by the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training and was a chance for social justice fundraisers and organizers from across the country to build and strengthen collective resources, grassroots fundraising skills, and vision for their movements.  They made very good use of NeonCRM to manage the people, donations, and event registrations surrounding the event.

While our training team member Emily was attending the workshops, I was able to interact with a wide range folks who were interested in organizing for social justice and wanted to explore ways to maximize their fundraising efforts. Discussions with so many different types of folks led me to think about my own past experiences in event planning and how I would have utilized the NeonCRM database to create an event as engaging as GIFT’s for the charities I am on the boards of.

I wanted to share two take-aways that I learned at the Money for Our Movements conference that may help you in your own membership association or fundraising events.

How to connect everything together
The idea of intersectionality was a big theme for the conference and at its core it’s simply making sure that different networks connect to each other. You can apply this idea to your event planning very easily. Examine all the ways your organization interacts with the public and attempt to work that in to your event, keeping data collection in mind.

•    When someone signs up for the event, are they receiving a generic email or have you optimized your email system to speak to that specific event?
•    When folks are signing up have you given them the ability to answer questions that might help later on, like dietary preferences or hearing/visual impairments?
•    For fundraising organizations, have you tied a campaign to the event to track donations made in lieu of attending or perhaps culled at the event itself?
•    After they register for the event, are you sending them to a completion page with social media links so they can share the event with friends?

Creating ways to connect your mission in all areas across the event is a great way to further the excitement around an event.

Give incentives and make it easy to attend
The conference in of itself was certainly a great reason to attend, though GIFT made sure to give plenty of reasons to register early. Offering early bird specials for ticket purchase is a great way to ensure you front load your goals for registration. This enables you to gauge interest in your event and helps provide early revenue. Discounts for members are another great way to gain more members and encourage your existing members to attend.

Building in social media, QR codes, and mobile optimized pages is another great way to engage potential event registrants in a way that decreases staff workload. All event pages should have a social media sharing widget enabled for Facebook, Twitter, and much more. All NeonCRM pages can easily be shared on social media by your team as well and if you want to shorten the URL then use a free program like bitly to get more out of your 140 characters.

You can also share your event information or registration pages easily on your print materials by utilizing QR codes. These are rapidly becoming adopted as a way for smartphone users to quickly access information and you can freely generate them by simply putting in the URL of your choice.

Giving your attendees incentives and easy ways to share your event will get more people in the door, and make for a more successful event.

Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training offers a ton of resources for folks interested in raising money for their causes and their flagship is the Grassroots Fundraising Journal. You can drill down by topic by checking out their easy search capability here. This month’s edition includes a great article by another NeonCRM user Student Action with Farmworker’s!

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