As a small nonprofit organizer, you want to do more good work. But you’re already hustling as hard as possible to build support, raise money, and make a difference. How do you do more and grow your nonprofit without a fleet of minions?
Don’t run away! We know that data is a scary word for many. It seems cold, analytical, and impenetrable, the opposite of how you operate. So, instead, think of it as information that will help you better know the people who engage with your organization. The better you know them, the more good work your nonprofit can do.
Why event registration and data collection are important to nonprofits
It’s true you can post on social media to get supporters’ attention, but that’s kind of like throwing spaghetti at a wall and hoping some of it’ll stick. If you want to effectively engage supporters, you have to be able to contact them directly. To do that, you need names and email addresses, at the bare minimum.
At first glance, getting and collating that information may seem a Sisyphean task involving data entry and spreadsheets. It may even be how your nonprofit has been building its contact list already.
However, there’s a more efficient way, and that’s using a platform for your event registration. Registering event and fundraiser participants powers your organization’s future growth through data collection. That’s because all the data you need to be able to stay in touch is easy to gather and access when participants enter it online with their registration.
Once you’ve got participant information, you can go beyond a blanket invitation to fundraisers. You can categorize (or segment) it to learn about your participants and use that information to take action.
For example, let’s say your nonprofit hosts various events, including Clean the Stream, nature walk-a-thons, and educational workshops. Some people will participate every now and then, others every time it’s near their home, while some may have a pattern of participating in specific types of events.
That’s information you can use to do things like create personalized donor experiences, build membership, and identify advocates.
How to use data to drive growth
The ways you can use your nonprofit’s participant data are legion!
Create personalized donor experiences
Categorize your participant information into like groups, then send them event invitations and content tailored to their interests.
Get more people to help
Take a look at your reports and determine who among your participants has a history of helping out. They might be interested in participating in your project, or maybe you also invite those who have helped at that event in the past but maybe missed the last few.
Review reports to find your most active participants. You can then develop ambassador programs or advocacy campaigns targeting these individuals.
Check your reports for wonderful people who have been to one or more events or who are showing a marked level of interest. Maybe it’s time to conduct some personal outreach!
Optimize your programs
Evaluate the success of programs and initiatives by reviewing participant feedback, attendance, and outcomes. Then, you can refine your programs to better meet participants’ needs and goals based on data-driven insights.
Fill Leadership Roles
Finding the right fit for a leadership position within your organization can be a challenge. Use event data to find someone who might step into that role! For example, if you need someone to run a specific type of event, your best bet is to find someone who has attended that type of event multiple times.
Data-driven nonprofit event examples
Whether you need to drive membership or volunteers, use your nonprofit’s data to create events tailored to achieve your goals!
Sweepstakes + membership drive
Like all nonprofits, our membership-based conservation customers are short on hands for data entry and are laser-focused on their mission. To drive membership and cut down on data entry, they’ve rolled a fundraiser and membership drive into one event.
The prize is something that appeals to those interested in their cause. The sweepstakes is marketed to everyone, but there’s personalized outreach to those who have participated in chapter community events. The purchase of a sweepstakes entry comes with a membership, and since participants signed up through the platform, there’s no data entry on the back end.
Food drives and environmental initiatives
Many of our nonprofit customers regularly host outreach events around community-benefitting activities. Through them, they connect with people with whom their work resonates. Participants register as they would for any other sort of event, and over time, you’ll discover repeat helpers.
Workshops and educational sessions
Offering free workshops or educational sessions is another way our customers provide value to the community that’s also related to their cause. Whether it’s a bird-watching session, cooking class for a food bank, or a composting workshop, these events can be both fun and informative.
The secondary use of these events for our chapter-based nonprofit customers is to attract new members. During workshops, participants are further educated about the organization’s mission. In turn, people join their local chapter as members.
Event registration and the data collected feeds your nonprofit’s growth. By having everyone register for events, you’re saving your organization’s hard work and gaining a powerful tool to support your mission. From basic email invitations to examining your data for insights, the data you collect provides a roadmap guiding you to more meaningful connections with those who care about your cause.