Nonprofits should use event management software to effectively promote their events in order to meet fundraising goals. Without strategic and varied approaches to event promotion, charities will find it hard to retain and attract donors.

According to a recent survey of 1,535 nonprofit staff members, Nonprofit Marketing Guide found that events are one of the top six ways in which charitable organizations communication with contributors. Half of the survey respondents belonged to organizations with annual budgets above $1 million, and the other half had less than $1 million to spend each year. This means that regardless of size, nonprofit event promotion is important to organizations.

Email

The same survey found that 45 percent of participants will send email appeals at least once per month in 2015. This is an increase from 33 percent in 2014. Email marketing is still the No. 1 way to connect with constituents. Digital Marketing Department stated that an email announcement should go out first to all regular donors, then to everyone else on the nonprofit’s email list. Encourage forwarding so donors can include friends and family. Sharing information is a common thread throughout many of these recommendations from a variety of sources.

Press release

Write an eloquent, informative press release about the event. Include any relevant detail someone would need to know if he or she had never heard of the organization and was interested in participating. Send this release to local media outlets like newspapers, television stations and bloggers. Be sure to make the announcement about 30 days prior to the event so people have time to prepare for it or mark it on their calendars.

Facebook

Social media is always an excellent method of event promotion, primarily because it’s an affordable way to get in touch with a variety of networks and different people. Again, make sure all relevant details are available on the event page, along with a link to the nonprofit’s website and donation pages. Many people may want to donate funds even if they can’t be present at the fundraiser. In addition, JC Social Marketing noted that choosing photos for the event page is also important. Pick images that effectively convey the organization’s message and story.

LinkedIn

While LinkedIn is typically seen as a professional networking site, it’s also a great place to involve community leaders in a fundraiser. LinkedIn, like Facebook, allows users to share their events with others and incorporate their connections into larger conversations. This is a quick, simple way to expand a nonprofit’s network.

Create a hashtag

For any social media posting, a hashtag that is consistent across all platforms is a great way to incite curiosity online. Inform anyone posting or sharing information on the fundraiser to include the hashtag in their written, video and photo posts. Choose a hashtag phrase that simultaneously conveys the purpose of the event and the nonprofit organization’s name is best. This way, anyone on social media can click the hashtag to find out about all the great activities leading up to the event and who from their own networks is participating.

Work with sponsors

Often for a large fundraiser, charities partner with corporate sponsors. This not only helps fund the event, it gives the business greater exposure. Nonprofits should equip their sponsors with promo kits at the start of any solid relationship. Encourage these sponsors to talk about the event to their employees and on their own networking sites and platforms. This is an excellent way to expand the scope of promotion and include both potential donors and current stakeholders.

Community calendars

Many cities have community and public calendars detailing upcoming events for residents to enjoy. Find out where these calendars exist – likely in community centers and on online city sites – and request a listing for the fundraiser. Include all relevant details so anyone can easily find the location and donation information.

During the event

Another great way to promote a nonprofit’s mission is by asking attendees to post photos and messages about their experience during and shortly after the event. Again, this is an opportunity to establish brand cohesion by using the hashtag created for social media sites. The excellent feedback from donors and volunteers currently participating is an interactive way to encourage those community members who were unable to attend to join in next time.