Whether you are new to the giving event world, or if you have been managing giving events for many years, your registration is important to evaluate and re-evaluate to make sure you are using it effectively!
Here are 5 questions to ask yourself when getting ready to set up or assess your current giving event registration strategy.
1. Do I need registration for my giving event?
Your giving event registration can serve a few different purposes. Here are three questions to ask yourself when considering using registration or determining what registration should look like for you.
- Do I need to get a feel for how many orgs are participating?
- Do I need to gather specific information or intel about those participating?
- Do I want to enhance my event through custom search filters or prizes based on the participating organizations?
Custom search filters can be built based on certain questions and answers on your registration form. For example, Give in May provides donors the option to filter their search by 28 different Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) populations served, take a look here.
You can create any question on your registration form that can then be used to narrow in who the supporter might be looking to donate to. Another great example is Give OUT Day, check out their search filters here!
2. How long should my registration be open?
It’s really up to you! Some key points to consider are messaging and your bandwidth. When you are sitting down thinking through your timeline, consider how often you are able to reach out to organizations to promote your event. The relationship you build with your nonprofits is important, consider how much time they might need to decide if they are participating and then also how much time they will need to register.
Another point to consider is how large or small your event is. Larger giving events may need more time to spread the word so keeping registration open longer may be ideal. The Saving Pets Challenge is a national event and opts to keep registration open for multiple months. San Diego Gives opts for a 3 month registration period and has an early bird reduced registration fee that applies for the first month to help drive and reward early registrations.
Consider applying a soft close and hard close registration deadline. Publicizing your soft close registration date as the final date for organizations to register for the event gives you the flexibility to not scramble with last minute registrations immediately prior to your event. Most organizations will register by this date but should any orgs show up late and request to register after your soft close you have this window of flexibility to allow them to do so. Your hard close date is not publicized, it is the date you know on your end that you cannot allow any more organizations to join.
3. Should I charge for registration?
There are pros and cons to charging for registration. Running a giving event takes time and energy and there are costs associated with it. Whether you need to cover costs for your own time or if you want to put those funds towards a marketing budget for your event, consider what funds you would need covered in order to make the giving event successful. Always be sure to be transparent with your participating organizations about the breakdown of registration fees, and where those funds will go.
If you are considering charging for your registration, ask yourself:
- Would I be able to recoup enough of my costs from a registration fee to make it worth it?
- Would charging a registration fee create more ill will than be helpful to our program?
- How many organizations would need to apply before a registration fee would be beneficial?
- What type of fee should I charge? Will there be a flat fee for all organizations or do you want a tiered fee based on the organization’s budget size?
If you do choose to charge, Mightycause has an integrated registration fee system. As participants go through the process to register they will be prompted to also pay their registration fee within the same process creating an easy, seamless experience. Capabilities also exist to create registration fee tiers based on answers to a specific registration question.
4. What do I need to ask in my registration?
You have the organization’s undivided attention! Now is a great time to collect the information you need. Think through your registration goals – What information do you need to know from your registrants? Do you need to collect information for potential prizes or for the search? Do you want to know the population served or the organization’s annual operating budget size so donors can search for large or small organizations to donate to?
You also want to consider what information might already be on an organization’s profile page vs. in the registration form. A lot of information may already be on the organization page if working on the Mightycause platform, such as nonprofit status. Mightycause is integrated with the IRS and does monthly audits so hosts don’t need to confirm nonprofit status. Mightycause also has a “To-Do” list that can be amended by the giving day hosts to reflect items they would like their participating organizations to do on their page, like adding a mission statement, a logo, or setting up EFT. This list can also be integrated with our registration and used for conditional approval, more on that in the next section!
5. How should I handle the registration approval process?
On Mightycause, you get three options for organization approval, these include manual, conditional approval, and automatic approval.
- Manual Approval – Giving Day hosts can go in and review the registration answers and approve or deny organizations individually. You can also have your Mightycause project manager review submissions and approve or deny based on criteria you have set.
- Conditional Approval – With conditional approval, you can have the Mightycause system automatically approve organizations based on certain conditions that you have set, ie has the organization set up EFT or added a logo to their profile.
- Automatic Approval – Any organization that fills out your registration form is automatically approved for the event!
Awesome job! You’ve made it through your registration process, so what’s next? Join us for part 2 where we offer tips, ideas, and best practices for what to do once registration is closed. We will talk about how to do a yearly review of your registration process, debrief with your participants, send out your next year’s save the date, and more so you can continue creating a great giving event experience year after year! Check out the full live webinar linked below.