When organizing a fundraising event, ticket sales can make or break your fundraiser. Here are 10 ways to sell more event tickets so you can raise more funds.
- Sell Tickets Online
- Early Bird Discount
- Group Discounts
- VIP Early Access
- Members Only Pre-sale
- Social Media Promotions
- Traditional Media Contests
- Cross-promote Events
- Giveaway Tickets w/Raffle Entry
- Last Minute BOGO Deals
Sell Tickets Online – Obviously you can always sell tickets in a traditional manner, but selling tickets online makes it so much easier to reach more people. Plus, its a whole lot more convenient for your supporters to order their event tickets online than it is to order by phone, by mail or go in person to buy tickets. And, you avoid a a lot of expense and innumerable volunteer hours by shifting to selling tickets online. Companies like EventBrite provide everything you need, including custom fundraising event pages and credit card processing.
Early Bird Discount – Offering a substantial discount for early ticket purchases is a good way to boost event attendance. Once a person has purchased a ticket, they’ve made a psychological commitment to attending your event, so the discounted price is well worth it if it bumps up your overall attendance. And the larger your crowd, the more likely you’ll find new donors for your cause and raise more funds with your silent auction.
Group Discounts – Whether its a special deal for a premium table at a sit-down charity gala or a sweet deal for members of a prominent group, providing group discounts can really move a lot of tickets. It’s important to remember that you’ll raise more money by maximizing attendance than you will by maximizing ticket revenue. Ticket revenue is all about covering event overhead and generating advance funds to cover upfront event expenses. But ultimately, the real fundraising activities at your event are where you are raising the big bucks.
VIP Early Access – Holding an exclusive pre-event VIP gathering is another great way to boost attendance and create additional fundraising opportunities. It’s a spectacular opportunity to impress well-heeled potential donors with an exclusive gathering of like-minded individuals. It’s also a way to meet & greet important supporters without the distraction of a crush of people all trying to complete their event registration at the same time. Use it as showcase to demonstrate the important work your group is doing and give donors personal feedback on how their donations helped make a difference in people’s lives.
Members Only Pre-sale – Offering tickets to your members on a pre-sale basis helps get the event revenue kick-started. You can offer your members a special discount off the regular price for a limited time before tickets go on sale to the general public. Or, you can sell those members only tickets at the regular price, but include some special event perks in the deal like preferential seating, free cocktails, early admission. etc.
Social Media Promotions – Broaden your reach by promoting your event on Twitter and Facebook to get the word out and create some advance buzz about your event. Make sure you provide ticket sales links in all your online communications! Social media is all about expanding your reach beyond your initial fan base, so get your members retweeting your tweets and liking your posts. That’s important because Facebook won’t place your post in all your followers newsfeeds unless your regular posts get a lot of likes. And with Twitter, not everyone is checking in regularly so send new messages out at different times of the day (tweet 4 times a day). And don’t forget Pinterest because its great for getting the word out. Create an event poster for sharing online and post fun photos from previous events. You can also do ticket contests and fun promotions through social media that will help drive ticket sales.
Traditional Media Promotions – Newspapers, radio and TV coverage can reach a lot of potential new supporters, so don’t be a slacker when it comes to traditional media. Create a press release with photos and preferably a video promo as well. Take some time to find out the right contacts at the various media outlets in your city or town because a personally addressed message is much more likely to be read and acted upon. And don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call your media contacts. After all, getting the news out is their job. Just be sure to present them with a newsworthy publicity angle. Your event is not that newsworthy (unless you attract a lot of local celebrities and socially prominent people). What’s newsworthy is the work that you do to make the world a better place. Provide compelling examples of how you’ve helped change people’s lives for the better.
Cross-promote Events -Partner with other non-profit groups and events in your area to help promote each others events. You can offer discounted tickets to their group and vice versa. You can do joint promotional activities and offer ticket bundles where the selling group makes a commission for selling the other group’s tickets. You can also sell discounted tickets to your future events at your own event, i.e. sell discounted Christmas gala tickets at your Fall Festival.
Giveaway Tickets w/Raffle Entry – Hold some special raffles with exceptional prizes and include admission tickets to your event with the raffle tickets. It’s the reverse of the usual method of including a door prize raffle with the admission ticket (which is great for boosting ticket sales BTW). A high-ticket raffle is a great fundraiser in its own right and you can make the draw for the raffle winner a major part of your event. Raffling off a motorcycle or car means selling a lot of raffle tickets ahead of time, but these kind of raffles are profitable and popular.
Last Minute BOGO Deals – If you’re looking for a last-minute way to boost ticket sales for your event, consider offering a BOGO deal (buy one, get one free). By last-minute, I don’t mean the day of the event. This would be great incentive to offer for the last three days before the event. It gives some motivation to the undecided fence-sitters who typically wait until the last minute anyway. Plus, it gives single people an easy way to make attending your event into a casual date opportunity or a low-cost way to have a fun night out with a friend.
The bottom line is that maximizing your fundraising success is all about maximizing attendance at your event, so use these 10 tips to boost the ticket sales for all your fundraisers.
More Fundraising Event Tips
Tips For Running A Silent Auction – Silent auctions are a great way to raise money, but require a lot of coordinated effort. These tips for running a silent auction will help you procure more items, liven up your event, get everything setup right, make it run smoothly, and maximize your results.
Fundraising Event Tips: Getting Corporate Sponsors – As part of our series on fundraising event tips, here are 10 tips for getting corporate sponsors for your fundraising event. Corporate sponsorships are extremely important to the overall success of your event and can make a huge impact on your bottom line.
Fundraising Event Tips: Use Multiple Auctions – As part of our fundraising event tips series, this article covers why you should use multiple auctions at your event. Having an auction at your event is a “must do” for groups wanting to raise serious money, but don’t forget that by using different auction formats you can take your fundraising to the next level.
Fundraising Event Tips: Use Multiple Raffles – As part of our series of fundraising event tips, this article covers why you should use multiple fundraising raffles at your event. Raffles help maximize your results by getting people excited about the chance of winning a big prize while donating to your cause.