3 Ways that Event Management Software Can Improve Non-Profit Administration
If your non-profit group stages events—either just for your members or to share with the public at large—you need an easy, reliable way to handle event registration and event management. After all, you don’t want to spend more time than necessary on the planning and administrative phases of an event, and you want every event to run as smoothly as possible. When you add efficient event registration and event management software to your association’s toolkit, you increase your capabilities at the same time that you make efficiency easier to achieve.
Event management capabilities
As a member of the leadership of your non-profit group, you probably wear many hats. You may be in charge of numerous aspects of communicating with current and prospective members, conveying the advantages of your group, articulating your organization’s stance on important and essential issues, and much more. If you’re like most non-profit leaders, you probably wish you could streamline your event management process. Whether you’re looking for a solution that takes you out of the pen-and-paper era and into a more digitally oriented system, or you’re eager to find ways to make the process of formulating an event less time consuming and complex, a software-based system can offer you many advantages—if you find the right solution.
Ideally, this type of solution runs online, and includes much more functionality than simple event management. To bring all the aspects of organization administration together under one digital “roof,” what you actually want is an association website.
Many non-profits create websites early in the time of their existence. Some groups actually choose the name for their organization based on the availability of a website domain name that they can register. They may skip names they like simply because the equivalent domains already are registered, and/or because it would cost them a large sum of money to purchase a domain that someone else has registered and posted for sale.
So if your group “already has a website,” you may want to reevaluate the viability of that site to serve your current and future needs. Can it handle the process of setting up all the details of an event you’re planning? Or does it do little more than simply present your mission and vision statements and provide a contact form?
If that’s all your website accomplishes for you, it may have been what you needed when your group was new, but it’s probably not up to the task of serving your needs today and tomorrow. If your group does stage events, then one of the capabilities you absolutely need your website to provide is the ability to manage all of the details of the various types of events you put on, from simple gatherings—online or in person—to multi-day affairs with individual events within an event.
Event registration convenience
Once you’ve set up the organizational structure for an individual event online, now you need the ability to register participants without a lot of hassle. Ideally, your website should offer the ability to accept and track individual registrations through customizable online forms you can use to obtain each registrant’s name, address, and any other information you need to acquire.
In some cases, you even may need the ability to decline event registration requests from people who do not meet certain significant criteria that you establish for attendance. This could include such details as age—for example, excluding people under 21 from events that involve alcohol—or, in the case of webinars or other learning-based activities, the lack of certain prerequisite experiences that would qualify a potential participant for a more-advanced seminar or course.
The right event registration solution enables you to take care of all these needs on one website, with automatic notifications sent to potential event attendees as well as to organization administrative personnel whose approval is required before prospects are allowed to register.
Simple, secure payments
Although many of your events may carry no charge to attend, some of them may involve ticket sales, especially if some of your events are open to the public. After all, you may use these events as ways to raise funds for your organization itself. Even if paid event attendance represents a future requirement and not a current feature of the types of events you put on, you need support for ticket sales and other costs in the website-based solution you choose. Otherwise, that solution can’t support your current needs and grow with you.
No one wants to sit at the entrance to an event venue with a cashbox and a rubber stamp, selling at-the-door tickets. No one wants to process ticket sales through the mail, either. In fact, some groups actually may decide to forego the revenue from ticket sales simply because of the potential hassles of selling tickets and collecting payments for them.
A truly full-featured website should handle payments for you through a secure payment gateway and an easy-to-use setup that makes the process as easy for the ticket purchaser as for the administrator who must run the ticket-selling system. You want people to be able to visit your website, click on a link to a form, fill in fields with information about themselves, enter the number of tickets they want to buy, and pay for them, all through the same secure website.
That’s the secret of choosing the right website solution in the first place. Not only does it handle all aspects of event management and event registration for you, including secure payments, but the same full-featured approach to organization administration should provide you with options for handling an even broader range of your group’s affairs. Along with accepting secure payments for events, your site should enable you to except secure payments for membership dues, and anything else that involves money. In addition to enabling you to customize the way you administer events, your website should provide support for customizing the way you enroll new members and communicate with them.
At Membershine, we’ve dealt with the needs of non-profit organizations and groups for a long time, and we understand the types of functionality that you truly need from a web-based solution that can handle many of your administrative requirements. We build all the capabilities you need for event management, event registration, secure payments, and a whole lot more into our website-building platform. Take advantage of our 30-day free trial to set up your site, experiment with all our features, and see why we’re confident that our solution meets your needs.