Today, we’re going to talk about technology that allows nonprofits to use apps, tablets, and cell phones to facilitate their Fund-A-Need.
You can use technology to run your Fund-A-Need in two ways:
- Go through the Fund-A-Need levels just as you normally would, asking people to raise their paddles and pausing at each level to have them enter their gift into tablets at their tables.
- The person leading your Fund-A-Need stands on stage and says, “Ready. Set. Give.” Everyone uses the tablets at their table to give and you’re done in just a few minutes.
Giving technology always recommends that you hire a charity auctioneer to facilitate the technology at your event. But, is that really necessary?
No. It’s not.
The truth is, if you are using technology to facilitate your Fund-A-Need, you don’t need a charity auctioneer. Your Fund-A-Need will run just fine without one.
First, technology like this can make your Fund-A-Need go a million times faster. You’re done in just a few minutes.
Second, there’s nothing a charity auctioneer can say on stage during this time, that a staff member or volunteer can’t say. You need a cheerleader to stand on stage for the few minutes the Fund-A-Need will last and say things like:
- We’re looking for 100% participation. If you haven’t given yet, please take out your tablet, click the link, and make your gift.
- Wow! Look at this generosity. Thank you so much.
- We’re going to make a huge impact with these donations
- Wow! Look at that thermometer jump up!
Anyone can do that, for far less money than a charity auctioneer costs. Where I live, nonprofits can expect to pay at least $3,000 for a charity auctioneer. With a Fund-A-Need like this, that’s $1,000 a minute! Save your money and use an enthusiastic staff member or volunteer.
Why I Don’t Do Technology-Based Fund-A-Needs
Two clients recently asked me to assist with Fund-A-Needs using giving technology. I went over their numbers with them and we had a conversation about what they could expect from this type of Fund-A-Need. The truth is, running a Fund-A-Need like this is not going to bring in a lot of money. You might match your total from the year before, but you certainly won’t see an increase and you may very well raise less.
This is the reason I personally don’t take jobs that include a technology-based Fund-A-Need. I used to, until I realized that it’s not the best thing for the nonprofit or for my business. I can’t confidently guarantee that I can raise your nonprofit more money. And, my services are not inexpensive. My services are an investment. It doesn’t make sense for nonprofits to pay both my fee and the price of using the technology.
Professionally, it’s not worth it for me to take these jobs either, because every single time I am in front of an audience I am in front of new potential clients. Fund-A-Needs with giving technology do not allow me to best showcase my skills. Any business owner interested in growing their business will tell you that they must do their very best for every single client. Auctions like this don’t allow me to do my very best.
If you want an increase in your Fund-A-Need revenue, you need a charity auctioneer on stage to manipulate the energy in the room and get people to give. People don’t give as much to their phone as they do to a person.
Technology can certainly help your nonprofit save time on the Fund-A-Need. However, you are going to make less money and you’re going to pay more to hire an auctioneer and use the technology than you would just hiring a charity auctioneer to run a full Fund-A-Need at your next event.
I’m not saying that giving technology can’t have a positive impact on your fundraising. It can be incredibly effective at increasing the revenue and reach of silent auctions, for example. I just don’t think the Fund-A-Need is the right place to use this technology.
Does your nonprofit use technology to facilitate the Fund-A-Need? What do you see as the pros and cons of this approach? Let me know in the comments.