500 participants. 50 volunteers. 16 businesses. Successfully pulling off an event so large takes incredible creativity, coordination, and cooperation.
After years of ineffective Golf Outings, Comedy Nights, and 50/50 Raffles, PHN Charitable Foundation decided it was time to do away with these standard fundraising events. It was time to innovate.
With Salsa CRM (Formerly DonorPro CRM) software by their side, they knew they had the technological capabilities to create an event that was flexible and scalable. The only question: what would the event look like?
Managing Multiple Types of Constituents
The PHNCF team created the “Snowball Crawl” a multi-site miniature golf (“putt-putt”) tournament, spanning multiple locations in Mercer County, PA. Sixteen local businesses were involved, each hosting a self-designed and self-built putt-putt hole. Participants begin the day at a local hotel/restaurant, assembling into their teams of 4, grabbing breakfast and a debriefing of the day’s activities. Teams were transported from business to business, completing all 16 putt-putt holes at each location. Buses were utilized to transport teams to each location, running at regular intervals to ensure opportunities for each team to golf at each hole. After the putt-putt circuit was completed, participants returned to the hotel/restaurant for dinner, a live band, award ceremony, and prize giveaway.
Throughout the 30-year history, PHNCF has hosted a variety of fundraising events/activities. They’ve done golf outings, comedy nights, 50/50 raffles and more, all in the hopes of raising money and engaging the community.
While many were successful for a time, PHNCF felt that golf outings were too commonplace, comedy nights too constrained, and 50/50 raffles too boring.
Rethinking their approach to events took time, but the PHNCF team knew that to pull off a grand event, they’d need full support from the community, the Board of Directors, and a technology solution to manage constituents, event planning, and communications.
PHNCF considers the constituent database of participants as perhaps the most useful, as it relates to other aspects of planning and successfully executing this event. New participants can easily be added, allowing for a comprehensive list of contacts.
The database of contacts is invaluable for the purposes of communication and sponsorship organization, as well as donor identification.
Finances are also streamlined through this software, as remaining balances for what participants owe are tracked. The budget template eases the process of organizing the event budget, as well as recording donations. Sponsorship levels, teams (with captains noted), and expenses (including an estimated total) are also set up through this software.
In-kind donations, such as auction items, are also logged, simplifying the process of financial analysis. After the event, a report is run, generating an assessment of total funds raised.
Event Follow Up
Mailing software is also utilized, as a template for Thank You Letters allows for prompt and efficient responses to community members’ generosity.
All donors and sponsors receive Thank You Letters, ensuring appreciation is shown for their continued support. This also encourages new donors to support the event in the future.