How to sell tickets to your fundraising event

August 13, 2018 - 9 minutes read

While your fundraiser invites, venue and event promotions are important, the highest priority is on generating revenue for your cause.

And one of the best ways to go about raising money is through ticket sales.

But selling tickets for your fundraising event can be tricky.

  • How can you use social media to build a buzz and create excitement?
  • How do you use your supporters’ contacts to boost attendance at your fundraiser?
  • What kind of offers do you give out?
  • Will follow-ups help?

This article will answer all your questions and help boost ticket sales for your next fundraising event.

Offer discounts

Offering discounts is a good way to encourage people to buy tickets and boost event attendance. You can offer different prices to encourage people to buy before the prices increase.

The different offers you can provide are:

  1. Early Bird Discount: Offering a substantial discount for early ticket purchase is a good way to encourage people to buy tickets before the prices increase. Selling early bird passes helps promote your event and boosts event attendance.
  2. Group Discounts: People like attending events with friends, family or colleagues. So giving group discounts help in selling a lot of tickets. For example, give 10 tickets at the price of 8.
  3. Members Only Pre-sale: Giving discounts to your members helps to kick-start ticket sales. You should provide this for a limited period before opening tickets to the public.
  4. Incentivize Booking Tables: Provide compelling offers to encourage people to buy a whole table at your dinner. For example, give two free bottles of wine for a table or complimentary tickets to your next event.

It’s important to remember that you will raise more money for your fundraiser by maximizing attendance. So, do that by offering various discounts on your fundraising event tickets.

Follow-up on invites

Making follow-up calls or sending texts will help you keep tabs on the number of people attending your fundraiser. It also helps in selling your tickets faster. Ideally, follow-ups should be done 2-3 weeks before your event.

The call or text does not have to be a hard sell. So, keep it short and to the point.

You can use a phone banking software to make calls to your attendees and prospective attendees. The software will store the data for you and it will be easy for you to keep a track of your responses.

Also send out texts, using peer-to-peer texting tools to have personalized conversations at scale. You can easily manage thousands of individual conversations just a day or a week before your event.

Sample follow-up texts that work:

Hi Jen, this is Adam from Hope Society. I’m texting to make sure you received the invitation to our Annual Fundraising Gala. Did you get your copy in the mail?

If No:

I’m sorry to hear that. I’d love to send you another copy. What is the best email address to send it to?

If Yes:

Great! Do you know if you will make it?

You can make phone calls or send out texts to check in with the people in your sponsor’s database. Follow-ups help boost ticket sales and attendance at your events. So, use the right tools to help you manage your conversations.

Issue different passes

To drive up your ticket sales consider offering different passes. You can give out passes like a student pass, a VIP pass, a family pass or a party pass. Each pass can be priced accordingly. For example, sell student passes at a lower price than general passes.

Student passes let you target a younger audience who are often strapped for cash and would otherwise not consider purchasing a ticket. While VIP passes let you raise more money through additional incentives that require minimum effort. Maybe people with VIP passes get better seating, or a chance to meet with the nonprofit board or political candidate.

Make use of your supporters’ networks

For every fundraising event, you hold, use your supporters’ networks to sell tickets. This means selling tickets to your supporters, donors, and their friends’ contacts.

Also, get your sponsors, partners, and members of your charity to promote your event through their social media channels.

Don’t forget to thank them on your social media accounts.

Promote and sell tickets on Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool that can be used to fundraise, sell tickets and promote your event. Through its use, you can create a buzz amongst large groups of people to drive ticket sales.

Depending on your target audience, some social channels are more effective than others. Here’s a quick overview:

  • Facebook: Share event updates, hold contests, and sell tickets from your page. Create Facebook events to boost sales and promote your event. Promote your event with Facebook ads. These ads will be posted on your Instagram account as well. You can also use Facebook to promote fundraisers, concerts, parties, black-ties etc.
  • Instagram: Use it to promote food festivals or leisure events. Partner up with social influencers to boost sales. Create Insta-worthy moments by posting updates and create a Hashtag for your event, which will increase discoverability.
  • LinkedIn: Is a great platform to promote business and industry-specific events. You can use LinkedIn groups, pages, and events to boost your sales and target thousands of relevant people in that field. Also, ask your sponsors and partners to update their status on their profile.
  • Twitter: You can target a young and tech-savvy crowd with Twitter. Use posts and hashtags to build excitement before your event. Remember to post frequently on twitter to create visibility.
  • Snapchat: By building a presence on Snapchat you can target Gen Y and Gen Zers. You can use this platform to create a “fear of missing out” to spur ticket sales and create buzz. Use Snapchat geofilters, stories and ads to promote and drive up sales.

Pro tip: Provide a link to your webpage on all your social media accounts.

Cross-promote events

Cross-promotion is a good way to boost ticket sales and to get prospective donors. Partner with other nonprofits, vendors, and events to promote each other. This way, your event gets attention from other people and you can broaden your donor base.

Tips to cross-promote:

  • Use social media to get out the word (make a statement you are proud to work with them vice versa)
  • Cross-promote on one another’s website
  • Use the partner’s logo in your email blast
  • While running contests to boost sales, including prizes from partners and vice versa

You don’t have to overthink when it comes to selling tickets to your fundraising event. Just put these ideas into practice and let it take care of the rest.