Today we're going to talk about time-saving tips for promoting and running your online event. While this is our first nonprofit focused podcast, it really applies to anyone running an online event. So business listeners, don't just tune this out because there are definitely some great nuggets in here for you too. Today I'm going to go over five different tips that will help you save time while promoting and running your online event: 1. Make it simple. 2. Lean into your current assets. 3. Write all emails and social posts in bulk. 4. Automate as much as humanly possible. 5. Learn from the successes of others.

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Hosted By
Monica Maye Pitts
Monica Maye Pitts Chief Creative Officer

Time Saving Tips for Promoting & Running Your Online Event

Today we're going to talk about time-saving tips for promoting and running your online event. While this is our first nonprofit focused podcast, it really applies to anyone running an online event. So business listeners, don't just tune this out because there are definitely some great nuggets in here for you too. Today I'm going to go over five different tips that will help you save time while promoting and running your online event: 

  1. Make it simple. 
  2. Lean into your current assets. 
  3. Write all emails and social posts in bulk. 
  4. Automate as much as humanly possible.
  5. Learn from the successes of others.

Transcription

Monica Pitts  0:00  

Hello again and welcome to marketing with purpose. This is Monica Pitts and today, I am going to do the first of many nonprofit focused podcasts. But really this particular topic applies to anyone running an online event. Today we're going to talk about time saving tips for promoting and running your online event. Now I'm going to focus on nonprofits here. But really, all of us businesses can learn a thing or two from nonprofits and nonprofits can certainly learn a thing or two from businesses as well. I mean, in my belief, a good business runs with the servitude of a nonprofit and a great nonprofit runs like a business with a big heart. So business listeners, don't just tune this out because there's definitely some great nuggets in here for you too. Today I'm going to go over five different tips that will help you save time while promoting and running your online event.

Before I jump down the rabbit hole with all these lovely tips to help you save time marketing and running your online event, I want to remind you to check out this episode's goodie bag because Katie has prepared a party favor just for you. She included links to the websites and services we talked about in this episode. And you'll have a link to a very nicely formatted blog post in case you want to read it later. So hop on over to podcast.mayecreate.com your party favor awaits. And just one more service announcement. If you are really serious about running an online fundraising event right now, and maybe you're short on time, tech, or creativity, I have a resource that we just finished that is just for you. It's 14 tech easy online fundraising event ideas. We gathered ideas from nonprofits who are successfully raising donations online and pulled all those lovely ideas together accompanied with their success stories. So give it a glance and see if there's an event that you can wrap your head around and put into action for your organization. All right, now back to business. So I'm going to go over five tips. Let's start at the top, I'll list them off for you, and then I'll go through them one by one. First, make it simple. Second, lien into your current assets. Third, write all your emails and social posts in bulk. Fourth, automate as much as humanly possible. And fifth, learn from the success of others. 

So let's start up at the top with make it simple. Number one. So when I say make it simple, I mean, try not to overcomplicate things. One of the things that takes so much time when planning an online event is the technology behind it. So the simpler you can make it, the easier and less time consuming it's going to be. Not to mention less expensive if you can keep it simple. So a couple great ideas for that would be my friend Carrie Hopkins who works at Coyote Hill. Now, Coyote Hill every year has been a pancake breakfast. And this year, they had to take it online because of COVID and spin it out really fast. And what was awesome is that all they did was say, hey, cook pancakes, eat them together, and then make a donation. And they raised $23,250 with their online pancake breakfast this year. Last year, they only raised $7,900. That's nearly three times as much and they didn't even have to feed people, the people fed themselves. So that was simple. Another example that was simple is another fundraising push led by Betsy Kamara with Hillcrest Platte County, sent out just an email and they did it a virtual lemonade stand. And people would pour themselves a cup $5 to cups for $10 or a whole picture for 100. Or they could even buy the whole lemon tree for $300. And all he did was email people, they sent it out to a database of 750 repeat donors, and they raised just over $30,000. That is amazing. And these are really simple ideas. So you don't have to overcomplicate it. If you don't have a lot of time, think of a cool concept and get on out there. 

The other thing that keeping it simple is I think, stay within your comfort zone. So what I mean by that is if you're not used to doing Facebook Lives or you're not used to being in front of a video camera, then don't put that in your marketing mix right now. focus on the things that you're comfortable doing and that you've done time and time again that have worked. Those are the things that you can do to help make it simple. 

Moving on to number two lean into your current assets. Now, I talk about assets a lot. And what I mean by assets, they're all the things that you already have, that you can use to promote your organization. So you're going to use the things that you already have. If you already have a Facebook group or a Facebook page, use that asset the most or promote this event, or if what you have are physical mailing addresses or phone numbers or email addresses. Those are the things that you're going to use. You don't have to build a new asset, just to promote your online event. You can use what you already have. And then take a look at the things that you did to promote your event last year, especially if it's something that you're moving online like that pancake breakfasts that Kerry held. Last year, she probably had flyers, she had an email, she had social media posts, so go out and recycle that exact same content and use it again this year. People do not know that it's the same, believe me.

They really don't. Because there's so much stuff that they read all the time. They don't know that it's the exact same thing. And sometimes, especially when it comes to art and branding and event, using that same artwork for your event, multiple years in a row can help build a recognition with your audience. So there's nothing wrong with recycling your old marketing assets. If you had a flyer designed, take a screenshot of part of that flyer and use that as the pictures for your social media posts. You don't have to create it all from scratch. So lean into the things that you have and recycle them to save yourself time. 

Tip number three, you're going to write all your emails and your social posts in bulk. Alright, so what do I mean by this? Now all your emails, for the most part, you can right up front, especially if you go back to last year and see what you already wrote. And what worked well. Lean into it, right? Just copy those emails, use them again this year. Now for your social posts, what I would suggest you do is go through and determine how many days you're going to be posting and how many posts you're going to make each day. Then from there, think about the types of posts that you're going to make some of these posts you can create a template for, and just fill in the blanks as you go. So for example, when we're running our CoMoGives campaign throughout the month of December, we post a lot of status updates. And those are the best posts that we do. They're really simple. We just say, here's where we're at in the campaign. Here's where we're going. So here's how many dollars people have donated. Here's what our goal is, and they're the best posts that we do. So there's those impromptu posts are very important. But before the campaign even starts, we know exactly what that post is going to be. We don't have to think about it when it comes to the moment. We've already got it written, we know we just have to put the numbers into the sentence and have it go out in our medium. I know what you're thinking right now you're thinking, Monica, you just told me that you were going to tell me ways to save time. And what I just heard was, go through and write everything ahead of time. And, okay, so this is gonna save you time in like three ways. First off, when you get into gear and you're writing, it is faster to write them all together, instead of doing them one at a time. If I sat down and I write a month's worth of social media, I can get it done in like three hours. If I'm going to go out and publish things individually, sometimes it takes me 22 to 30 minutes to write one post. So it saves you time because your brain is in that spot and it can roll out great stuff. And you can inter relate them to one another and it makes sense not just to you and the way that our minds work, but also to the readers  because you're posts are going to correlate and they're going to sound the same. The second way is going to save you time is because when you're on the fly, you don't have to rethink of it, you just plunk in the information and go. The third way it's going to save you time is next year, because this isn't the only time that you're going to run an event online, you would run this event year after year, especially if it does, even okay this year. Think back to other experiences that you've had running fundraisers. Sometimes the first year, it's hard to get it up off the ground because people are not familiar with it. And then the second year, it's easier. The third year it's even easier, and then you just start rolling. Well, next year. If you have already developed these things for yourself, you can reuse them. Remember, we're gonna lean into our current assets. So you'll pull them out next year and you can run this fundraiser so much easier because you've already done the work and made sure that it was organized this year. So there's lots of ways that planning and writing your emails and your social posts in bulk can help save you time now and in the future. 

Number four, automate it. Some people send out real time personal thank you emails. I love those, the more personal you can get, the better but if you are really short on time, then consider automating those initial thank you emails.

I'm not saying don't send them a thank you card later on or a letter or a personalized video. But in the moment, if what you don't have right now is time, you can automate the initial thank you. Make sure that you check off all the boxes so that it can actually serve as a tax deduction letter if you have the ability to offer them a tax deduction for their contribution. You can also automate reminder emails for people that the event is happening and you can automate your social posts, because you can schedule them ahead of time. Any ones that you're not writing on the fly. And then last but not least, man, this is such a time saver for me. So, even when I'm writing my personal thank you letters, or putting together a personal thank you email, we use mail merge, you can mail merge from Google Sheets into Gmail, you can also mail merge from Excel into Microsoft Word. So if, as you're going through and collecting these donations, you keep track of everybody or you have a way to export them into a spreadsheet. Then you can just merge that information in with your thank you letter in the long run. It saves so much time because you don't have to type everybody's name out. You don't have to worry about if their addresses correct. I mean, we do this for the envelopes and for the letters and themselves. It's magical. And it does make this just so much more personal because you can even add a personal note in. You can have different attachments to the emails if you're doing it with email. So it's very fancy, give it a whirl. All right. 

And then number five, last but not least, learn from the successes of others. One of the greatest things that you can do to save yourself time is find someone else, anyone else who's done what you're trying to do, and give them a call and be like, Hey, what do you do? How did it work? Was it something you would do again? What would you not do again about it in the future. And I mean, if you're really short on time, but not short on funds, then you could have an event planner, help facilitate this online event for you. You don't necessarily have to do the whole thing on your own. You don't have to figure out the technology if you have the ability to have someone help you. For example, one of our clients, the Community Foundation of Central Missouri recently established a COVID-19 Regional Relief Fund. And to kick off this fund, they held a virtual telethon. And they are super small organization. They have like 1.25 people that work there. And I mean, I don't mean like she's a quarter of a person. I mean, she works, you know, a quarter of the time. And so they contracted with a vendor to provide the technology and all of the project management and event management behind this virtual telethon. And they did have to invest money to get it going. They had to invest $3,000 to this company in order for them to help them with the telethon. But they received over $30,000 in donations from the telethon. So they more than paid for that and they would not have been able to do it on their own at all because they are short staffed, and they do have very limited tech resources within their office. So there's so much that you can learn by either contracting with somebody else to do the things that you don't understand. Or even just calling other people to see how they did stuff like I was just blown away by the success of the lemonade stand and the pancake breakfast. Totally amazing. You know, just something so simple yielded so much value for that organization. So, definitely learn from the successes of others, and implement what worked for your organization. Okay, so those are my five tips. Number one, make it simple. Number two, lean into your current assets, recycle stuff you've already got, and use the resources you already have. Number three, write all your emails and social media posts in bulk because that will save you time now and in the future. Number four, automate it, automate those thank you emails, reminders, social posts, and even use mail merge in the end. And then number five, learn from the successes of others and implement what worked for them for you. Now, before I let you go, I want to remind you to check out this episode's goodie bag because Katie has prepared a party favor. That's just for you. She included links to the websites and services we talked about in this episode.

And there's a link to a nicely formatted blog post. So you can read through all five of these tips at your leisure. So hop on over to podcast.mayecreate.com to collect your party favor. And if you know that you need to be running an online fundraising event right now, but you're maybe short on time or tech or creativity. Hop on over to our resources section, resources.mayecreate.com m a y e c r e a te.com and download 14 Tech Easy Online Fundraising Event Ideas. We gathered ideas from nonprofits who are successfully raising donations online and then we pulled all their ideas together with their success stories. So give it a glance and see if there's an event that you can wrap your head around, and your assets around right to put into action for your organization. If you enjoyed this episode or learned a thing or two, subscribe, or give a quick review, wherever you're listening, I would love to hear from you. Thanks again for listening. This is Monica Pitts. Now get out of here. That event is not going to plan itself. Go forth and mark it with purpose.

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