As fundraising and event software continue to rapidly evolve and improve, your nonprofit has probably gathered a small arsenal of important digital tools and resources to boost your operations. After all, different event software solutions not only allow you to remotely engage with your supporters, but they can also help you process data more efficiently and give you a leg up as you try to reach new audiences from all over the world.
However, among the different event tools you’ve gathered over the past few years, there’s one powerful piece of software that you may have overlooked: online waivers.
Legally and safety-wise, liability waivers are already a crucial event management tool. But by investing in a dedicated online waiver solution, you can make the most of this seemingly innocuous part of the event check-in process, maximize event success, and improve your supporter relationships.
In particular, we’ll cover the following major benefits of using online waiver software, as well as features to look out for:
- Convenient event registration processes
- Data-driven supporter insights
- Increased personalization efforts
- Future event planning assistance
No matter if you’re hosting a fitness-filled 5K or an elegant gala, online liability waivers can have a significant impact on the quality of your activities, management abilities, and future event communications.
Let’s dive in.
One of the most well-known benefits of the online waiver is its convenience, both for event participants and your nonprofit’s staff. By removing traditional concerns tied to liability waivers— such as storage, organization, retrieval, and security—you can streamline the signing process and create a safer, more efficient environment for all parties involved.
In particular, online waivers can boost convenience and simplify the event check-in process by:
- Providing secure cloud storage. Instead of having a huge closet with filing cabinets full of untouched paper forms, you can keep all your waiver information safe and secure in an online database. Waiver information can even be pulled in seconds if you need a particular form.
- Allowing off-site signing. With an online waiver provider like Smartwaiver, participants can sign their liability waivers before even arriving for an event, thus skipping the lines on arrival and ensuring an easy, stress-free adventure.
- Integrating with marketing materials. Your online waiver can easily be embedded into your own website and/or online registration form for further accessibility and security. Some participants may not feel comfortable inputting their personal details and contact information in an unknown web form, but this way, they never have to leave your trusted domain to do so.
If your nonprofit has yet to make the switch to online event waiver software, now is the perfect time to do so. Take this as an opportunity to research further benefits and start building the foundation that will make event registration as seamless and as comfortable as possible for your donors, advocates, and loyal supporters.
If your nonprofit is already a proud user of online liability waivers, now is an opportune moment to use previously collected data to improve your engagement and donor stewardship strategies.
Your staff can easily sort through, analyze, and make the most of the donor data from all the online waivers in your database. After all, one of the greatest benefits of online waivers is the ease of collection of useful data, so don’t let this resource go to waste.
Using your data for marketing purposes is one of the smartest moves you can make, as attendee data can help you to build more effective outreach campaigns as you try to engage, retain, and acquire more support.
Here are some key data points that can be extracted from your online waivers (and some examples of what you can do with them!):
- Age: Find out what age group the majority of your supporters fall into. If your audience tends to skew younger, you may want to strengthen your online marketing practices, while an older audience may prefer traditional advertising efforts, such as direct mail.
- Gender: Do your events tend to cater to a predominantly male audience or are your activities composed of mostly female participants? Maybe your nonprofit appeals equally to all people, and that should be highlighted in your outreach efforts.
- Location: Make note of whether the majority of participants come from around the same area as your nonprofit, or whether you have a good portion of tourists or other visitors partaking in the events. Then you’ll know how, when, and where to focus your marketing.
- History: Take a look at whether your participants tend to return after their original experience with your nonprofit. If you have plenty of first-time visitors but few follow-ups, you may want to adjust your guest communication strategy to draw in repeat attendees.
- Referral: In addition to basic contact information, consider asking participants where they heard about your nonprofit (online, word-of-mouth, advertisement, etc.). This is a great way to recognize the impact of various strategies and/or communication channels.
When you analyze and better understand the demographics and lifestyle trends of your current supporters, you’ll have a better idea of how to target those same supporters and others just like them. For more information, check out this AccuData guide to effective data marketing. Learn more about the type of data your team should be tracking so you can create a plan for successful growth.
In addition to any other marketing and communications strategies you may implement, one particular aspect to keep in mind is personalization for each supporter.
Instead of sending out blanket, over-generalized event emails to your supporters, consider taking a more individualized approach. As you may have already encountered by personalizing your fundraising appeals and other donor outreach methods, personalization can have a powerful positive impact on your supporters, their view of your organization, and their likelihood of engaging with you in the future.
When you deal more personally with your supporters, you can create strengthened donor, volunteer, and attendee relationships that will last far longer than any single event. This is what makes it so important to extract online waiver data and infuse it into your event invitations, updates, and thank-you messages after the fact, strengthening your donor communications.
If you use your online waiver software correctly, you can easily find event attendees’ history with your nonprofit—such as what activities they’ve participated in, whether they’re a repeat customer, and how long it’s been since they’ve visited. Let them know you look forward to seeing them in the future, and consider offering perks like discounts, event merchandise, and other incentives to reconnect with your organization.
Finally, it’s important that your supporters have something to look forward to, especially as you try to steward newer supporters into lifetime donors and advocates of your nonprofit. Start planning events to boost excitement and build on the momentum you’ve gained from your previous events.
Thanks to the internet and other online tools, you can start to drum up interest well before the time of an event. With online waiver software, you can let eager participants sign weeks– or even months— ahead of time.
Additionally, you can effectively use donor data you’ve collected from previous event waivers to jumpstart your planning. Use information like past attendee numbers, audience demographics, and even mobility and accessibility limitations to create an event that’s as appealing as possible for your supporters.
Events are a critical part of how you engage with your nation of supporters, which makes it incredibly important to keep them going as smoothly as possible. Make sure you have the right resources to maintain an efficient process, from the planning stages to registration and the completion of your event.
Not only do online liability waivers protect your nonprofit from lawsuits and legal damage, but they can also offer protection and guidance as you navigate the best practices for creating events that are as efficient and effective as possible.
By streamlining event registration and enhancing future event planning endeavors, your online waivers provide assistance in getting your event management processes into high gear and setting up your organization for greater event success!
This article was contributed by Daryl McCarl, Director of Business Development at Smartwaiver, the leading digital waiver service trusted by thousands of organizations around the world.