The landscape of giving is ever-changing with technology and regional trends. In 2018 our event fundraising team ran upwards of 8,000 fundraising events across the U.S. and helped our charity partners raise more than $600 million. With that kind of experience under our collective belt, we look back on the year to see what worked best for fundraisers in 2018:

  1. Text-to-give competitions

Unsurprisingly, text-to-give campaigns are being used more, as nearly all donors have a personal mobile phone. This means fundraising success is at their fingertips and donations are just a text away. At events this year, we saw more competitions involving text-to-donate or pledge moments. Some examples of these competitions include the last donation to come through at the called time wins a bottle of champagne and the table that gives the most wins a prize.

  1. Hamilton tickets

Tickets to Broadway’s hottest show popped up at auctions across the country this year. Hamilton shows no sign of losing steam, as tickets are still hard to come by. If you’ve seen Hamilton you understand why it’s so popular, but exactly how well does it perform in auctions? We did a little digging, check it out here.

  1. Bringing artists to events

Unique jewelry, art, and interactive experiences are common at charity auctions, but this year we saw countless organizations bringing artists to their events. Having artists onsite to discuss their process and work added a personal touch that helped increase bidding prices.

  1. Games

Pay to play is a fun way to bring in extra cash at events. It provides entertainment and is a low-cost giving option that sees high participation rates. In 2018 we saw the popular wine pull, 50/50 raffles, wheelbarrows of cheer, heads or tails, cornhole (baggo, bags, sack toss, bean bag) tournaments, and lottery scratch-off trees.

  1. Seating management

Our drag-and-drop Seating Management tool was a favorite feature among clients running fundraising galas this year. It’s designed to help event committees seamlessly integrate their guest list with table assignments, helping teams stay organized and flexible up until event day.

  1. After parties

Events that were hosted in cities, typically Thursday through Saturday, had an increasing number of after parties. After parties are a great way for donors to socialize and continue to build a community of people who support a common cause. It also benefits event committees, because guests leave the event promptly, making for a quicker wrap-up of the evening.