Guest post: How reviews can engage supporters and raise event participation

GreatNonprofits is the leading developer of tools that allow people to find, review, and share information about nonprofits. The site is a resource for donors, volunteers and clients to connect with worthy organizations. That’s right up our alley here at Eventbrite, so we asked them to write a guest post explaining how you can use reviews as an effective engagement tool for your nonprofit events. Enjoy!

According to a Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey of more than 25,000 Internet consumers from 50 countries, consumer recommendation sites such as Yelp, Amazon, TripAdvisor, and Zagats now influence 60% of online buying decisions. Why shouldn’t reviews play a role in which events consumers decide to attend or spend their money on?

When planning your nonprofit event, you have a number of goals in mind. Naturally, the first is attendance. However, your invitation to the event, and the event itself present an important opportunity for you to further engage your current supporters, and perhaps incorporate newcomers into your supporter base. The ultimate outcome of a successful event is a fresh, excited group of supporters for your organization.

Reviews tell a powerful story about your organization’s work and they can serve as a powerful tool for a nonprofit to demonstrate their impact. Here are a few simple tips on how to leverage reviews into increased event attendance and maybe even new donors.

  • Include a review on your event page. Reviews tell the story of your work. Sharing a review with people browsing your event can make a strong case for your impact. Also, reviews can draw in newcomers who might not be familiar with your organization.
  • Include a review in the message you send out to invitees.  The authentic voice of someone who knows your work can convince people to learn more and click through to your event page.
  • Encourage ticket buyers to write a review. By purchasing a ticket, the individual is donating to your nonprofit. Ask them to share why they chose to give to your cause.
  • Ask attendees to write a review after the event. Getting someone to buy a ticket is just the first step you want a new supporter to take. By asking them to write a review after the event you encourage them to climb up the ladder of engagement.

Research shows that cultivating relationships with donors is an imperative to maintaining a healthy donor base. By incorporating reviews into your event process, you show that you value the stories and input of your supporters. This can help you sell more tickets and can transform a one-time event attendee into an active supporter in the future.

Thanks to GreatNonprofits for the excellent advice. We encourage you to head over to GreatNonprofits.org and give reviews a try. We’re also partnering with them on a lunch in SF on Friday 1/21—so definitely swing by and connect with the nonprofit community!