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Four Errors to Avoid When Ticketing
Nonprofit Fundraising Events

by Colleen Dick

Many times when an organization is throwing a fundraiser or even a for profit event, optimizing the logistics of their ticket sales is not high on their priority list. It is quite natural to prefer to focus on more interesting parts such as the program, the decorations, the food etc.

The sad thing is, if you do not make fundraising ticket sales a priority, you can have the most beautiful awesome program with amazing refreshments, prizes, all singing dancing and bells and whistles; and you will be disappointed by the number of people who show up, or you will have logistics problems.

Here are some mistakes I have seen nonprofit organizations make. You might think some are obvious.

  1. Not proofreading the printed tickets. This causes patrons no end of distress, as they tend to believe the document they have in their hand (the ticket) rather than the radio spot that they heard 2 days ago or the poster they saw.

  2. Not numbering the tickets. Even in a general admission scenario, you like to know who had which tickets, who sold which tickets, and which ones came back.

  3. Making all the tickets the same for a multi show event. Example: One group had all the same tickets for an event they were giving two performances of. They wanted to give their ticket buyers maximum flexibility so they made two sets of identical tickets. The first performance was snowed out and cancelled. The second night a whole lot of people showed up, too many to seat. They had no way of knowing who had intended to go to the first show or the second show.

  4. Not having the tickets readily available. In the 20th century people picked up tickets at local ticket outlets, well known local shops that handled tickets to nonprofits as a form of community service. Nowadays more organizations are making their tickets available online, and if you don't, you're competing against other organizations that do. As the internet generation moves into their prime spending age, this demographic has come to expect tickets to be available online.

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About the Author:

Colleen Dick created, owned and operated Tix-R-Us, an online ticket selling web application, up until April 2008. Look for TixRUs software to be available again for organizations in the near future.

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