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Advanced Techniques

Sept. 11




Advanced Techniques:

Online Event Planning


Online Event Planning

The Internet offers many opportunities for nonprofit organizations to successfully plan and promote events by implementing timesaving and money-saving options. The following guidelines are available to help your organization with online event planning.

Benefits of the Internet

The Internet offers several beneficial ways for nonprofits to contact members and organize events effectively. These include email mailing lists and online meeting spaces.

Sites like www.topica.com, www.egroups.com, and www.yahoo.com allow organizations to set up a free mailing list. Using mailing lists is a great way to keep in constant contact with all of the members of your committee.

Online meeting spaces like www.webex.com and www.ccimeet.com allow users to pay for a “conference” space online. These can be regular subscriptions that offer unlimited services, or they can be on a pay-per-use basis.

Pre-Event Preparation:

The key to any successful event lies in its preparation. It is in the preparation that the Internet can prove to be the most useful to nonprofit organizations. A great time and money saver is the use of e-invitations. E-invitations not only are easy to design and send, but the programs allow the sender to track who has received and responded to the invitations.

Useful Sites:

Tips for E-Invitations from E-Philanthropy Review:

  • Send out a couple of rounds of email—one as a save-to-date notice and one as a reminder just before the event. Evite and other services offer this “reminder” function.
  • Make sure every invite has all the details in it (who, what, when, where, why, RSVP information)
  • Make sure you offer a way for people to unsubscribe from your list.


Most Internet planned events do not actually occur online. For the actual event, close down your online registration or payment a few days before the event to allow time for processing of information, downloading databases and formatting information that registrants have submitted.

Post Event Evaluation

After you event has concluded, be sure to follow up with all participants and vendors via email to get their feedback and fix any problems that may have occured.

E-cards can be used to extend thanks and post event highlights.

Services, such as www.bluemountain.com, allow you to send cards or photographs free or cheaply.

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Copyright ©2003 Cathryn A. Outzen