How to Raise Funds & Collect Donations for your Academic Conference



Kick-starting an event involves a monetary influx from a host of sources including your internal fund pool as well as sponsors who may or may not be directly associated with your core value system. While such sponsors recognize equity in associating with your academic conference, it is the more focused source of donations that many event managers often fail to inspire in order to create an association with your academic conference.

In this article, we are going to touch upon useful and rewarding fundraising guidelines that can help you fully leverage not just sponsors and brand partners but the often ignored and tremendously useful stream of donations. Here’s how you can make donations an integral part of your conference corpus.

☑ #1 Identify & Lay Impetus on a Shared Cause
The basic premise of making a donation is not just making a donation, but a difference. Hence, you need to identify potential organizations or individuals who strongly believe in the cause that forms the focal point of your academic conference.

Let’s say you are ideating a conference around the issue of rural electrification in a country like India, you could elicit donations from non-profits or celebrities who have adopted villages and electrified them. The idea is to find individuals, businesses, television shows or any entity that relates to the underlying premise of your conference.

☑ #2 Recognize Businesses that have Pledged their Support to the Issue at Hand
Most businesses today, while being profit-making concerns, are also inspired to give back to society and make a change in the environment they operate in. Almost all business entities of significant monetary standing earmark a certain portion of their annual net profits to issues they are sensitive about.

It would greatly help for event managers to identify those businesses that strike a chord with topics of discussion at their event to pump in funds. In fact, should this be a yearly academic conference, you could establish a long-term funding association with such businesses and get them to donate on a monthly basis attuned to their yearly donation budget. Here’s how Dryfta can help with that.

☑ #3 Leverage the Reach of Social Media
Whether it is fundraising, event promotion or even an event launch, nothing is done right if it doesn’t include the social media angle. With the digital drive that has enveloped today’s business landscape, it is important for event managers to empower their fundraising efforts using social media.

Creating a dedicated event page and pinning the donations link at the top of this page ensures interested donors know where to look. Getting people to land on this page, however, necessitates that event managers employ necessary social media marketing tools such as content marketing, PPC marketing, and technical SEO.

☑ #4 Make Donation Easy
While large corporations have the manpower to channelize funds to your cause periodically, what you absolutely mustn’t ignore are donations from the common man. Here’s where you need to ensure your entire process of donation is digitized, simple and fast. There’s little penetration you are going to achieve if you limit the channels of donation. Reaching every potential donor on their mobile, laptop or e-wallet will help them donate at the click of a button.

Ensuring your donation ecosystem is inclusive of credit cards, bank transfers, e-wallets, and the good ol’ green bill help you not miss out on even one donation purely on the basis of restricted methods. Dryfta offers a great fundraising tool that pieces together all channels of donations in one interface. It also helps generate receipts or bills for the amount donated, thus validating the authenticity of the same and helping the donor from a tax perspective.

☑ #5 Systemize Donation Management
In order to collect, allocate, and tally your entire donation corpus, move towards a singular interface that helps systemize and digitize donation management. Dryfta is a one-of-a-kind event management software that helps you accept and replicate periodic donations at the click of a button. Your entire donation management ecosystem can be made accurate, error-free and paper-free with complete accountability and security with a good event management system that offers all this and more.

☑ #6 Throw Light on Fund Allocation
As Hank Rosso says, “Fundraising is the gentle art of teaching the joy of giving.” And this exercise completes a full circle when that joy culminates into the satisfaction of a job well done. It is important that as event managers and fundraisers, we acknowledge and fulfill the responsibility of making donors aware of how their funds are to be used.

From the perspective of academic events and conferences, communicating the implications and benefits of knowledge sharing, paper presentations & research in the domain of the conference, along with the ensuing economic, lifestyle and social improvements it may bring about is necessary. For example, should your academic conference circle around the all-important premise of the right to economical healthcare, throwing light on the below points may help people become donors:

☑ Speakers highlighting key issues hindering the access to healthcare
☑ Paper presentations on modernization in healthcare that pull costs down
☑ Breakthrough inventions in healthcare contest and cash award to register a patent and further the invention
☑ Brainstorming with leading pharmaceutical companies on minimizing the cost of critical medication

The idea is to instate that your academic conference aims to facilitate quantifiable, measurable and impactful results in the commonly shared cause by the event body, sponsors, donors and participants.

These useful tips can help academic event managers chart out a successful fundraising campaign exuding transparency and efficiency, powered by a stellar, well-rounded event management software that complements one another.