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QR codes: How to utilize them before, during, and after your fundraising event

  • March 25, 2021
Group of Candid staff and partners walking around inside a library

If your organization hasn’t utilized QR codes yet, now is a good time to start. With so much of today’s world going virtual, it’s more important than ever for nonprofits to keep up with all of the modern technological tools that are out there. And one of these tools is the QR code.

In this blog, we will give you a few quick suggestions to get your organization started with QR codes if needed. We will also offer some creative suggestions on how to use these QR codes to raise funds before, during, and after your fundraising events.

Getting started with QR codes

For those who are brand new to this tool, a QR code (or quick response code) is a code that is quickly readable by a cell phone. It’s an excellent tool that allows users to instantly access specific information — such as a fundraising event!

If you are looking to get started, here are a few of the top QR Code Generators that we recommend:

It’s time to get creative

Now that we know the basics of QR codes and some of the websites that can help you create them, it’s time to creatively utilize this fun little tool! Our focus here is how to use them for your next fundraising event. We broke these tips down into before, during, and after the event to help you map out a plan.

Note: Most of these tips are related to in-person events. Depending on the area that you live in, it may not be safe to do so yet at the time of this reading. Please be sure to check on local regulations related to if, when, and how you can hold such events.

Before the event: Add them to your posters and flyers

Let’s say you are planning to hold an auction item-preview party of some kind or, if you even if you aren’t, this might be an enticing way to tease your auction items on event flyers around town, ahead of your event. Create posters with the item description and a QR code that lead users to an informative video about the item. In our experience, we have found it much more effective when there is a story behind the item (or a celebrity who can talk about the item).

Before the event: Save-the-dates

Use QR codes in your save-the-dates to allow your guests to view a short video about your organization. As we mentioned earlier, it always helps to tell a story, especially when it comes to the efforts related to your organization. You might also consider sending your guests to an introduction or welcome video enticing them to attend your event, a donation page, a raffle, or a registration page.

Before the event: Create pre-event hype

Create flyers with the QR code that will lead people to the auction site or an electronic save-the-date. Place the flyers around town at popular cafes, restaurants, and other heavily populated areas.

Before and during the event: Sponsorship incentives

Use the QR codes as a value-added to your sponsor packages. Let your potential sponsors know that included in the package is a 30-second commercial (which they can submit). Not only will the video be aired running up to the event on your social media and website, but these QR codes linking to the commercials will be visible during your cocktail hour on table placards with the company’s logo. You can add further value by letting them know that their QR codes will be included on promotional event posters and flyers which will be distributed around town.

Bonus tip: Let your sponsors know the earlier you receive their commercials, the more run time and exposure they will receive leading up to your event. This will give you content to run to create a buzz about your upcoming event.

During the event: Create a scavenger hunt

Various auction items at your in-person event can have QR codes as a part of this fun game. When someone finds one of these items during the auction, they will solve a puzzle for a prize. This can also be done on a virtual auction. This activity encourages your guests to meander the auction items and hopefully place bids!

During and after the event: Use them during your open ask

Use QR codes to send your guests directly to a donation page. Guests can of course access the donation page through the QR code when the event is over as well. It’s a quick and easy way to get your patrons in the best position to donate to your cause!

Bonus tip: Download our QR Code Instructions to have available to your patrons if they are not familiar with how to use a QR Code.

As always, if you need further assistance with your QR codes, please contact us today. Our staff is ready to help make your next fundraising event a success. As always, thanks for reading, and stay safe!

This article was written by the fundraising experts at the American Fundraising Foundation (AmFund). Each year, AmFund carefully chooses organizations to support through sponsorship of events, year-end grant distribution of financial support, virtual silent auctions, and other programs to raise much-needed unrestricted funds for the important mission of those organizations. AmFund is recognized with the GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency and since 1999 has donated more than $36 million for worthy causes.

This post was originally published on the AmFund blog.


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