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Pros and Cons of Special Event Web Sites

Special Events, Software, and Committee Confusion

I could see by the focused look on everyone’s face that this special event meeting was a serious one!

Soon, the cause was evident: The committee thought they wanted a “website” when they meant “transaction page,” which is where supporters register, buy tickets, donate, and sponsor.

Today’s blog is intended to make this conversation easier so you can raise more money and reduce your committee’s stress level!

Click here to receive a pdf with links to other organizations’ special events so you can see examples and have in-depth information.


I recommend including this page as part of your existing website if you’re raising money each year for the same organization. This means your events pages are listed among other pages on your organization’s legacy web site.

If you decide to buy a new URL for your special event, include the cost of design, set up, and maintenance in your budget.


The special event information page includes the who, what, when, where, why, and how. This is the site where people (like me) go when they can’t remember what time the event starts or how much tickets cost.

I recommend that your special event information page…

  • lets your supporters download a pdf of your invitation,  sponsorship information, and auction item donor form.
  • includes sponsor names (be sure this is clean and not overpowering)
  • looks and feels like your printed materials.


An event transaction page allows you to register, buy tickets, pay for tables, become a sponsor, or donate. These web forms are pre-built with one simple function in mind: a financial transaction.

But you may not want to stop here! As you add an online auction or raise money in the name of a dancing star, runner, team, etc., you will add functionality and additional transaction pages.

Grow Major Donor Fundraising through Special Events!

Tips for Choosing Web-based Transaction Software

Recently, I discovered a site that allows you to filter through almost 500 event management options. (Yikes!)

Before you take the first step, decide how you want to raise money online, and then look for software to meet your specific needs.

The ideal software…

  • is easy for donors to use on both their laptop and phone.
  • is compatible with existing donor software or can be easily imported. (Failing to capture donor data impacts event growth year over year.)
  • will seamlessly link back to your event information page.
  • includes functional social media links
  • is packaged. Avoid building a transaction site from scratch.
  • doesn’t break the bank: Ask about fees and add-on costs.

Last week, I met with a local volunteer whose organization now uses three distinct software programs to manage various events. Frustrated, she said, “They’re using Excel.”

The takeaway is this: Assess the software you’re using today and prioritize any new programs based on how well they work with what you’ve got. Involve staff in your decisions. They know best.

Otherwise, you’ll spend money, go through training, and end up using Excel. I see it every day, and I’ve done it myself.

Want a professional perspective on your project? Contact Phoenicia.

Watch a sample of her work here!

Discover more simple, experience-based fundraising tips, by Clicking Here.

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