Q&A: Why we built our new ticketing & registration functionality

on July 18, 2018

When we rethought and rebuilt the new CrowdRise by GoFundMe platform, we did so with not only you, the nonprofit, in mind, but with your supporters in mind too.

That’s why we’re so excited to announce our new ticketing & registration functionality that we’ve completely redesigned from the ground up. With a focus on flexibility and registrant experience, we’re confident that we’re delivering the most incredible ticketing and registration capabilities on the planet.

We recently sat down with our very own Shea Sibula who has been heading up the release to talk about why we built our new ticketing & registration functionality, and why it’s such a game changer for nonprofits (and their supporters).InBlog_SheaWhat’s new with CrowdRise ticketing and registration, and how does it fit into the CrowdRise event platform?

Wow. So, so much is new. But, what’s really the most exciting is that this functionality was built around two ideas — the biggest being self-service. This new functionality puts our nonprofits in the driver’s seat. They can easily add and manage their ticketing and registration on any CrowdRise campaign at any time and on any type of device.

Also, the supporters signing up to join an event don’t do this for a living, so it was important that this functionality hinged upon the registrant experience. The process has to be intuitive, simple, beautiful, and full of strategic social sharing capabilities to make the most out of their event registration.  

The next big idea was that we wanted this feature to support any type of activity, from simple RSVPs to complex registration capabilities that include selling merchandise, acquiring tee shirt sizes, etc. It’s really meant to work with any type of event you can imagine.

Who will get to take advantage of these new ticketing and registration features?

There are new registration and ticketing features that are available for everyone — nonprofits, no matter which plan you are on, and even for supporters.

Our Starter nonprofit customers will have access to our core set of event platform tools, such PDF tickets, taxability toggles, and confirmation emails, while our Premium and Enterprise nonprofit customers will have access to our most robust features. This includes an unlimited amount of tickets, custom questions on your forms, custom confirmation emails, and plenty more features to come in the future to help your nonprofit run the exact event you are looking to execute.InBlog_Checkout_v2

Why is self-service such an important part of the ticketing and registration release?

So, in the past when you wanted to add ticketing and registration capabilities to your events, you had to heavily rely on the CrowdRise service and success team to make it all happen. Not only did you have to wait for someone to do something for you, but you couldn’t fully control every aspect of the experience.

We know that control and flexibility are paramount in the eyes of our nonprofit customers, so being able to do everything from start to finish when it comes to ticketing and registration was a really important milestone for us.

Now you can run everything from the most simple to the most sophisticated campaign, all with an ‘anytime, anywhere’ mentality. Want to run a basic campaign and just have people register to attend? Done. Want to run a more complex campaign where you can buy an optional parking pass, note what size tee shirt you want, and buy a hat for an extra cost? Done.

By simply switching features on or off for each ticket type, CrowdRise nonprofits can now build a registration experience that fits their exact event specifications.

You’ve described this as “fundraising first” registration and ticketing. What does this mean and what’s the idea behind it?

Yeah, so we’re really excited about this. And I mean really. So, for so many registration and ticketing solutions out there, fundraising is an afterthought. Meaning typically the option to fundraise for the event is buried at the end of the registration flow, or maybe even in a follow-up email that a participant might never read or notice.

This pretty much leads to a terrible fundraising conversion, and it simply was not working for us in terms of the way the world is moving. So we knew when we set out to completely overhaul the ticketing and registration functionality, it had to be built on the foundation of fundraising first.

Now we have the most thoughtfully integrated registration and fundraising solution on the market. Supporters can create their own personal fundraiser at the same time that they’re registering for an event and buying merchandise to support that event — all within a single transaction. Buyers can even create fundraising campaigns on behalf of teammates they’re registering. How awesome is that?

The seamless fundraising integration makes the idea of fundraising front and center for your supporter, making it easy to get started as they’re registering for your event.

InBlog_Feature_AddToCart_v4So, it sounds like there are so many great new features. Which is your fave?

I’m really excited about our new group registration feature. It makes registering for an event as a group (like teams or families, for example) super easy. It’s ideal for events like golf outings or bowl-a-thons — basically any event where you’d want the ease of breaking up into groups.

You can appoint someone a team captain and they can register their entire group, give information on all the participants, reserve a tee time or lane for the event, and create individual fundraisers for each team member.

You can use this functionality when you’re hosting a dinner or gala, too. Simply set a minimum or maximum number of participants per table, and sponsors can RSVP for all of their table guests, as well as pick if they want fish, chicken, or the veggie lasagna for dinner.

Having a fundraising platform that is mobile responsive is so important. How will ticketing and registration work for mobile users?

We know that, so much of the time, nonprofit organizers are out in the field. They’re organizing and attending events, talking to volunteers, meeting with constituents, etc. They are constantly on the go. So, providing a solution that’s as mobile friendly for them as it is for their supporters was crucial.

With our newly optimized mobile-responsive platform, charity organizers can build, edit, and manage their entire registration and ticketing campaign directly from their phone. You’re able to register participants in real-time at community events, accept at-the-door ticket purchases, or even collect registrations for next year’s 5K at the finish line.

It even goes further in that supporters who are creating their own fundraisers are able to update their friends and family, edit their profile, add pictures in real-time, all from the ease of their mobile phone.  InBlog_Mobile_v2

We talk a lot about the value of a share, and how powerful social fundraising can be. How are we working social fundraising into the ticketing and registration process?

CrowdRise is the leader in social fundraising, and social sharing has always been deeply embedded within our fundraising experience. With our new registration and ticketing functionality, supporters will have the ability to share their actions at pivotal times within their experience.

And this doesn’t always mean they are setting up fundraisers for your event and sharing those with their network. This means that, even if you’re just selling tickets to an event, with our baked in Social Amp™ functionality, your supporter will be guided down a strategic path of social sharing so that anyone interacting with your event will have the opportunity to share with the world why they love your cause.

What does the future look like for registration and ticketing on CrowdRise by GoFundMe?

It’s definitely an exciting time at CrowdRise. We are planning to steadily add even more features to the ticketing and registration functionality over the next several months to provide an even more comprehensive product with a higher level of flexibility for our customers.

For example, we’re currently working on an in-registration donation tool that will allow supporters to make additional contributions during checkout — all within a single transaction. That is a huge game changer for conversion. Plus, nonprofits will have the ability to pre-set suggested donation amounts to push further past their fundraising goals, and we'll be integrating our powerful, robust fundraising minimum functionality.

We are basically looking to add on features that will continue to provide the most integrated and well thought out donate-during-checkout experience out there.


Thanks so much Shea. The new ticketing and registration functionality is really awesome and definitely a game changer for our nonprofit partners. We’re just as excited as you that we are able to deliver such an incredible product. Can’t wait to see what’s next on the product update list.

Ready to get started with our new ticketing and registration functionality?New call-to-actionNew call-to-action

Gary Wohlfeill

Gary Wohlfeill is the Director of Marketing at CrowdRise. He works with partners to develop highly engaging fundraising campaigns, and leads the marketing team in developing the CrowdRise brand. Gary has been named as having the “3rd best haircut of people under 6 feet tall at CrowdRise" and hopes one day to slip to 4th.