Events Fundraising

9 Steps for Hosting your Next Charity Event

Hosting a charity event is a great way to celebrate your organization. With 56% of donors worldwide attending events regularly, not only do events raise awareness about your cause, but they are super effective to raise money. It’s also an opportunity to bring your donors, board members and volunteers together while inviting others to join your community!

Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to throwing your best event yet.

1) Establish the event goal

“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” —Zig Ziglar

To start, you need to set a goal for the amount of money you want to raise. Base it on what your organization is trying to accomplish in the future and how much you will need for your projects. Your goal should not only be about creating revenue. Your event is a great opportunity to build stronger relationships with everyone who contributes to your organization and to raise more awareness about your mission.

Think of it as a party celebrating all you have accomplished and what you are looking to do in the future. Write out your goals and employ them throughout the process of organizing the event. For instance, use them to emphasize the importance of your event when marketing it. An example of this could be:

Help us reach our goal of raising $100 000, so that we can double the number of meals we provide in 2020.

2) Make a budget

Once you’ve decided on a goal, outline how you are going to spend money to make it happen. To do so, you’ll need to set a budget and stick to it. To help you set the budget, identify what might limit your spending. It could be the amount of man power you have to organize the event, the venue you choose or the amount of people you estimate will attend.

Our tip: set your budget about 30% higher than what you think you will pay, because unexpected costs may come up!

The costs should include:

  • Venue
  • Catering
  • Vendors
  • Entertainment
  • Marketing
  • Decorations

Our tip: You can cut costs by using fundraising activities as your entertainment. Get creative with ideas that will have attendees entertained, and giving at the same time! For example, instead of hiring a band, you could have a live auction.

By using Simplyk’s ticketing, 100% of what attendees pay goes directly to your organization, we don’t take a cut or charge a fee. You’ll save on ticketing and transaction fees by using our platform.

Right now, it is difficult to know the future of in-person events due to the pandemic. That’s why it’s great to plan your event online. Learn more here about how to plan a virtual event!

3) Find sponsors

Boost interest for your charity event with sponsors. They can donate money or merchandise to help make your event a success! Who to reach out to for sponsorships:

  • Local businesses
  • Those with ties to the organization
  • Supporters of your cause
  • Companies offering something interesting for the event

Our tip: Always make sure to research that the company you choose to approach aligns with your values and mission. Your partnership should be purposeful, meaning you both strongly support each other’s mission and want to work together to further it. For example, if an organization works on research to end juvenile diabetes, they could look to partner with healthy food retailers.

What’s in it for them?

Companies will want a return on their investment, so craft a sales email explaining that supporting your organization is not only about getting visibility, but contributing to a cause that touches the community. Engaging in social responsibility is important to companies’ customers, creating good culture and attracting future employees. This is especially true for millennials as 81% expect the companies they support to have good social practices within their community (Forbes). The value your organization can bring is abundant and you need to demonstrate this! Outline it in your sales email by explaining how you can partner to:

  • Create volunteer opportunities for employees
  • Develop or add to their corporate social responsibility portfolio
  • Build sponsorships
  • Attract consumers
  • Attract top job candidates
  • Create networking opportunities

Create sponsorship packages

You should set up sponsorship packages, depending on what you need for the event. They should list what you are offering in exchange for the sponsorship gift. If you need cash sponsorships, create a package outline offering perks like: the sponsor’s logo on all event advertising, VIP tickets to the event, one piece of their marketing distributed to each guest. Set a price for each package. The more advertising and perks it contains, the larger the sponsorship amount must be.

Sponsorships don’t need to be made uniquely through monetary contributions. Similar packages can be made for in-kind sponsorships, meaning contributions in services or merchandise. These types of sponsorships can be especially helpful because they allow you to save on expenses. They can be:

  • Entertainment
  • Printing and distribution for advertising the event
  • Complimentary or discounted stays at hotels near the event
  • Electronic equipment for during the event
  • Catering

Identify items or services you’ll need to spend on. Then, select the companies you could get them from as sponsors to decrease your costs.

4) Choose your target audience and a theme

Before you choose what your event will be, you need to decide who you want to target as guests. Use your goal and budget for the event to guide you. 

What was your goal for the event? Decide who you need in order to reach your goal. This is the group you want to have at your event. In 2017, Canadians 65 and older represented 42%  of the country’s total donations, and also had the highest total donation amount per year (Statistics Canada). In the case that you are aiming to raise a lot of money, this may be the group that you want to target. If you have a different type of goal, for example attracting younger supporters in a new area, your audience might be young professionals in that area. 

If you have a lot of supporters, you can choose to target a different segment of them for each event you host. For example, you can host a golf tournament for your donors that are 50+ and a bar crawl for student donors. 

Make sure your target matches up with your budget. Using your current donation data, estimate the average donation you will receive from your target audience. Multiply it by the number of guests you plan on having. The total needs to match all of your expenses plus the amount you want to raise. If it comes out to more, that’s even better.

Now that you have your target, you can choose your theme. Use the intended guests to decide on the theme. Send them a survey about the type of event they would be interested in, or call the most important donors directly. Compile the ideas and make a decision with your staff, including your board.

5) Choose a date and venue

Once you have chosen your theme, you are going to need a venue and a date. What you should consider when choosing the venue:

  • Size and layout
  • Cost
  • Accessibility (for parking and public transport)
  • Amenities (lighting, sound, wifi, etc)
  • Licensing (alcohol, sales, lotteries)

Once you have found the venue that responds to all these needs, you can choose a date. It will depend on the availability of the venue, so part of the decision will be made for you. Make sure the date works for your guests. Don’t make it a weeknight, around holidays and other major events.

6) Set up your ticketing

Choose an online ticketing platform that fits your needs. With Simplyk, ticketing is simple and easy for you and your donor. Simplyk is completely free, which is great because we recommend you use a ticketing software that allows you to cut your costs. You should also choose a platform that has an automated communication system with guests, which Simplyk has too. This should include automatic tax receipts, scannable tickets and reminders so that you don’t have to spend time managing that.

Ticketing - Simplyk
Easily customize your ticketing needs with Simplyk.

7) Marketing your event

Marketing your event is crucial, because you want to get the word out to donors and possible attendees. Put in place a marketing strategy by focusing on:

  • Branding your event
  • Creating a social media campaign
  • Local advertising
  • Emailing

Create a brand around your event. Give it a catchy name, create a logo and incorporate your theme. Use a particular colour palette, font and a few images that represent it well.

charity event
Toronto Dance Community’s marketing for their event.

In 2018, 43% of people participated in charitable events because they heard about it on social media (Nonprofit Source). Use the material you created in branding to make social media posts and event posters. Be sure to post on all social media platforms, by scheduling frequent posts leading up to the date. Create material suited for instagram, facebook and more so that guests can share with their followers and you can leverage your community to get the word out!

Approach local businesses to display your posters. Although online advertising is great, your audience might respond more to learning about your event while out at their local coffee shop, library, restaurant and more.
Email remains one of the best communication tools you have with your donors. Create great campaigns for your events on email applications like MailChimp. Schedule initial emails explaining your event and showing off your branding along with follow ups, reminders and post event updates. It is also helpful to use a CRM to track how your emails are being received, the responses and more. Simplyk’s ticketing service integrates easily with any emailing application and CRM and will help make your email campaigns even easier!

8) Prepare for challenges

Things will go wrong at some point during your planning or even at the event. Expect a few bumps in the road so that you can prepare. When you find yourself in these situations, make sure to stick with what you know how to do to resolve the issue. Taking a risk may not be the best option. Be sure to clearly communicate with your donors if anything does come up.

Here are some things you should look out for:

  • Low ticket sales or overspending on budget
  • Being understaffed 
  • Lacking time

Handling budget issues

Low ticket sales and going over budget may be some of your biggest fears for the event. You’ll have to prevent this by planning well early on. Be extremely modest when spending, especially early in the planning process. Avoid making any changes to the event that will be costly. Make sure to drive ticket sales early on. You can create an ‘early bird’ special ticket price, giving those who buy early a discounted rate. It will need to be significantly lower than the regular ticket amount to incentivize your guests to make the decision right away, but not too low that it won’t create enough revenue for your mission. You can also reach out to those who have attended your events in the past, inviting them directly.

Make sure to really target your 100 most devoted supporters. When tickets go on sale, send them each a personal message or even better, give them a call. Use messaging like:

We are really looking forward to seeing you at the event.

We need your support to make this a hit!

Once tickets begin to sell, more and more people will want to attend through word of mouth. In your budget, underestimate the amount donors will give. If you end up receiving more than expected, it will be a nice surprise.   

Dealing with lack of staff

You don’t want to end up missing staff the day of the event. To prevent this, make sure you talk to all actors you are working with and know exactly what they need. For example, speak to those in charge of monitoring entrance. Have them tell you in detail what needs to be done and establish exactly how many people need to be working if the maximum amount of attendees show up. Make sure you do the same with all other groups involved, whether it’s the caterer, entertainment, security, setup crew and more. Have people on call, just in case.

Going off schedule

Whether it’s in the lead up or during the event, time is important! You don’t want to run out when organizing your event. You also don’t want to go off-schedule during it. Again, you need to prepare for this beforehand. Write out a detailed timeline months before the event, describing when you will take care of each of the steps listed above. Share this with everyone involved in organizing. Do the same to make a schedule for the event and make sure it is respected. A few minutes late after each part of the event can lead to it running way over time!

9) Follow-up after the event

Once the event is over you can finally take a breath. Congrats! Your work is almost done. Be sure to follow-up and send thank you’s to everyone who contributed to making it a success. This means all your attendees, volunteers, sponsors and staff. Attach pictures and a brief recap of how it went. Post on social media and include all the fun activities, reactions and pictures. And of course, don’t forget to celebrate how much was raised and how it will go to furthering your mission.

Looking for an amazing platform for your ticketing and registration needs? Simplyk offers free ticketing for your events, including features like customizable tickets, automated tax receipts, e-tickets, guest management and more. Learn about it by visiting

How to host a successful peer-to-peer campaign

Get your supporters involved in fundraising for your mission and increase your organization’s budget by creating a great peer-to-peer campaign. 

Peer-to-peer fundraising allows individuals to raise money online for a cause they love, by participating individually or in a group. They become champions of your cause and fundraisers for your organization! Each individual reaches out to their social network to get support, maximizing your organization’s total visibility.

So, why are peer-to-peer campaigns so successful? It’s because people are four times more likely to donate if they have been encouraged to do so by someone they know (Sanders & Smith).

The main steps to creating a successful peer-peer campaign are:

  • Setting your goal
  • Choosing the activity
  • Identifying fundraisers 
  • Using a simple campaign model
  • Providing a toolbox for communication

Set the goal for you and for the fundraisers

Before setting up your campaign, you need to clearly define what you are trying to achieve. Whether it is for a specific project, or to fund the regular activity of your organization, you will need to set a specific amount that you want to raise. Once it’s set, verify that it’s realistic. You can do this by estimating:

  1. The number of potential fundraisers you have
  2. How many person they can reach in their network
  3. How much you think each one will donate

The target you share should be equal to or above your real goal, so that your teams believe they can attain the goal and stay motivated. You want each team to reach the goal and then go even further!

For example :

  1. I can get 50 fundraisers as I have a team of 100 super involved people in my charity network
  2. They will bring in 25 donations each
  3. The average donation is 100$

This means $2500 will be raised per campaign and a total of $125 000 for your charity. Having made this estimation, be conservative and share a total goal of $100 000 for the total campaign and $2000 for each individual campaign.

Next, you’ll need to create your campaign page. With Simplyk you can easily set up peer-to-peer campaigns. Customize the goal, the donation options and the description of your campaign. Your supporters will be able to create teams in minutes and you won’t be charged anything as the platform is 100% free.

Choose an activity for the campaign

As an organization, you can add an activity that will get participants excited to join. The different possibilities are endless. It can be:

  • Sport based: Run, Walk, Bike, swim and more! Donors pledge a certain amount depending how much of the activity the participant does. 
  • “Extreme activities” such as cold water plunges and shaving heads. 
  • Lifestyle habits. For example limiting alcoohol during a month, or producing zero waste.

Don’t be afraid to ask your members! Send out a survey with different activity options and leave a space for suggestions. Your future fundraisers will feel like they are part of the process and the activity will be personalized to your community’s interests.

Once you have these results, you can go with the option that was most popular. If you consider original suggestions, keep in mind that you want to make the event as accessible as possible, so consider if the activity is right for your entire community. 

If you can, choose an activity that is closely tied to the cause. This will make people more inclined to participate and donate. For example, an organization supporting cancer research may have a campaign to raise money by cutting hair and creating wigs for patients. The close connection between the activity and the cause will touch supporters and motivate fundraisers and donors.

Identify fundraisers

Next, you will need to identify who will be promoting your cause. You are not just trying to get donors. Each person fundraising for your mission will raise hundreds or even thousands of dollars. You want your most enthusiastic supporters to join the fundraising campaign and get excited about it.  Get fundraisers by:

  • Asking your board members
  • Targeting your key supporters
  • Asking each major donor individually
  • Encouraging and championing your fundraisers
  • Marketing the campaign in all your channels

Make sure you actually ask your supporters to register for the activity and fundraise, rather than simply mentioning the campaign. You need to be direct and to the point. You are asking your supporters who have already donated, to do even more. Reach out to your 100 most active supporters individually. Use messaging like:

“Our mission would not be possible without you. And now you can help us do even more!”

“We have a new tool that can amplify your impact.”

“A new way to support our cause!”

Convincing your supporters will take more than just emailing. You must specifically call them and let them know how valuable they truly are to your cause. Let them know they are part of the process by asking them for their input about the campaign. Creating a sense of collaboration will improve your campaign and broaden your relationship with your community. 

Then, use additional methods like social media and your website to encourage others to register and fundraise. You can also target larger actors that have been supporters in the past, or that you hope will support you now. This could include groups of employees, sports teams, students and more. Also, don’t forget to ask each member of your board to participate.

Make it simple

Once people have registered to participate, be sure to follow-up about how they can set up their own campaign. Send them a short and clear explanation about how they can create it. The images below are helpful to explain! 

Using Simplyk, participants can easily register for events and set up their fundraising page directly through the main campaign. Their fundraising page can be set up as an individual or team in less than 2 minutes. By clicking on fundraise, participants can set up their personalized campaign.

peer-to-peer campaign
peer-to-peer campaign fundraise

Be sure to provide copy describing the event and your cause, which participants can use on their own page. You should encourage them to personalize it, but giving guidance on points they should include will help make better and more consistent campaigns.

Provide a fundraising toolkit

Your supporters will be super enthusiastic about fundraising for your cause, but that doesn’t mean that they will know how to. They need to put effort into the campaign and for some, go outside of their comfort zone by asking their network to contribute. Share your expertise in fundraising so that their campaigns can be successful. You can do so by providing fundraising toolkit to help guide them through the process.

  • Remind them of the organization’s mission. When they have the cause fresh in their mind, they will better convey it to others.
  • Encourage them to explain why they are participating and why the cause is so important to them.
  • Provide various campaign posters, email templates and team portraits that they can share on their platforms. Get inspired by these examples:
  • Suggest they set a reasonable goal. The more realistic it is, the more motivated they will be.
  • Encourage them to post updates about their progress on social media. When they share the success they are having, those around them will be more inclined to donate.
  • Plan a meeting or video call for all of them together so they can ask questions or share any ideas.

This infographic provides great summary of the tips they need to make the most impact with their campaign.

Once you set these steps into motion, you will be on your way to having a successful peer-to-peer campaign, and your cause will reach even more people!

Simplyk can provide the tools you need to set up your campaign, for free! Visit or contact us with any questions at

Donations Fundraising

Charitable Lottery Regulations in Ontario

Ontario has its own criteria for hosting a legal lottery as a charitable organization. At Simplyk, we strive to make your work simpler. We’ve broken down Ontario’s regulations for you and explained some of the trickier parts. If you are looking to raise money through a lottery, raffle 50/50 draw or other game, you will need to follow the regulations imposed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). Here’s what’s important to consider when looking at the charitable lottery regulations in Ontario.

*We try to keep this information up to date, but we recommend you consult the AGCO guidelines when you begin organizing your lottery. Find the list of regulations and requirements on their website.

Request a License

You should request a license if your games are:

  • Bingo events with total prizes over $5,500
  • Raffle lotteries with prizes over $50,000
  • Electronic raffles
    • A raffle is ‘electronic’ when there is use of computers to sell tickets, draw winners and distribute the prizes.
  • Lotteries held with other games, or at fairs and exhibitions
  • Other criteria include raffles, 50/50 draws and more

Smaller prized lotteries only require a municipal license. Yet, if the raffle is electronic, you must be licensed through AGCO, no matter the total value of the prizes.

Lottery License Fees

Raffle licensing fees are a maximum of 3% of the total value of the prizes. They must be paid to the AGCO when submitting the application.


Send your application a minimum of 45 days before the beginning of ticket sales if you are a first time applicant. You can send it 30 days in advance if you have applied before.


Pre-requisites for consideration:

  • Organizations must have been in existence for at least one year.
  • The organization must have a place of business in Ontario and its purpose must serve the province of Ontario.

You are eligible for a license if you are considered charitable by law. You must also respond to a minimum of one of the following elements:

  • the relief of poverty;
  • the advancement of education;
  • the advancement of religion;
  • other charitable purposes beneficial to the community.

Important aspects for charitable lottery regulations in Ontario

  • Follow the licensing policy manual to be in accordance with the AGCO’s lottery.
  • The AGCO suggests gaming suppliers to assist organizations in setting up the draw and selling their tickets. However, other online platforms, like Simplyk, may be better suited for your needs, because it’s completely free and easy to use.
  • The seller and buyer of the raffle tickets must both be physically located in Ontario during the sale. You can state this in the rules of your lottery.
  • The organization must have at least two members responsible for the lottery. They are responsible for preparing all documentation for the license and representing the organization to the AGCO.
  • You must create a list of rules that are consistent with the terms and conditions for a raffle. It needs to be approved by AGCO and available to participants of the draw.
  • The lottery license number must be on all advertisements for the raffle.

Forms to register for a lottery license

Complete the forms provided by the AGCO to apply for a license. You will also need to attach documents with general information about the organization: patents, budget, financial status and sample ticket.

Use this template to create your own:

ticket - charitable lottery regulations
ticket 2 - charitable lottery regulations

You must provide a detailed description of the project for which the proceeds of the lottery will be benefitting, along with its budget.

The application must demonstrate that the total value of the prizes is equal to or greater than 20% of the gross proceeds from the sale of all tickets.

You must provide a financial guarantee if the total value of the prizes is above $10,000. It could be a letter of credit.

What to submit after receiving lottery license

When receiving your license, there are several documents you need to submit about the outcome of the lottery. They must include a verified financial statement with the details of the lottery. You can find the list of documents in the AGCO raffle license terms and conditions. The different documents have varying dates of submission.

At Simplyk, we can help you host a lottery for your charity using our free ticketing service and many other features. Feel free to send us any questions you may have at !

COVID-19 Fundraising

When and how should you start a post COVID-19 donation campaign?

Starting a fundraising campaign can be tricky in normal circumstances, let alone doing it during a pandemic. Here are ways you can launch a successful campaign right now.

Following the COVID-19 crisis, most organizations put a pause on their fundraising campaigns, and rightfully so. During those first weeks of crisis, all donations went to supporting front-line organizations that directly help those affected by the pandemic, such as:

Now what about the second line?

You may not be working directly with people affected by the coronavirus, but it will likely still have a significant impact on your organisation. Between cancelled fundraising events, suspended sponsorships, and services you can’t offer, you need support and your supporters understand this! Here are examples of second line organizations that have recently launched fundraising campaigns to survive the crisis:

  • Thesez-vous, an NPO that supports doctoral students and had to suspend its activities, launches its Quaran-thèse campaign.
  • The Art Souterrain festival suffered great losses as its festival ended in mid-March. They need donations to ensure their survival.

If your survival, or the continuity of your operations in the future, becomes an issue due to the crisis, you can now appeal to the generosity of your donors.

What’s good practice for a post COVID-19 campaign?

Once you’ve made the decision to look for support, consider these two tips to create a successful campaign:

  • Your donors are under financial pressure right now, and don’t want to give their money away without understanding why it’s needed. Explain in depth why you are making a donation campaign, and be specific about where the donations will go.
  • Remember to communicate that you know that some of your donors are in a difficult financial situation and will not be able to donate. Include this in the message of your donation campaign.
You can launch a donation campaign in 5 minutes on We don’t charge any fees, not even credit card fees! If you use another platform, we will still be happy to advise you. Contact us at
COVID-19 Donations Events Fundraising

Virtual fundraising and social distancing – a guide

Your organization needs donations, even during COVID-19. Here’s how you can do it fundraise virtually.

With fundraisers and activities cancelled by the pandemic, it’s time to be innovative to make up for missing funds.

Donors still understand that your work is important, especially during a time of crisis. This article presents ideas for virtual fundraising events, with suggestions for the right technology and partnerships, to ensure that your fundraiser is a hit!

1) Remote Dinners

This option is proving popular, with many organizations such as Parkinson Quebec launching remote dinner events. Here are our tips for making sure your virtual dinner is a real success:

Using basic technologies

The most frequent choice is to use a video conference solution such as Zoom, with a ticket office for NPOs such as Simplyk (a free ticketing platform). Eventbrite or Paypal can also be used if you are indifferent to fees. The direct connection is easy to set up, so that each participant is registered for dinner on Zoom as soon as they have registered on Simplyk!

Who’s cooking?

Once you’ve decided on the theme of dinner, here are four innovative ideas to make your donors feel invited to dinner:

  • Ask someone to do a cooking class. Why not a guest chef?
  • Send standard boxes ready to cook. The ingredients and recipes are already in the box, and you can partner with Quebec companies like Cook-it or GoodFood.
  • Team up with a local restaurant that delivers. We know that local businesses have been massively impacted, so they’ll be happy to participate and be valued.

If it is the participants who are cooking, a competition might be the motivation they need!

Simplyk used to share offices with the Quebec meal delivery kit, Cookit. Contact us and we can put you in touch with them!

Propose a Zoom call, with a theme and dress code

It is very easy to provide a background for participants. With zoom, you can even send images to participants so that they choose the one they prefer. (Zoom fund ideas here)

zoom virtual fundraising event

If you combine this with a dress code, your participants will feel like they are all together at an event!


  • Small breakout rooms can be organized in Zoom, so that your participants can network in subgroups.
  • Many artists, especially those from the radio could be willing perform.
  • Involve your board, your volunteers and all of your collaborators! You can join an auction! (see example 3)

Any other ideas? Write to to share them! She’s our specialist. To start, create an account on

2) Sporting events

Obviously it is difficult to organize a race or a walk during this time, but rest assured, there are solutions! It’s still possible for all of your donors to walk, run or exercise at home!

The application Strava allows everyone to track their activities, such as distance travelled on by walking, running or biking, the time spent doing yoga, or even the workouts completed. Set up a Club on Strava in just a few minutes to gather your donors and launch challenges.

Strava virtual fundraising event

With Simplyk, each participant can make a virtual fundraising campaign with a donation objective and an exercise goal too! It is 100% free of charge and easy to set up.

Questions about this? Contact the sports events expert or create an account at

3) Auctions and how to organize them

There are two innovative solutions for remote auctions which ensure that 100% of the donations come back to you at the end, giving you another option for virtual fundraising.

The first is to make an auction where each person raises the bids on Zoom. At the end you put the final price into your Simplyk ticket office and the winning bidder pays online! You can also use online auction platforms if you are ready to take on large fees.

Dwight Schrute of The Office, after mistaking an auction for The Price is Right

The second is to make a silent auction off of goods donated! This will require a bit of work in adapting the number of donations to be auctioned and their value, but here is the idea:

You present an object with emotional or artistic value, and each person makes the donation of their choice to the organization. The person who makes the largest donation receives the object, and the others receive tax receipts!

Your donors will enjoy the game, but are there primarily to support you.

Any questions about this? Contact the auction expert or create an account at

4) Other ideas!

  • Organize free activities and propose that donors support you with a voluntary or suggested contribution. The results are always impressive!
  • Organize a fake radio show with a real presenter.
  • Have a board game evening on
  • Organize a virtual fundraising garage sale. Each of your donors sell stuff they no longer need on Facebook or on Kijiji, and profits goes to the organization! (Be sure to remind your donors to respect social distancing guidelines when delivering the sold items.)

5) Cultural organizations

Many museums and theatres use Simplyk, and sometimes feel that, because they are not on the front line, they shouldn’t ask for donations. Yet, more than ever, art and culture are missing from our confined lives, and your donors and members are still out there.

Here are some actions implemented by organizations:

  • The Théâtre la Bordée offered a live facebook performance
  • A museum will offer donors dinner that includes a presentation of photos of works of art.
  • Another theatre is launching a podcast.
  • Finally, a museum will share archive images.

If you have financial needs, we suggest that you ask donors to make a contribution. You will be amazed by their generosity. Why? Because you offer quality 🙂

If your organization is in the cultural sector, don’t be afraid to offer voluntary contributions when you offer quality content.
Remember that your donors pay for Netflix etc … they will be ready to pay for your quality content.

Any questions?

You can create your campaigns in 5 minutes with Simplyk. It’s 100% free, meaning that all the donations you collect really go to your mission!

Contact us at !

Creating a successful lottery for your organization

A fresh way to get more people involved in your mission, and more funding to grow your  impact. Raffles and lotteries are super attractive, but with regulations and logistics, they can seem challenging to set up. Here is a guide for you!

With so many great organizations in Canada looking to stand out, it’s important to create new ways to engage with your donors. This means using interactive and fun fundraising! Although charitable lotteries are nothing new, they are a great way to attract donors and increase revenue to grow your impact. That being said, creating a successful lottery for your organization  can seem daunting due to the various provincial regulations. Don’t let this dissuade you from taking this opportunity to grow your organization’s community!

Lotteries for organizations are different from ordinary fundraising tactics. They offer a reward to the person giving to your cause. 50-70% of ticket buyers are motivated by the prizes, not your organization’s mission (Charity Village). This creates an opportunity to attract participants who wouldn’t be inclined to donating normally. What’s great is that even if they first got involved because of the lottery, you can use this opportunity to increase your new supporters awareness of your cause.

To start your successful lottery, here are the steps you’ll need to take:

  • Choose the type of lottery
  • Create your tickets
  • Get legal approval

Choosing the type of lottery for your organization

When you host a lottery for your organization, you are raising money by selling numbered tickets, with which the winners will be drawn at random according to their number and given a prize. You can hold different types of lotteries. The most relevant for charities like your own are raffles, 50/50 draws and bingo. For raffles and 50/50 you sell individual tickets that are numbered. When the winners are drawn, in the case of a raffle they will receive a prize, in 50/50, they will receive 50% of the money that was raised. For a raffle, the total value of the prizes usually represent 30-40% of the amount predicted from ticket sales (Charity Intelligence).

As an organization, you can choose your fundraising strategy depending on the audience you are targeting. If people know your mission well, you may want to maximize the income you can make in order to further your mission, so choosing a raffle may be  best. If you want to reach people motivated mainly by the prize, hosting 50-50 might be better! For a bingo, you will need to sell bingo cards, which can be paper or electronic. Bingo is most often held as an event with participants attending and the draw completed in person, so if you are looking to have a game mostly online, this might not be the best option for you.

You must also set a date for your draw, well in advance so you have time to prepare. This is important because although lotteries are fun, they do take time to plan. The date should be set a minimum of 3 months in advance to allow for the preparation explained below.

Set up your lottery tickets

You need to create your tickets, which will have to include all the necessary information required by your provincial gaming regulatory body. There are requirements for the ticket and the stub that the buyer will keep. The information required on the ticket may include:

  • Date and time of draw
  • Location of draw
  • List of prizes
  • Individual prize value
  • Number of tickets
  • Ticket number
  • Price of the ticket
  • Date of deadline to claim prize
  • Location of prize pickup
  • Lottery license number

Be sure to add the sponsors for your event! This template is a great example of what your tickets should look like. This one was made using a ticket template on Canva, it’s quick, easy and free!

Lottery ticket for organizations

ticket 2 - lottery for your organization

Contact your regulatory body

After establishing your prizes and a date for your draw, you will need to contact your province’s gaming regulatory body to receive a license for your lottery. This must be done before announcing the game to the public, because you must meet multiple criteria to get a license. The rules, requirements and prize limits are different in each province. 

We’ve sorted through all of these regulations for you. Check out what you need to know by clicking on your province:

*If you would like to perform your raffle in a way that is not outlined by your regulatory body’s licenses, contact them directly to discuss your options.*

Reach out to sponsors

To have a successful lottery for your organization that interests people in buying tickets, you are going to need great sponsors and prizes! To get these prizes donated, you’ll need to reach out to current donors as well as companies that have shown interest in supporting your mission. Start with those in your community, who will have a closer tie to your organization. When you are reaching out, present the opportunity as a collaboration by emphasizing what’s in it for them. You are providing free advertising for the company, they just need to offer a prize! Their advantage is to develop a greater impact in their community and receive publicity, especially when you share how amazing the winners experience will be with their product. If you have a point of contact or are approaching a local business, make the request in person. If not, send a formal email. Many large companies have donation requests forms on their websites. They usually indicate how far in advance you should be making your request, but for most big companies, the earlier the better because they use up their yearly donation quota quickly.

Not all prizes have to be merchandise – they could include services, experiences or gift cards. It’s important to get creative and use your entire community when looking for prizes, because the more exciting they are, the more people will want to participate.

Set up how you will sell and distribute tickets

Now that you have your template, how do you plan on selling your tickets? These days, using both online and in person sales is a great way to get the word out. Setting up this type of ticketing is also easier than ever. Keep in mind that every ticket needs its own serial number, meaning if you want to have a lottery with a mix of online and paper ticketing, they need to be numbered in a sequence. Simplyk offers easy and free ticketing services, that allows you to customize the sale of your tickets. Using our platform, you can create a ticketing form, for online, separate printed tickets and mixed pricing. You can also integrate the buyer data you collect from your sales to any application you use.

Depending on the rules set out by your regulatory body, you may be permitted to sell your tickets solely online, both online and offline or in some cases, only offline. Simplyk can help you with all of these options! We can generate and send tickets to participants, or you can simply use the platform to make the transactions. It will all depend on the regulations in your province and the type of raffle you are running. You must ensure you conform to the rules set out by your regulatory body. If you are unsure, it is best to consult with your gaming commission on the best use of Simplyk.

Get ticket sales

Once you’ve set up the administrative part of your lottery, you have to find ticket buyers! This is where you can flex your fundraising skills. You are now providing entertainment and not just asking for donations, so selling tickets will be easier. Target groups within your community that you want to get more involved in your mission. They will be able to reach others and spread the excitement about your lottery. This means contacting local shops to sell your tickets in, engaging with youth groups or encouraging companies to share it their employees.

If you have hosted lotteries for your charity in the past, get people excited by sharing past winners’ stories! Post online about what they did with their prizes and how the money raised from the event was used towards achieving your organization’s mission. This part is just as fun as winning, because your community gets to share in the excitement of their impact!

The advantages of online ticketing

Online ticketing can be really interesting, because it allows you to save the participants’ contact information. When selling actual paper tickets, you might record participants’ information, but online ticketing allows you to organize and store their data. This is useful to reach out to participants for future events and campaigns.

Online ticketing also allows you to easily manage mixed price ticketing. That way, you can sell different types of tickets, with different prices. The variety in prizes will intrigue potential buyers!

Now that you have all the steps to follow, it’s time to start planning your lottery and make it a success!

Want to set up your raffle quickly? Check out examples of other charities using Simplyk and create your page for free.


Charitable Lottery Regulations in Quebec

Quebec has its own criteria when it comes to hosting a legal lottery as a non profit organization. At Simplyk, we strive to make your work simpler, so we’ve broken down Quebec’s regulations for you and explained some of the trickier parts. If you are looking to raise money through a lottery, raffle 50/50 draw or other game, you will need to follow the regulations imposed by the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux Québec (RACJ). Here are the important elements to consider for charitable lottery regulations in Quebec.

*We try to keep this information up to date, but we recommend you consult the RACJ guidelines when you begin organizing your lottery. Find the list of regulations and requirements on their website.

Request a License

You should request a license if:

  • You are offering your game to the public to make money
  • The game allows for a gain for those participating, whether it is a prize, other types of games or free participation to more games

Lottery License Fees

License fees depend on the type of lottery. These fees cover the cost for the rights and study of your lottery. You must pay them to the RACJ when applying for the license.


  • Request your license a minimum 30 days before the beginning of ticket sales.
  • The license will be valid for a maximum of one year, and only operational for the time requested.
  • Additional documents are required after your license is issued, within 30 days to 12 months, depending on the document


Your organization is eligible for a license if the lottery is aimed at:

  • Responding to or decreasing poverty
  • Promoting education
  • Realizing any other action that promotes the collective through arts, culture, sports and community
  • Using the profits for charitable or religious use.

Important aspects for charitable lottery regulations in Quebec

  • Exclude any price for an event or dinner from the price of the ticket for the draw
  • Only the holder of the license can officially publicize the lottery. This means that advertising for the event needs to be done by the organization.
  • Physical copies of the tickets are required by the RACJ, meaning the lottery cannot be completely online. However, you can sell your tickets online. Sell them easily using our free ticketing service at Simplyk. Setting it up takes only a few minutes!
  • You can only sell your tickets to residents of Quebec. Keep this in mind if you have donors from multiple provinces. You can state on the tickets or within the rules that only Quebec residents are eligible.
  • You must apply for a different license for each game you host.
  • Half and half draws are not allowed to be held electronically. Tickets for this type of raffle must be sold and distributed offline.

Completing the forms required by the RACJ

Complete the forms provided by the RACJ to apply for a license. You will also need to attach documents with general information about your organization: your mission, patents, budget and financial status.

You will need to identify one person from your organization as the individual responsible for the lottery. They will be the point of contact between your organization and the RACJ. Give permission to this individual to represent your organization.

You will also need to establish exactly what project the proceeds of the lottery will be going towards. Provide a description of the project and its budget and then complete the project within the year that the license is valid.

A guarantee of distribution of the prizes is also required. The RACJ offers different options for proving this, such as making a deposit to them or an independent financial actor. The most simple solution for your organization may be to write a guarantee letter, an example of which is provided by the RACJ, in the Annexe B of their license request document.

You will also need to provide an example of a ticket for your lottery. Use this template to create your own:

ticket - charitable lottery regulations in quebec

What to submit after receiving your license

Once you have received your license, there are several documents you must submit about the outcome of the lottery. Find the list on page 6 of the license request document. Each have a different deadline for submission. 

One document that you’ll need that you might not expect is the original printing certificate for your tickets. Although you may be selling your tickets entirely online, you are still required to print the tickets through a printing company. You must submit the certificate along with one ticket, labelled 000, within 30 days of receiving the license.

At Simplyk, we can help you host a lottery for your charity using our free ticketing service and many other features. Feel free to send us any questions you may have at !


Improving Your Donor Conversion Rate

Simple steps to turn visitors to your site into donors.

You work hard to show how important your nonprofit is to the community. You send newsletters, host events, publish on social media platforms and more. Eventually, when the word gets out, people want to support your cause and will visit your site’s donation page. At this point, you may think that you have done all you can to get people interested in donating, but you are not done yet! Only a small percentage of individuals visiting your site will actually donate. You’ll need to implement ways to convert these visitors into donors. This is where knowing how to use a donor conversion rate, and leveraging it, will help you. But first, what is a conversion rate?

Conversion Rate = Donations Received / Unique Visitors

This means that the higher your conversion rate, the more people visiting your donation page actually donate. When you want to improve your donations, you need to make sure you convert well before spending a lot of energy on getting them to your page.

Think about it, if you double your conversion rate, it means that every action you will take to raise donations will have twice as much impact. You can improve your conversion rate instantly by creating a form with Simplyk.

How do you measure your donor conversion rate?

To measure your organization’s rate, you’ll need to embed your donation form into your website. If you are using fundraising platforms like Simplyk, it’s simple to embed the form directly onto your website. Then, using Google Analytics, you can compare the number of unique visitors to your form to the number of donations received. You can even link your Simplyk form to your analytics tool. And just like that, you will have calculated your conversion rate!

What should your conversion rate be?

The industry conversion rate is 15%, and drops to 9% on cell phones.

If you are at 20% or more congrats! You are doing a great job. If you are at 10% or below, that’s also a good news! It means you can easily double your donation volume.

At Simplyk, we worked hard to get conversion rates to 23%. Here are the methods you can use to get to that.

Increase your conversion rate

To do so, you need to understand what’s creating friction between browsing and actual donations. What is stopping potential donors from clicking on that final donate button? There are so many small changes you can make to your donation page to turn that half completed form into actual revenue, so you can have greater social impact!  

Explain how the donations are being used

Users visiting your site know your mission, but are more inclined to donate if they really understand how their gift will be used. You will need to show the work you are doing to accomplish your goals. By making the impact of their contribution obvious, donors are more eager to give.  For example, your mission might be to eliminate hunger in your community, so tell your donors how they will help you get there! It could be that their $100 will provide 1000 meals to children.

donor conversion rate by explaining your cause
The For Good Foundation does a great job of this by adding images showing the impact of each donation amount.

Craft a straightforward flow

Sometimes, you miss out on donors because they just get lost. Too often, people arrive on a donation page, click on the donate button, and get sent right back to the home page ! Make sure that once someone is on your donation page, they don’t get distracted. Their experience must be as straightforward as possible. Your donation form should be visible immediately and ready to fill out, as shown  below.

rea- donor conversion rate

Minimize the number of clicks on your form

If your donors need to click through less options, they will spend less time on the form, which increases the likelihood that they will complete it. Another way of speeding up the process is by creating smart defaults for the responses. For example, if you know your donors are all from Canada, you can set the country response to that. The more responses you can set, the better! Here’s an example of what to avoid:

improving conversion rates by making simple forms

Make sure your form is cell phone friendly

Just like online shopping has increased on cell phones, so has making donations. You can check how many people are visiting your organization’s site on their mobile device by using Google Analytics. It is extremely important to make sure that your site and donation forms adjust to cell phones. For all 4000 organizations receiving donations through Simplyk, 40% of donors gave using their smartphone, as displayed in the chart below:

improving donor conversion rate - mobile donations

How Simplyk increases your conversion rate

We managed, at Simplyk, to dramatically increase our rate because we applied all the tips mentioned above. We have a reduced number of clicks; only 7 are required to complete a donation!

The mobile experience is also simplified because we accept Apple Pay and Google Pay. With the growing popularity of mobile wallets, having these payment methods is a must! Especially if you want to increase younger donors. Users under 35 make up 55% of e-payment methods and around 1.2 billion people use mobile wallets in 2020 (FinTech News). Adapting to the rise of  Google and Apple Pay is important, making it more likely for people to donate!

There is also a unique way that Simplyk provides added value. 100% of donations made using our platform go directly to your organization, no exceptions. Donors know that the entirety of their gift goes towards your mission, making them more willing to give. Our creative model offers the option to leave us a contribution at the end of the transaction. Donors like our model because they value the transparency of knowing where their donation is going. The proof is in our conversion rate, it’s 150% better than the industry average.

Simplyk’s conversion rate across all devices hovers around 25%

By combining all these tips to improve your donation page, your conversion rate is sure to increase, making you on your way to creating a bigger impact! 

Have questions about your conversion rate and how to improve it? Write to us at .


The Best Online Donation Platforms in Canada

As a nonprofit organization, it can be a challenge finding the online donation platforms in Canada that best suits your needs. All nonprofits are different, but you will always want to look at the pricing, the donor experience, and the possibilities as an admin. As almost half of all donations are made using smartphones, you will also want to keep an eye on the experience on cellphones.  To help navigate the different possibilities, here is a description of the best and most popular sites that can streamline donations to your organization, with an analysis for each criteria :

  • Pricing
  • Donor Experience on all Devices
  • Admin possibilities
  • Integrations to Database
best online donation platforms in Canada
Simplyk - best online donation platforms

1) Simplyk

Created in Montréal in 2016, Simplyk wants to empower all nonprofits to change the world, thanks to better technology. 4000 organizations across Canada use the platform.


Simplyk is the only donation platform in Canada that is entirely free to use. Donors enjoy knowing that when they donate to you, 100% of the donation really goes to your organization. They are funded thanks to a tip based business model, where each donor can add whatever amount they’d like to support the platform.

Donor Experience on all Devices

Simplyk strives to provide the best donor experience. The platform optimizes donor conversion, by having the lowest number of clicks out of all the platforms below. Simplyk’s interface is extremely mobile friendly, providing a seamless experience on smartphones and other devices. It is worth noting that Simplyk is one of the only platforms that accept Google Pay and Apple Pay, both of which are used by 500M people. This leads to a conversion rate of 130% better than the industry average. Learn how Simplyk can improve your conversion rate.

Admin possibilities

The administrative dashboard is simple to navigate, yet offers a lot of possibilities. Setting up donation forms, ticketing and peer-to-peer campaigns is super straightforward and requires very little time. You can also easily automate tax receipts, and manage all your donor data.

Integrations to Database

Simplyk has a Zapier app, which allows you to connect Simplyk to any popular tool you may use. You can choose to automatically transfer your data to platforms like Salesforce, MailChimp, Airtable, SQL, FileMaker and 1,000 more apps with Simplyk.

2) CanadaHelps

CanadaHelps is a donation platform looking to serve charities and donors. As a registered charity itself, CanadaHelps has facilitated over $1 billion in giving in over 19 years of operation. They host profiles of all registered Canadian charities, through which individuals can make donations.


CanadaHelps charges 4-5% per donation depending on the type of donation form. These include customizable donation forms, embedded donation buttons on organization’s websites, peer-peer fundraising and more.

Donor Experience on all Devices

Donating through this platform is rather easy and mobile friendly. However, the donation form requires a page change, more than 14 clicks and few pre-filled fields. It also does not support Apple Pay and Google pay. This may affect the time it takes for donors to fill out the forms.

Admin possibilities

CanadaHelps goal is to reduce the time nonprofits spend on administrating their donations. The administrative dashboard allows for easy set up of donation forms, ticketing and peer-to-peer fundraising. It provides reports that capture data from donors, donation amounts and number of donations. It also provides benchmark reports comparing data from past months and to other Canadian charities. The overall layout of the dashboard is clear but requires some time to understand when you are beginning.

Integrations to Database

CanadaHelps allows organization’s to import their data into popular customer relationship management technologies such as SalesForce and Raser’s Edge, but does not have its own management technology. Download complete reports of donations and donor information in CSV and then import them to other tools.

3) PayPal

PayPal is popular payment application that aims to simplify everyday online transactions. They are now providing donation options for charities through PayPal Donations and the PayPal Giving Fund.


Using PayPal Donations, Canadian charities are charged a rate of 1.6% per donation and $0.30 per transaction. All transaction fees are covered and 100% of donations are transferred to the charity recommended by the donor using the Paypal Giving Fund.

Donor Experience on all Devices

The interface is quick and easy to use on both desktop and mobile devices. However, in 2018, only 9% of donors preferred using PayPal, with most opting to use their credit card (Nonprofit Source).

Admin possibilities

PayPal donation offers very basic administration services. Creating a donation form and capturing donor information will require programming expertise from your organization. It is possible to track the small amount of data acquired through donations using PayPal donations, but not through the PayPal Giving Fund. If you are looking to analyze your data to increase donations, only PayPal donations allows for this. The Giving Fund is best suited for organizations receiving fewer donations or if they do not need to manage their donations to increase their income. PayPal donations does not offer automatic receipt generation .

Integrations to Database

Paypal does integrate to popular data management tools such as Salesforces. However, it provides small amounts of data which may not be beneficial for managing donors.

4) Je donne en ligne

This online platform works with Prodon to create customizable donation forms for charitable organizations.


It requires the purchase of Prodon, a software that manages donors, donations, volunteers and employees.

Donor Experience on all Devices

Je donne en ligne’s has one of the longest forms to fill out as a donor, which may be a disadvantage if you want a high conversion rate. The experience does not seem optimized for cellphone use either, with a large number of clicks and three pages of forms to complete. Their less modern interface may be also be an issue if you are interested in attracting younger donors.

Admin possibilities

Using Prodon, all donation information acquired through Je donne en ligne is integrated into the software which then manages the data. There is no need for an additional management tool when using this service.

Integration to Database

Although it offers a management software, Prodon does not integrate to external tools such as Slack, Mailchimp and other customer relationship management. This could be an issue if you need to use your donor data on platforms for events such as Eventbrite or Simplyk.

5) Yapla

Yapla’s software offers a transactionnal platform along with a task and customer management tool.


The platform presents bundled features varying in price point from $0 to $99 a month. There are added charges of 3.9% and $0.30 per donation.

Donor Experience on all Devices

After a recent rebranding of their platform, the interface is more visual and allows for quicker access to information. The donation process is quite mobile friendly, but is broken down into multiple pages which can increase the time required to complete it.

Admin possibilities

Yapla allows you to create customizable campaigns for different types of fundraising . The service is targeting organizations looking for a management platform as it offers features outside of donations, like communications and invoicing. It can be a good choice to do everything with one platform, but you may find important features missing in the fundraising part of the platform.

Integration to Database

Much like Prodon, Yapla does not integrate with other applications.