Last Friday Eventbrite SF teamed up with GreatNonprofits for a luncheon on how the power of trust can influence the growth of a nonprofit’s supporter base. People place a significant amount of trust in what others are saying, from event attendance to reputation. Here are the top 5 takeaways from our luncheon for the SF nonprofit community at Thirsty Bear (you know, other than the tasty food and drinks!)

5. Social media is the catalyst for more live events, not fewer. With all the social media, networking, and overall time spent online these days (it’s crazy the average amount of time spent on Facebook each day!), a question has been raised: If people are interacting more online, does this mean they are coming together less offline? We’ve found that social media actually has the reverse effect—more people are coming together and discovering opportunities to do so because of their online interactions. So it’s important to know how to tweet, Facebook, and truly take advantage of social media when it comes to your fundraising events.

4. Fundraising events are about more than just raising money. It’s not just about ROI when it comes to nonprofits—organizers should consider all opportunities for their Return On Fundraising Events, or as we refer to it, ROFE. Live events are a great way to jumpstart a donation campaign, raise awareness of your cause and cultivate donors. And as for the money piece of it, there are also multiple channels to raise funds both online before your event and offline at the event. Are you charging tickets? Giving donors the option to donate more with an open donation field? Collecting on-site donations at your event through raffle or auction items?

3. Your online reputation is important, and whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, reviews are out there. People come to Yelp when they want to voice their opinion on a local hair salon or sushi joint. People come to GreatNonprofits when they want to share the story of why they’re so darn passionate about the cause. When someone writes a nonprofit review, they fill out a fairly in-depth account of their experience, a process that usually weeds out irrelevant content. But it’s important to take advantage of all the tools available to manage that reputation by claiming your GreatNonprofits profile.

2. Raise more funds by tapping into your attendee’s network. Finding out someone in your network has already signed up for an event can have a huge impact on your decision to attend. This makes sense because we’ve found there is actual dollar value attributed to the social sharing of events. Encouraging attendees to share their signup with their networks—Eventbrite lets you do this automatically—can have a huge impact on spreading the word and furthering your reach.

1. What people are saying is invaluable. When it comes to creating awareness there is nothing more valuable than a testimonial or personal account of someone who was touched by your nonprofit and its impact. Your nonprofit likely has its own mission statement and shared values, and the most powerful way to convey this is through a story. So encourage your supporters to share their stories! GreatNonprofits has buttons for your website that encourages patrons to take a moment to share with the world why they are so invested in what you’re doing for the community. (Check out their video to see more.)

We are looking forward to hosting more events in San Francisco for the nonprofit community and partnering up with GreatNonprofits in the future!