Home Forums General Discussion Recommendations for event registration system for small nonprofit


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    I’m working with a small nonprofit to help them transition their annual conference away from operating like a campaign that’s rebuilt from scratch each year. The host rotates between a handful of universities in the Midwestern United States, but all of the funding for the conference comes from event registration.

    We want to offer a web based registration option (you know, since it’s almost 2015 and whatnot), and I’m wondering if anyone has any thoughts on the various options out there. Aside from allowing someone to register for the conference, we’d like to be able offer a payment option for the $400-700 registration fee. If it could automatically add registrants to a mailing list such as MailChimp, we’d be thrilled but it’s not a dealbreaker.

    We’re considering:

    • Google Forms and PayPal (or similar payment service)
    • Eventbrite
    • WooCommerce, Event Espresso, or another plugin (though they don’t even have a website yet)

    I guess I’m leaning towards Eventbrite for simplicity, but I’d like to hear your thoughts. Have any of you had to deal with web-based event registration before?


    Using Google Forms and PayPal together, without some sort of Google Docs add-on for PayPal, would seems tedious. While it’s not very exciting, Evenbrite sounds like your best bet.


    I’m not sure how the pricing compares. It looks like they’ll charge up to $9.95 per ticket, not including payment processing. Theirs is 3%, not sure about PayPal or Authorize.net.

    It appears they have a MailChimp app to sync attendees.


    Thanks for your input. I proposed we use CiviCRM since it can handle ticket purchases and has a MailChimp extension. It seems to have come a long way since I last tried it a couple years ago.


    I haven’t used it, but recently RSVPed for an event using https://nvite.com/. They say they’re considerably cheaper than Eventbrite, which may be of particular interest to a non-profit.


    I’ll add nvite to my list to check out. The pricing looks reasonable compared to the competition for sure.

    For this project we ended up installing CiviCRM and handled event registrations through that. This time there was no payment piece as the organization felt doing online registration at all was a huge leap.

    It’s ridiculous how much some of these event registration services charge for what’s usually a simple process.

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