Signup Genius isn’t exactly a donor management software solution. It’s more of an organization resource, perfect for people who need to bring groups together for any reason—be it a fundraiser, a meeting, a rally, or anything, really.
Some people use the platform for things like throwing parties like weddings, birthdays, and baby showers. While others have adopted the platform for university events and conventions. In any case, Signup Genius can be used for just about anything—the whole benefit is they take the signup sheet process and make it very easy.
That said, we’re not entirely sure this is a proper professional tool. For example, it doesn’t seem to have many features. The site mentions some admin functions, but we’re not sure that it’s any better than a calendar app or project management software.
In this review, we’ll go over the Signup Genius basics—from features and benefits to pricing and potential problems. Let’s take a look:
What is Signup Genius?
Signup Genius is an online tool built for organizing volunteers and planning events. The platform provides nonprofits, schools, businesses, and other groups with a more organized interface.
It’s a solid alternative to reply-all emails, paper signups, or trying to wrangle multiple people over the phone.
Users can choose from a variety of templates and customize them with their own branding. In this way, Signup Genius is a landing page builder with a volunteer bent.
Now, as a donor management tool, we’re not sure that this platform makes the cut. Right off the bat, Signup Genius highlights that the tool was made to be used as a way to, well, collect signups.
So, anyone looking for something that functions more like a CRM will likely find this solution is fairly useless in that regard.
But, that’s not to say that it’s a worthless piece of software. Clubs and volunteer organizations are likely to see some value here, as are companies that need to schedule large meetings.
So, let’s take a look at Signup Genius to get a better sense of who stands to benefit from using this tool.
Signups are made easy
Now, this could be the only benefit we cover and you’d likely believe there wasn’t much else in this particular toolkit. That’s fair, easy signups seem to be the main selling point in this platform.
The reason this solution is described as genius is, users don’t need to set up an account to get started with the tool. They also can easily make changes to their information—say update RSVP information—and users can sync their calendars so they don’t forget to attend.
The idea here is, you’ll be able to recruit more participants by eliminating and points of friction that might occur during the signup process. In other words, if a signup is too difficult to complete they might leave. Issues like too many form fields, invasive questions, or the act of signing up for a new account can frustrate users, causing them to give up.
In all, the process is fast, convenient and leaves little room for error.
Advanced Administrative Features
Signup Genius also makes things easy on the event organizer. Where the job usually comes with a number of tasks like creating and configuring notifications, setting dates that work for multiple people, emailing volunteers, and booking venues, this tool alleviates some of those stressors.
Administrative staff can modify event details without much effort. Users can generate reports listing volunteer hours, configure security settings, and more.
Getting Started is Also Incredibly Easy
According to the site, getting started is a task completed in just three steps. You’ll sign up for an account, create a seller account, and allow it to send money through Signup Genius’ partner site, WePay.
Next, you’ll create signups with priced items. The site comes with a step-by-step wizard that walks you through the process. When you add items, you’ll have the choice to require payments or not.
So, registration to an event might be free, but you could charge for tee shirts and tote bags that support the same charity.
Finally, your shop is ready for customers. Buyers can pay for items using a debit or credit card just like they would at a regular online store.
Multiple Signup Themes
Create a customized template for your signup form that matches your branding and the event. The platform provides a selection of professionally-designed templates you can edit with their drag and drop system. Or, create a custom design. You’ll also have to option to assign no-ads licenses to your signups so they don’t get cluttered with someone else’s branding.
Unfortunately, themes are not especially attractive, so you may want to dust off those coding skills if you have something more attractive in mind.
Payment and Donation Tools
Signup Genius allows you to collect donations or payments through the site’s online portal. What’s interesting about this payment setup is, there’s no distinction between this platform and an online store.
You can also use the platform to set donation goals and track your progress. We could see this coming in handy for things like school fundraisers or church donation drives.
One of the better offerings in this particular lineup is the group messaging feature. You can invite participants and send out automatic reminders via text or email.
Import group member emails or numbers or type them in manually. From there, you can schedule your invites and customize the messaging—and customize confirmations that provide more details to users as they confirm.
You also have the option to send a message to an entire group or target specific people. And finally, Signup Genius allows you to create a unique URL, enabling users to click a link to RSVP.
While Signup Genius calls these advanced tools, we’re not so sure. Still, the reporting features do come with some utility. Reports include things like running volunteer hours for easy tracking, review email delivery, open and clickthrough rates.
Export your results to Excel if needed, and assign role-based permissions to relevant staff or volunteers.
Signup Genius comes with a long list of fundraising themes geared toward things like 5K races, bake sales, and more.
If you use the platform as a fundraising tool, keep in mind that you’ll be paying fees on each transaction that seem higher than average. According to the “fine print” fees are equal to 5% of the purchase, plus an additional $0.50 per transaction.
The seller can choose whether the buyer or the seller will pay those fees, so you could potentially build them into the price of whatever you’re selling.
While the tool makes it easy for anyone to put together a fundraiser—at least the signup part of the effort—it’s not ideal for managing donor contacts and really trying to expand your reach.
Signup Genius is priced on a freemium model–which is why this seems to be a software of choice among school groups and smaller-scale event planners.
The basic plan is ideal for individuals looking to organize things like a family party, a birthday, or a relatively small gathering or one-off event.
The free plan allows you to choose from 400 visual designs, admin management tools, calendar sync, and the ability to collect payments. Free users will only have access to email support.
Still, you can send up to 1,000 emails per month and view email delivery reports to see who opened your messages.
Silver, $9.99 per month
Upgrade to the silver and you’ll now have priority email support, as well as a few more customization features. For example, you can now add 25 logos or images to your signups, create three events without ads, set up one custom signup theme, and send up to 5,000 email invites a month.
Gold, $24.99 per month
The Gold plan allows you to do a lot more than the previous plans. For example, users have access to more tracking features and can send up to 500 text invitations and 10,000 emails a month. Notable features include clickthrough tracking and volunteer hours reports.
Platinum, $49.99 per month
This plan is designed for professionals tasked with managing events for large corporations. That said, it’s not necessarily the right tool for nonprofits or other organizations who depend on events for funding, rather those who host parties, seminars, and webinars semi-regularly.
This plan provides the same features as the gold plan, but you’ll now be able to send out 20,000 emails a month and 1,500 text invites.
Signup Genius is a cloud-based platform that allows users to access from any device that connects to the web. There’s no need to download anything, all you’ll need is internet access and an updated browser.
The Signup Genius app is a free download you can find in the App Store or Google Play. The app is optimized for easy signups and allows you to send messages, edit events, and view reports on the go.
Signup Genius provides support to their customers, but the Free and Silver plans only have access to email. You’ll need to upgrade to the Gold plan if you want to talk to someone on the phone.
That said, the site offers a lot of information and appears to be pretty straightforward. Templates are drag-and-drop and the tool guides you through the process of uploading contacts or creating a new sheet.
That said, according to the site, the team provides award-winning support. There’s an FAQ section on the site for quick tips and answers to basic questions.
You’ll also find a handful of resources like video tutorials and articles that help with event planning tips and fundraising.
The support articles are one of the better resources on the site. Here, you’ll be able to view guides based on where you need help–whether that’s changing your account settings or publishing a page.
Resources and Tips
This section is dedicated to housing blog posts, Most of the articles target moms who volunteer at school events and content provides tips for hosting bake sales.
While some of the content is relevant to fundraising, the blog makes clear that the target market is someone running a PTA group, a youth group, or is in charge of community events like a block party. Content is very kid-oriented and features school spirit ideas and Halloween costumes.
Signup Genius shares some commonalities with some of the donor management platforms we’ve looked at before. The tool does have a lot of utility and may be used in a nonprofit or charity-type setting. However, this tool is not a donor management platform in the sense that, there’s no CRM component.
Sure, you can use it to collect donations and report on your earnings, but there’s no real difference between this and adding an e-commerce page to a Squarespace account or setting up an Etsy shop and donating the proceeds.
And unlike other donor management tools, Signup Genius isn’t made specifically for nonprofits. Which, is fine, sure, but the benefit of these more tailored solutions is, you’ll have access to tools built to accomplish your goals. Look at something like Virtuous CRM to see what we mean.
That said, if your charitable work is happening on a smaller scale this might work. It’s perfect for supporting schools, churches, or community projects. Signup Genius is affordable and will help you register guests or volunteers and collect money if needed.
But, full-fledged nonprofits should move on from this one. Signup Genius is not a professional solution.