Event.Gives Powers Engaging, Real-Time Fundraising Events

With the help of PubNub’s real-time push technology, Event.Gives hosts charity events in a unique, innovative way

With PubNub, Event.Gives:

  • Hosts virtual, in-person, and hybrid events with a focus on charity and giving.

  • Streams fundraising auction bids in real time, which helps increase donations.

  • Powers the different communication channels between their administrators, attendees, and event staff.

Event.Gives Powers Engaging, Real-Time Fundraising Events

“PubNub is really core to almost all of our applications, because our platform relies on real-time communication .” - Sam Staley, CEO and Co-founder of Event.Gives

Meet Event.Gives:

The idea for Event.Gives was born from an elementary school fundraising committee. Co-founder and CEO, Sam Staley was frustrated with the mess of papers and the inefficient bidding process. Determined to fix the problem, Staley wrote a simple SMS bot that let attendees bid from their phones instead. The first time the school used his bot for bidding through text, funds raised more than doubled.

From those humble and thoughtful beginnings, Event.Gives has grown into what it is today—a full-featured in-person and live-streaming events platform with a focus on fundraising. “Our goal is to find as many problems as we can solve and automate them, so that having a fundraising event is completely hands off,” said Staley. “Our platform does it all for you.”

Event.Gives makes it easy to host a virtual or hybrid fundraising event, offering live and silent auctions, raffles, or item sales in addition to their real-time donating options. They also provide services like easy event set up, promotion, mobile check in and check out options, automated fundraising tools, and immediate bid updates. “We have more of a focus on creating virtual engagements to help people fundraise, making it easier, and really lowering barriers,” said Staley. “All of our processes are built around the question, ‘How do we remove another three seconds from the giving process?’”  

And last year, when many live events and fundraisers were cancelled, Staley and the team at Event.Gives found ways to help many nonprofits host their events virtually and successfully. “Our big pivot was to say, let's build tools to support virtual events and get people back to work, get auctioneers back to work, event organizers back to work, and fundraisers back to fundraising,” said Staley.

Powering a real-time and flexible event platform through updates and chat

Event.Gives uses PubNub to power their real-time updates and notifications during their fundraising events. “The auctioneer starts the bidding at $1200, and guess what? There's a $1200 button on my screen instantly. That's PubNub,” said Staley. “When I click to bid, everyone watching is instantly notified, and now it says $1300. And now $2,000. That is the magic of PubNub—it lets us really connect our viewers in real-time with the event.”

PubNub’s real-time technology is crucial to the way that Event.Gives operates. Reliable real-time updates enable them to share bid notifications, broadcast event promotion updates, send magic links to check in, and more. These features help Event.Gives seamlessly host and automate the fundraising experience, and make it easier to organize successful campaigns. 

Event.Gives also uses PubNub to power their chat so that their users can communicate quickly and easily with each other on the platform, whether they are administrators, bidders, or auctioneers. “We can communicate to devices everywhere, all events everywhere, or just your event, or just you at that event. That flexibility is how we leverage the chat we’ve built with PubNub.”

Increase attendee engagement and donation amounts 

Providing users with these simple connections and immediate updates has allowed Event.Gives to improve engagement from event attendees, and has also increased the number of interactions and donations given during a fundraiser. Whether it’s a silent auction bid or a text-to-vote response, when the audience can see the results of their action in real life, it is exciting and empowering.

During an auction, Event.Gives will display a bidding price and button on the attendees’ screens that updates immediately and sends a notification when someone selects it. The real-time technology making it work behind the scenes is powered by PubNub. “We have direct empirical data that says when a person sees their name on screen, they will do it again,” said Staley. “And that immediate engagement that’s powered by PubNub—that bidding button on the screen—elicits more of that behavior.”

Operating with reliable infrastructure

Event.Gives has worked with PubNub since their initial development. When they decided to build out their complete real-time platform, they were drawn to PubNub’s dependable and scalable backend solutions. “We saw that PubNub was positioning themselves as a leader in backend infrastructure and as the most reliable solution,” said Staley. “That's what led us to PubNub initially.” By working with PubNub to build out their backend structure, they did not have to be the experts in infrastructure by themselves, or worry about whether or not their chat and in-platform updates would operate in real time. Instead, they were able to focus their time and talents on creating unique automation and fundraising features. 

“PubNub has the functions, and they’ve got the documentation. We could build our chat and updates ourselves.” said Staley “But PubNub is the expert, that’s why we trust them. They provide a secure, maintained backbone that we know will be there and work right.”


Event.Gives has re-invented fundraising events, and their real-time platform has contributed to fixing engagement issues that were common in virtual and in-person fundraising events. They are providing a much needed solution by automating event processes, and creating more successful fundraisers for the businesses and non-profit organizations that work with them.  

By using PubNub’s real-time technology as the core of their infrastructure, they are able to save time on maintenance, trust their product will work reliably, and focus on continuing to automate and improve the fundraising experience.