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Review: Planning Pod Featured

Review: Planning Pod Kelly Sikkema

Now that the world is slowly opening back up your virtual events may turn into in-person events before you know it. Making sure you’re able to manage them is critical so you don’t waste time or money searching for the perfect venue and vendors that meet your expectations Planning Pod is an automated online event management platform that promises to keep users organized while minimizing busy work.

In Use:

Founded in 2014, Planning Pod attempts to automate the party planning process by consolidating all the event planner’s responsibilities into one dashboard. Planning Pod’s Event Management and Planning Suite includes the ability to manage one’s budget, submit proposals, track invoices, create a to-do list, and manage attendees and registration. A nonprofit can create a landing page within the tool for their event that allows guests to register and purchase tickets.

Planning Pod has four subscriptions that nonprofit organizations can utilize. The Essential Plan is $19 a month and includes two events that can be planned at the same time, unlimited users, the ability to accept payments, order tracking, attendee lists, and chat and email support. The higher priced tiers ($39 and $69 respectively) come with more automated access like email communications, forms and surveys, and phone support. Planning Pod works with numerous charities and is happy to give nonprofits, schools, and universities a 20% discount on their subscription packages.  For large nonprofits like Red Cross or Amnesty International – Planning Pod offers an Enterprise package that is fully customizable.

Technology Used:

Planning Pod is available as a SaaS platform, which means it lives on the cloud. At this time Planning Pod does not have any mobile apps or a desktop version.

When it comes to integrations – Planning Pod integrates with Zapier (a software that allows companies to integrate their apps that don’t normally interact with each other) but is only available for the top tier packages. It can also integrate with numerous merchant payment processors including Square and Stripe so nonprofits can easily collect donations and ticket fees.

Ease of Use:

Users really enjoy that all the tasks they need are in one place (aka the dashboard) which allows them to streamline their to-do list and meet their deadlines. They appreciate the ability to create a website, have access to a virtual floor plan and can invoice, submit proposals, and register guests all in one place.

Recap:

Planning Pod is an online event management platform that gives a 20% discount to nonprofits, universities, and schools. Charities can take advantage of their software when planning annual galas or fundraising events. They have multiple subscription packages so a small or large nonprofit organization can take advantage of their offering.

Planning Pod combines all of the tasks that are generally needed to plan an event such as invoicing, budgeting, timelines, and ticketing and combines them into one easy to use dashboard. 

Advantages:

  • One dashboard that consolidates budgeting, invoicing, attendee check-in and ticketing into one place so you’re not constantly searching through word docs, excel sheets and emails
  • Ability to send emails straight from the platform (is not included in the basic package)
  • Users can create a landing page on the software to direct attendees to purchase tickets
  • Integrates with Stripe and Square
  • Ability to duplicate events

Disadvantages:

  • There is no phone support for the bottom tier packaging
  • There is no mobile app or desktop version
  • Users would like to see more training, a tax tool, and a more easy to use budget tool

My Opinion:

First of all I really appreciate softwares that take nonprofits into an account by offering them discounted services. A nonprofit who does multiple fundraisers or galas a year will definitely benefit from the dashboard that has all of the tools they need to execute an event. The ability to duplicate events is also helpful if nonprofits are replicating the same events year after year. If it’s something that you think would benefit your nonprofit I would suggest taking a free trial to see if Planning Pod is right for you and then pick the package that is best for your nonprofit.

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Danielle Loughnane

Danielle Loughnane earned her B.F.A. in Creative Writing from Emerson College and has currently been working in the data science field since 2015. She is the author of a comic book entitled, “The Superhighs” and wrote a blog from 2011-2015 about working in the restaurant industry called, "Sir I Think You've Had Too Much.” In her spare time she likes reading graphic novels and snuggling with her dogs.

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