All Collections
Network for Good Events
Best Practices
Best Practices for Event Cancellations
Best Practices for Event Cancellations

Are you cancelling an event? Follow these steps for best practices on cancellation notice and ticket refunds!

Liz Ragland avatar
Written by Liz Ragland
Updated over a week ago

We understand that sometimes plans can change, and you might need to cancel events and/or refund tickets for your donors.

Below, we've outlined some steps to follow if you need to cancel an event, as well as additional steps to take if you will be refunding purchased tickets. 

Editing Your Event to Reflect Cancellation

You'll first want to create a group in Donor Management based on your Event Guest List in Fundraising Pages by following the steps below.

First, make sure that you're in your Fundraising Pages platform - if not, click on the "My Tools" button in the top-right corner of your Donor Management platform, and click on the option for "Fundraising Pages" in the drop-down menu.

Then, click on the "Manage" button on the Events page you're looking to cancel.

Once the page loads, you'll then want to click on the "Tickets" tab.

From this tab, you can edit each of your ticket types to have an expiration date in the past - doing so will remove each ticket from being available to purchase.

To edit that date, you'll want to click on "Actions" next to each ticket type, select the "Edit" button, and then locate the field for "expiration date."

Next, we recommend adding some information on your Events page to reflect the event's cancellation. You should be able to do so from the event's "Dashboard" page, by clicking on the "Actions" button in the top-right corner, and then selecting "Edit" from the dropdown menu.

Let Event Guests Know Your Event is Cancelled

Next, you'll want to reach out to your ticket purchasers, as well as any guests that they may have, to make sure they're aware of the cancellation.

You should already have language on your Events page about the cancellation, but this ensures that each guest is made aware of the update - instead of relying on them returning to the Events page after they've already purchased tickets.

You'll want to click on the "Guests" tab within the event, and click on the "Export" button towards the top-right corner to export a copy of your guest list into an Excel (.CSV) format.

You might be tempted to create this guest list directly in Donor Management, by creating a filter - but we don't recommend doing so, because your list won't include anyone who didn't purchase a ticket directly (in other words, a ticket purchaser's guest).

Then, you'll want to click on the "My Tools" button in the top-right corner of your Fundraising Pages platform, and select "Donor Management" to return to your Dashboard.

From there, you'll want to click on "Contacts" from the left-hand navigation, and then select the option for "Groups" from the dropdown options. Then, you can click on the option to "Add a Group" - we recommend naming it something easy to reference, such as "Spring Gala 2023 Cancellation Notice."

Once you've created the group, you'll want to add the names from that guest list that you exported to that new group.

You have two ways you can do this - either clicking on the "Settings" button in the left-hand navigation options and selecting the option for "Imports," or you can click on the "Contacts" button and click on the "Import" button towards the top-right corner.

You should then be prompted to begin the self-import process. You'll want to upload that Excel file from Fundraising Pages - but before you do, we recommend making a few adjustments to the file to ensure that the import runs smoothly:

  • You'll want to remove all columns from that exported file except for the "full name" and "email" fields for each attendee.

  • You'll also want to add an additional column, and title the header of that column so that it matches that new group you just created.

  • You'll then want to put an "X" in each row of that new column, so that each guest will be imported directly into that new group.

If you need additional assistance through this process, we've got a helpful guide you can reference here.

Finally, once your guest list has been imported and added to the group that you've created, you can create a new email blast from the "Communications" tab and send an update regarding your event directly to that group!

Refunding or Transferring Ticket Purchases

If you've already sold tickets for an event that you have to cancel, you'll also need to provide refunds for those purchases.

There's two options for your ticket purchasers - you can either refund their purchase entirely, or they can convert their ticket purchase to a standard donation (if they choose). We recommend providing both options to your participants and letting them choose which one that they'd prefer.

Refunding Some (or All) Ticket Purchases

If your participants have opted to receive a refund, you can submit those requests to our Support team by following these steps below.

First, make sure that you're in your Fundraising Pages platform - if not, click on the "My Tools" button in the top-right corner of your Donor Management platform, and click on the option for "Fundraising Pages" in the drop-down menu.

Next, click on the "Reports" tab towards the top of your screen, then locate the "Event Summary Report" from the available options.

On the Event Summary Report, you'll want to make the date range as wide as necessary to include all ticket purchases for your event. Then, you can click "Export" and select the option to download an Excel (.CSV) report with a list of all of the individual ticket purchases.

Next, you'll need to isolate out those individual participants who are requesting a refund. Please remove the rows of individuals who are not requesting a refund - the Support team only needs a list of the donors who are seeking a refund, not the entire list of participants.

Please be sure to leave all of the column "headers" in your file, so the team can easily determine what information they're working with.

Additionally, please be sure to keep the "Transaction ID" column on the spreadsheet - that information is required to further process any refunds.

The last step would be to save the updated version of that downloaded list, and email it to our Support team at Please title the message "Event Cancellation and Refund Requests," and make sure that the updated list is added as an attachment to the email.

Our Support team will then process those refunds, and follow up with your organization once the process has been completed.

Converting Ticket Purchases into Donations

Alternatively, your participants may not want to refund their ticket purchase and prefer to convert it into a standard donation to your organization.

To do this, you'll want to follow the instructions found in this guide to mark their ticket purchase as "refunded."

Then, you can click on the "Offline Donation" tab at the top of the screen and manually enter in a donation that mirrors the price of the ticket.

This process effectively indicates that the ticket has been "refunded" and the donor has made a "new" donation for the same amount - no additional steps are needed!

Did this answer your question?