3 Ways Using a Digital Waiver Can Benefit Your School
If you’ve ever been rock climbing or whitewater rafting, you probably remember signing a waiver before getting started. While these documents are just a small part of your experience as a participant, they are incredibly important to the business or organization hosting the activity.
By choosing digital waivers, your school can see why waivers are so beneficial to the organizations that use them. From using the data you gather via waivers to develop deeper relationships with your donors to going paperless, digital waivers are designed to make the process easier and more convenient for everyone.
Before diving into the benefits of digital waivers, let's cover the basics you’ll need to get started.
How can you make a waiver?
Most often, waivers are used prior to events or activities that involve some level of risk to participants, such as injury or financial loss
Because waivers are legal documents, it’s important to take care when creating them—fortunately, digital waiver tools can streamline the process for you. Smartwaiver’s guide to creating a waiver breaks down this process into four steps:
- Work with a lawyer.
- Invest in digital waiver software.
- Determine the type of waiver you need.
- Add the form to your waiver tool.
Once you’ve loaded your completed waiver into your waiver software, you can start sharing it with participants ahead of the event. This way, participants can access the waiver in advance and skip the check-in desk at your event or activity.
In addition to added convenience for your supporters, here are three more benefits to switching to digital waivers:
What are the top benefits of digital waivers?
1. Improved convenience and accessibility.
If your school already uses physical waivers and other paper forms, you know how much time (and funding) printing and organizing those papers can take. Digital waivers are hosted entirely online, meaning they’ll lend much more convenience and flexibility to you and your donors or alumni.
Here are three ways you’ll save time and bring opportunities to participate to more people:
- No more filing - Digital waivers are 100% paperless, so you won’t need to spend time filing them or making copies. This could save your school hundreds of dollars in printing costs, and your staff will have more time to do tasks related to serving students, funding your school, or connecting with the community.
- Compatible with assistive technology - Assistive technology like screen readers or magnifiers helps those with permanent or temporary disabilities communicate and interact. Unlike with paper documents, these tools can be applied to your digital waiver to make reading and signing it easier for all participants.
- Locating documents is much easier - If an incident happens to a participant at your event, you’ll need to find the waiver they signed. Instead of rifling through a file cabinet, you can simply search for a person’s name in your waiver provider’s database and immediately find the document.
In addition to saving you time and money, a paperless approach is much more sustainable. For schools that value sustainability and limiting their negative impact on the environment, this can be a significant reason to start using digital waivers.
2. More personalized communications.
Whether your school is hosting an important annual fundraiser or building relationships with alumni, data can come in handy. Waivers can help you collect this data so you can tailor the way you communicate with donors, parents, and other supporters.
With personal data gleaned from waivers, you can make the following types of messages feel more genuine:
- Marketing efforts - You may have heard that personalized marketing messages are the new standard, but, this can be easier said than done. Digital waivers give you some information to help you get started, such as first and last name, contact information, and birth date (i.e., age). You can also add custom fields to secure other information, like the participant’s interests or relation to your school.
- Thank-you letters - Writing volunteer or donor thank-you letters will foster a sense of appreciation and understanding between you and your supporters. Use what you learn from waivers to tailor these letters to each supporter. For example, you can greet them by name, mention the specific events they attended, and invite them to future opportunities based on what you can infer about their interests.
- Non-transactional message - You can engage your supporters beyond donating by contacting them for reasons outside of fundraising or asking them to do something for you (e.g., sharing your latest blog post). For example, you might share a message with them on their birthday using the date you have on file from a waiver they signed. You can also use dates on waivers to track important milestones, like the anniversary of their first event with your school.
While it is possible to collect this data with traditional paper waivers, your school would need to spend hours translating those records into digital spreadsheets. Make sure to work with a digital waiver provider that has robust data analytics tools so you can take full advantage of this valuable information.
3. Deepened relationships with parents and donors.
Because of their added convenience and ease of use, digital waivers can even have a positive impact on parents, donors, alumni, and anyone else who uses these documents.
For example, you can enhance their experiences by:
- Using waiver kiosks or creating scannable QR codes linked to the waiver to limit lines at your check-in desk.
- Helping participants prepare by letting them know about the conditions of the event (if it’s a color run, for example, they may want a change of clothes).
- Promising secure, trustworthy data storage.
- Eliminating the possibility of lost paperwork.
- Offering a way to provide feedback to your school via custom, open-ended fields in the document.
These enhancements make for extremely positive experiences with your school. Over time, this will drive more attendance at events, help boost revenue, and empower you to cultivate lasting relationships with donors, alumni, and your community.
While waivers are extremely important for legal reasons, don’t miss out on the benefits that go beyond liability protection. A digital waiver makes the process easy and approachable for your school, and you can rest assured that sensitive data is kept safe. When you can leverage this data, you’ll be able to learn more about your school’s supporters to foster deeper relationships, provide them with positive experiences, and have authentic, connection-promoting interactions with them.