Imagine you’ve just finished your biggest fundraising event yet. Everyone showed up, you raised money, made connections and actually made your event memorable. This wasn’t a generic raffle or a blind auction.
But if you’ve neglected the final mile of event planning, your event is a bust.
Following up after your fundraising event might be the most important part of the event.
Following Up After Your Fundraising Event – Don’t Neglect It!
The fundraising event you’ve been planning for all year has come and gone.
A fun time was had by all and it’s time to breathe a big sigh of relief that your successful event is finally over. If you did that you’d be like more than 80% of your nonprofit compadres.
But in all honesty, your work has just begun.
If you’re going to all of the trouble of planning, staffing and hosting an event, it’s time to make that event work for you in the form of a more engaged community around your cause. Here are four tips to help you keep supporters interested in your nonprofit after the decorations are stowed away.
Prepare Before The Event
You’re going to be exhausted after this thing’s in the can. So get your post-game plan in place and nearly complete before you open the doors to start your event.
I know that sounds crazy, but trust me, it’s going to be easier to cram a few more tasks on your volunteers’ plates prior to the event rather than try to catch them scurrying away after.
Another way to attack this is to have a post event committee in place that hasn’t been tasked with all the pre-fundraiser plans.
Act As If It Will Happen Again
One of the biggest party faux pas falls on your website. Get that thing show ready for next year. Set a date—you can always adjust it if necessary. And make sure you share the successes of this year’s party.
The website landing page can nearly be ready to go and then have a volunteer commit to loading some photos, final numbers and make the site live prior to their head hitting the pillow.
Have your email marketing set up to send out a thank you with a link to the landing page by the following day. You may include a survey to get their feedback on how they felt about your event.
Share What They’ve Done
And be swift with sharing the success of the event. Donors want to know how they made a difference.
Have your board commit to hand writing thank you notes that can be delivered within a week of the event. Again, this can be done at the board meeting prior to your event if you have the attendee list. Just make sure the person actually showed up prior to sending the thank you.
Maybe for those VIP donors, get a special gift delivered or make a personal call. Don’t forget volunteers and vendors that helped make your event a success as well.
Plan a Post Party
Personally invite top donors to another program-related event so they can see how their contributions have made an impact.
Or host a state-of-the-organization webinar so you won’t be taking much or their time traveling to your location. If you give them an insider, VIP experience, you may just hook them for good.
The key to what I’m saying: go into a fundraising event with the attitude of follow-up.
Thanks for watching.