Fundraisers and boards often lament the fact that fundraising events are so expensive to produce. BUT, when done right, events are a key component of your donor cultivation plan, particularly for your major donors.
Part 3: At the Event
The big day has arrived, and you are strapped into this rollercoaster and along for the ride until it’s over. In all the last minute detail management, don’t forget that your primary purpose is to leverage this opportunity to build lasting relationships with your attendees.
That means your best fundraisers should not be running registration or managing the stage show. They should be working the room, seeking out and connecting with your top donors, meeting new guests, and generating excitement about your auction items.
And now is not the time for your board members to sit back and enjoy themselves. Enlist them as hosts. Make sure each board member is providing a warm welcome to guests. Ask them to actively seek out guests who look like they don’t know anyone and strike up a conversation.
Finally, let’s not forget all your donors who couldn’t make it to the event. You still have an opportunity to maximize the investment of time and money with them, too. You probably have an amazing, inspiring, tug-at-the-heartstrings program planned. If you’ve had a video made, plan in advance to unveil this new video to your general public via email and social media simultaneously with the event audience. If you didn’t have a video made, can you livestream the inspiring moments? Plan to send an email in advance to all of your constituents to invite them to tune in that evening for the live stream of your amazing performance/talk/etc.