Integrating Your Big Event Into Your Donor Cultivation Plan, Part 4
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 4: After the event
It’s over, and all you want to do is sleep for a week. Alas, the event isn’t over for you for a couple more weeks. Below is a timeline of all the donor cultivation tasks you should build into your post event timeline.
Get your numbers sorted out as quickly as possible. People genuinely want to know how the event went financially, but they lose interest very quickly.
Plan a couple of days to track down auction buyers who left before taking their item home, who didn’t pay before leaving, or whose payment didn’t go through.
Plan a couple of days to thank everyone personally. Ask what they liked about the event, and what inspired them. Ask if they could see themselves getting more involved. Call and talk to as many people in person as you can. For everyone else, send a survey. Who loved the event? Invite them to get more involved. Invite them to join the planning committee for next year’s event. Engagement is one of the largest factors in increasing giving.
Research any guests who registered on-site. Record what you learn in your database.
Send an email to the people who donated auction items to thank them and let them know what a success the event was. Building relationships with these folks can be just as important as with cash donors.
Send the email to attendees with the final tally, bring their memory back to the inspirational moments, share a link to an online photo album, offer a call to action (volunteer, become a monthly donor, attend a rally, follow our social media)
For people who attended as guests, especially corporate sponsor guests, and who gave a gift, start now on building an independent relationship with these people. If their table captain or their company doesn’t buy a table next year, you still want them to come back to the event. Better yet, you want them to become committed donors who give regardless of whether they attend an event. Add them to your stewardship plan. Invite them to other events. Include them in your annual report donor listing. Send them your year-end appeal.
Start planning for next year!