Fundraising events are a nonprofit mainstay, but they typically take a lot of time, money, and effort to produce. Since even the most basic events can run into the tens of thousands of dollars, it’s important to squeeze every opportunity out of these big investments. All too often, though, many nonprofits see the event itself as the finish line, missing critical opportunities for more connection, insight, and inspiration (hint: all things that will lead you to more loyal donors and increased giving).
To get more out of your next fundraising event, keep these four points in mind.
1. Use all available online channels to promote and manage your event.
Take your invitations, communication, and marketing online as much as possible to save money and reap the benefits of social media. Empower your supporters to boost your fundraising total by giving them tools to spread your message to their networks. On top of the additional tickets you sell, you’ll see fabulous word of mouth exposure for your cause. Use an online fundraising event tool to sell and manage your event tickets, collect additional donations and allow non-attendees to donate. Consider launching a peer fundraising campaign tied to your event to give your board members and table leaders another way to raise even more money for your mission. (Bonus: Network for Good’s event pages and peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns are mobile-optimized for your success!)
2. Understand the unique opportunity of a captivated audience.
In-person events are an amazing opportunity to make face-to-face contact with the donors that help make your mission happen. Listen for feedback and consider setting up a booth to gather testimonials from your most passionate supporters. Don’t forget to provide plenty of ways for event attendees to become even more involved with your work, such as signing up for volunteer projects, joining your email list and newsletter, and giving on site with easy-to-use mobile donation options.
3. Make your event part of a larger campaign.
Instead of thinking of your event as a time-bound, in-person fête, make sure it connects to your other fundraising and advocacy campaigns. Tie your event’s marketing to your larger development strategy. Use the event as a springboard to develop more robust partnerships with sponsors and to create deeper relationships with your loyal donors. Show event attendees how their involvement supports your year-round programs or more specific goals.
4. Focus on the follow up.
Create a cultivation plan to turn event attendees into ongoing donors. Tag and track these supporters in your donor management system so you can communicate with them specifically, welcome new supporters to your mission, and update them on their ongoing impact. With simple segmentation, you can also create more relevant appeals when it comes time to invite your event fans to give again. Plus, by reporting on event attendees, you’ll have a clearer picture of the lifetime value of these donors and the overall impact of your events.
By maximizing the fundraising opportunities before, during, and after your event, you’ll ensure the money and time you put in are well worth the investment. Ready to get more from your gala, luncheon, golf tournament, or other fundraising event? See how Network for Good’s easy-to-use fundraising software can help.