The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

5 Ways to Get More RSVPs for Your Fundraising Event

Your fundraising event’s success depends on the quantity (and quality) of guests who RSVP (and actually show up). Getting guests to let you know that they’re coming shouldn’t be so hard, right?

If you’re busy fighting responses like, “I’m too busy that week,” “I lost the invite,” and “I don’t know anybody else going,” don’t lose hope! To help you get more RSVPs, try these five ideas before your next fundraising event!

1. Designate hosts to invite 10 of their friends

Ask your long-time donors to serve as hosts for your nonprofit’s fundraising event. The host role can mean whatever you want, such as simply listing host names in the program or, for a more involved role, asking them to share why they’ve supported your organization for so long. Hosts should invite their friends and colleagues to the event so that they can learn about your organization (and hopefully become new donors). (Learn more about harnessing the power of peer-to-peer fundraising.)

2. Send a paper invite and an email invite

Some donors are constantly checking their email and other donors might never glance at their overflowing inbox. To accommodate all types of event attendees, send traditional and digital invitations. Network for Good’s Event Ticketing software can help you make online ticket purchasing easy and track ticket sales.

3. Make it easy to RSVP

The easier it is for invitees to RSVP, the more likely people are to let you know if they’re coming. Keep guests excited about your upcoming event (and encourage more people so say yes) by updating them on behind the scenes planning and special guests. Plus, don’t forget to remind them of the date a few days before!

4. Send a special invitation to recurring donors

We always encourage nonprofits to make their donors feel like superheroes. To make your most loyal donors feel super special, treat them to a handwritten invitation or a phone call from a board member.

5. Follow up with past attendees who have yet to RSVP

Review the guest list from last year’s event about 2 to 3 weeks before RSVPs are due. How many of these guests are planning on coming this year? Follow up with them personally, and if they can’t make it, ask them to make a gift to help host the event and fund your programs.

Bonus: Broadcast your event online

This won’t help you get RSVPs, but it will still help people “attend” your fundraising event. Use a service like Ustream, Google Hangouts, or Periscope to broadcast your event online so that friends near and far can still be a part of your special event. Include an obvious link to your donation page during or next to the stream to make it easy to give!

Want more tips on hosting a great nonprofit fundraising event? Download our Events Checklist.

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About This Blog

Linda Lombardi

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

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