Your fundraising event’s success depends on the quantity (and quality) of guests who RSVP (and actually show up). In political campaigns, the “flake rate” tracks the number of volunteers who say they’ll canvas, phone bank, or attend a rally, but don’t show up. Every nonprofit experiences this phenomenon. A high volume of RSVPs can help counter this “flake rate” and boost your attendance numbers.
Try these five ideas to get more RSVPs for your next fundraising event!
1) Designate hosts to invite 10 of their friends.
Ask board members or longtime donors to serve as hosts for your event. Hosts should invite their friends and colleagues to the event, so they can learn about your organization (and hopefully become new donors). Track relationships in your donor management system to see who in your database has invited the most guests.
2) Send paper and email invitations.
Some donors are constantly checking their email, while others may never glance at their overflowing inbox. To accommodate various types of attendees, send traditional and digital invitations.
3) Make it easy to RSVP.
The easier it is to RSVP the more likely people are to let you know if they’re coming. Use social media and email blasts to keep guests excited about your upcoming event (and encourage more people to say yes). Share updates on behind-the-scenes planning and special guests. Be sure to remind them of the date a few days before!
4) Send a special invitation to recurring donors.
Make your 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 two or three weeks before your RSVP deadline. How many are planning to return this year? Follow up with them personally. If they can’t make it, ask them to make a gift to help host the event and fund your programs.
Ready to host events that your donors will be talking about all year? Find out how. Download The Ultimate Guide to Nonprofit Fundraising Events today!