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 should be a no-brainer to squeeze every opportunity out of these big investments. Unfortunately, too many nonprofits see the event itself as the finish line, missing critical opportunities for more connection, insight, and inspiration (things that will lead you to more loyal donors and increased giving).
To get more out of your next event, keep these three 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 ticket sales by giving them tools to spread your message to their networks. Regardless of how many more tickets you sell, you’re still getting fabulous word of mouth exposure for your cause.
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, your email list and newsletter, and additional giving options.
3) Treat your event as 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.