Fundraising events are a great way to generate donations and strengthen your relationship with constituents. So much work goes into event planning and logistics, and once the event is over, it’s tempting to sit back and celebrate the success of your efforts, but post-event activities are critically important and need resources and planning to execute effectively.
Feed your email lists
With a little preparation, you can pave the way to successful follow up. Wherever you promote the event and sell tickets, be sure to request an email address on your event registration forms. This will make it easy and cost effective to reach out to attendees afterward.
Prepare for slackers
If you are selling tickets online, be sure to set up a webpage to which visitors can be redirected when ticket sales are closed. Many people let direct mail accumulate and sift through it now and then. They keep emails in their inboxes review them periodically. If a donor misses the event, but finds your promotional material after the fact, you want to be prepared to request a donation. Be sure the event web page has been set up to re-direct a visitor to a follow up page. Share photos/videos from the event. Set up the page to collect donations and ask visitors to opt-in to your mailing list to get notifications about future events.
Identify a hashtag for your event. Make it unique, relevant, and as short as possible. Publish the hashtag on all of your promotional materials/web pages. Before the event, share pics and videos of staff and volunteers making preparations. Always include a link to the registration page to make it easy for your followers to get tickets. During the festivities, have a designated staff member monitor social media posts about the event and respond. Have a contest – offer a prize for best Instagram pic from the event. Have a staff member or volunteer to take photos/video at the event so you have content to share afterward.
10 Key Follow Ups
- Email event attendees to thank them for coming and share a link to the landing page with videos/photos of the event. Invite them to post comments and share with their friends and family.
- Send out social media posts and share the link to your post-event landing page. Be sure to reference the event’s hashtag.
- Send hand-written notes or make personal phone calls to sponsors or high-level donors.
- Share the success of the event: What was the goal? How much was raised?
- Let event attendees and donors know what you were able to accomplish with the funds raised. Thank them again. Share other relevant news and upcoming activities.
- Share pics, videos and stories from the event via social media.
- Announce the winner of your social media contest and share the winning picture on your website, via social media and in your facility.
- Thank volunteers who helped to make the event a success.
- Send a save the date for next year.
- Email donors who did not attend the event – “We missed you!” Share link to images/videos from event. Ask for a donation.
By preparing in advance and dedicating resources to follow up, you will be poised to prolong an event’s fundraising potential. The key is to use various channels to communicate with different segments of supporters. Share different types of content, and invite supporters to engage with you.
Have your own tips to share? Please do!