As I have been presenting the findings of this report at national and international fundraising conferences, a particular step in the event process rose above all of the others when the audience members spoke up about what impacted their fundraising efforts the most.
Post Event Follow-Up
Yes, the post event follow-up rose to the top as success story after success story focused on the vital discussions with event attendees!
Does this not seem natural that everyone would do this after each and every event?
Just think of all of the purposes such a follow-up conversation serves:
Hear suggestions on how to improve the event
Hear opinions on what never to change
Discover if the event brought the mission closer to heart
Discover if this particular attendee was touched by the mission
Verify if the attendee desires a higher level of involvement
Obtain referrals of other potential donors
The six items above are literally quite powerful in planning the next year’s event or cancelling it!
The impact that it has on fundraising is even more exciting. Your event, if follow-up is properly carried out, gently ushers attendees into your major gift program. This can have a profound impact for decades into the future as well as creating more legacy giving prospects.
Event Follow-Up Road Map
Here’s a simple script for following-up individually with event attendees:
1. Thank you for coming.
2. What did you think?
3. (Be quiet and listen)
4. Is there any way you could see yourself becoming involved with us? (if not already a donor)
5. Is there anyone else you can think of that we ought to invite to a (event name/type)? (if already a donor)
Seems pretty straightforward and easy, right?
Do not overlook the obvious or forget to do the courteous thing by conducting personalized follow-up with as many of your special event attendees as possible. Begin with your sponsors and larger donors from the event then move down to the smaller donors, staff and volunteers.
The effort will be richly rewarded in funding your mission and your events will improve dramatically!
How do you follow-up with fundraising event attendees? Let me know in the comments below!
A 30+ veteran of the nonprofit software industry, Jay Love co-founded Bloomerang in 2012. Prior to Bloomerang, he was the CEO and Co-Founder of eTapestry for 11 years, which at the time was the leading SaaS technology company serving the charity sector. Jay and his team grew the company to more than 10,000 nonprofit clients, charting a decade of record growth. Prior to starting eTapestry, Jay served 14 years as President and CEO of Master Software Corporation. MSC provided a widely used family of database products for the non-profit sector called Fund-Master. He currently serves on the board of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University and is the past AFP Ethics Committee Chairman. Jay is also the author of Stay Together: How to Encourage a Lifetime of Donor Loyalty.