How to Increase the Impact of Your Fundraising Event
Events are great for raising money for your organization, but are you maximizing the impact of all that hard work? Besides fundraising, events can build awareness about what your organization does, deepen relationships with your donors and educate the attendees about your organization’s impact in the community. At an event, your donors experience your nonprofit firsthand — so, don’t just view it as a way to make money, but also a way to forge personal connections.
Think about it: You get hundreds of people to your event — they may be spouses of donors, businesses associates and/or friends of your donors — and chances are many of them don’t know a lot about your organization. Take advantage of the fact that you have an audience in one place as an opportunity to tell your organization’s story. Here are some ideas about how to increase the impact of your fundraising event — before, during and after your event — to educate people about your mission.
Before the event
During the promotion of your event, take full advantage of all of the touchpoints and opportunities that you have to reach your donors before your event. These include printed invitations, e-mail invites, social-media campaigns, “tell-a-friend” forms on your website and many others. Make the most of these opportunities by clearly stating your organization’s mission and making it easy for people to forward the information to their friends, colleagues and family members. This is the chance to bring new people into your world.
Remember, your event invitation is a marketing piece to promote your organization as well as your event. Every invite is a chance to inform potential donors about your organization, especially for the people who can't attend your event, which is a certain portion of your mailing list. Let’s say you mail invitations to 1,500 people and 300 people attend. This means 1,200 potential donors see your invitation and marketing message but won’t attend or interact directly with your organization. It may make sense to educate people about your organization’s impact and provide a way for these recipients to donate without attending the event.