- Call everyone who made a donation and thank them personally. Try to start a conversation your new donors to understand why they came to your event, what interests them about your organization, and offer to give them a tour of your facilities.
- Call everyone who came to your event but did not make a donation. Thank them for coming and ask them why they came to the event, what interests them about your organization, and provide them a tour of your organization as well. Just because they didn’t donate on a particular night doesn’t mean you still can’t gain a future donation from these individuals.
- Send A Video Thank You message. Videos are powerful and engaging tools tool. Plus, with most smartphones they are cheap and easy to make. Have your clients, staff or board saying ‘Thank You’ in a video and embed it in an email. Emails with videos get a much higher open rate than text emails. In this way you are more likely to create a memorable moment with your event attendees. I suggest that my clients try using Thank View - a customized video email company. They are simple to use and quite reasonably priced as a personalized way to thank donors.
- Use a survey tool like Survey Monkey to ask for feedback from all guests. People will be more willing to give their opinion if you attach an incentive, like a $10 gift card to a local coffee shop or event to Itunes. Ask simple yes/no questions about topics like the food and entertainment to make your next event is responsive to the wants and needs of your guests. Make sure your survey is less than 10 questions so that people actually complete it.
- Debrief the event with your Board of Directors. Have an honest conversation about what worked and didn’t work at the event. Talk about elements of the event that you would keep and elements that you would change. At this board meeting, you should lock in your date for the event, venue, and fundraising auctioneer for the upcoming year.
- Last but not least, schedule a dedicated email or Thank-a-thon about three to four months after your event, usually around a holiday. For example, if your event took place in June, schedule your phone-a-thon around Halloween. Call the people who came to your event and made a donation, tell them how much you appreciate your gift, and give them an update on how your organization has used their funds in the four months since the event. This kind of personalized follow-up will keep your donors engaged are more likely to donate again.
In the week after a major event like your annual gala or fundraising charity auction, many people associated with the event feel a sense of paralysis. The Development Director and event planners feel like they’ve spent a lot of time and energy to meet their fundraising goal, and at the moment, it doesn’t seem as if there is another goal in site. Here are some ways to keep that momentum and make sure you stay on track to meet you next fundraising goals.