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Donor retention steps after your fundraising event

The fundraising event process has many components – from location and attendee lists to entertainment, donation landing pages and everything in between. When you plan your fundraising events, do you also account for donor follow-up and retention?

Here are five ways to create a successful donor retention process following a fundraising event.

Know your thank you process

Set up a thank you process to hit immediately after your event – the next day or even a few hours after the event ends (especially if it is an event that ends early in the day). This is the first step to retaining your donors – they will appreciate the quick outreach. Thank yous can be sent by email, which is the quickest (and most automated) way to reach attendees, or by ‘snail mail’ if it makes sense to reach your donors that way. A handwritten thank you goes a long way if it’s a shorter attendee list and you have the bandwidth to do so. Personal phone calls are great touchpoints as well. Enlist a volunteer committee to help with such phone calls to your largest sponsors, partners or donors of the event.

Share results

If you’re unable to share the results of what was raised during the event on the same day, ensure that you share this information in other ways so attendees see the impact that was made during the event. You could host a virtual event to celebrate what was raised and spotlight how the money will be used. You can create a fun infographic, visual or video that outlines dollars raised. You could even add preliminary results to your thank you emails and social media channels to get the word out.

Ask for feedback

Give attendees a chance to provide feedback about the event—the venue, the food, the communication, what inspired them to give. While you could do this as a soft CTA at the end of your donor thank you, we recommend sending this as a separate communication piece. This could be done in way of a QR code or survey as attendees are leaving the event or as a separate email communication that goes out. Be sure you don’t wait too long to ask for feedback—you want those ideas to come in while donors and attendees have your event fresh in their minds.

Keep your donation pages live after the event

Your event landing pages don’t have to come down immediately after the fundraising event closes, either. Decide how long you will keep them up and draft social media messaging and email communications that offer a final chance to give. Careful though: Don’t loop in your thank you messages with your “one last chance to give” messages. The last-chance messages should only go to those who didn’t attend the event.

Think outside the communication box

Fundraising events typically offer great visual communication opportunities—real-time photos, screen captures or video. Take advantage of these opportunities to bring longevity to your event. Think about your post-event communications on social media, YouTube or Vimeo channels, emails and even your nonprofit’s website. Create recap blog posts, landing pages or image galleries and encourage attendees and non-attendees alike to learn more about the success of your event by clicking through these links online. You can continue to create buzz about your event. For annual events, this is also a great way to get next year’s event dates in front of prospects while they’re still thinking about the event that just ended.

Additional tips for donor retention

We have some great additional resources around donor retention that can be used in conjunction with your events or to retain donors overall. Check out our blog post, “How to use your CRM to create effective donor retention systems” and watch for our FREE webinar, “Donor retention: Insight and tips for success” with guest presenter Mary Cahalane.

Ronald Pruitt

Ronald Pruitt

Ronald is the President and Founder of 4aGoodCause, the fundraising CRM that makes recurring, monthly giving a breeze for small nonprofits.

For over 25 years, Ronald has had the joy of doing what he loves, building online solutions that make a difference in the world. He’s helped raise millions of dollars online for small nonprofits across the country. Connect with Ronald on LinkedIn.

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