Your fundraising event is done. The venue is clean and all the decorations are put away for next year. It was a great turn out. Your goals were communicated and gifts were received. Overall the event was a huge success. Now what? What happens with the attendees? How do you wrap up the participant records once your event is complete?
An event does not end once the lights are off and the supporter is marked “attended.” So, what should we do? Keeping your event attendees engaged should be a methodical part of your fundraising efforts.
A few ways to keep attendees and non-attendees engaged after the event include:
- Sending out pictures of the event
- Posting event highlights and images on social media
- Highlighting sponsors and linking to their websites
- Thanking volunteers and vendors involved
- Sharing a recap blog post about the event including how much money was raised
- Providing attendees with other ways to get involved
- Mailing a personalized thank you to attendees and donors of the event
Following-up with Event Attendees
Send a post-event thank you & evaluation to every attendee. This will let your supporter know that you were appreciative of their attendance. Personalized acknowledgments such as a phone call or handwritten note should be considered when possible.
Combine this follow-up with an evaluation so you can get a better understanding of what was effective or needs improvement for next year’s event. In the end, you need to know what went well, what went wrong, and how to correct the mistakes. What did they like? What could be improved? Make it short and sweet.
Ask attendees if they want to become more involved and ensure they have a clear understanding of what you do. Use the opportunity to increase brand awareness.
Following-up with Non-Attendees
What about those that did not attend? Despite the urge to not continue communication, it is important to keep them engaged. Provide additional opportunities to get them involved or make a donation. Send them a “We Missed You” note as well as an invitation to next year’s event. Don’t give up on them just because they were not able to attend.
Event Wrap Up
Remember, what you do after the event is just as important as the event itself. If you’re not connecting with your supporters and learning from your results, you are missing out. Organizations should share the results of a campaign within their network. Pay close attention to how your nonprofit can make use of tools to simplify processes for next year.
Observe the data collected and identify what actions can bring further success. Finally, keep it going-get everyone excited for the next event. Saying “thank you,” collecting feedback, and sharing your findings are important steps to increasing your event’s success for years to come.
Monique is a consultant on the Professional Services team at Omatic Software, where she conducts software implementations, delivers customizations, and provides short-term staffing support. Monique specializes in implementing ImportOmatic and List Management as well as conducts database audits, Raiser’s Edge™ consulting, and specialized training services. Prior to joining the Omatic team, Monique held a number of roles at Blackbaud® such as fundraising Systems Consultant II for Raiser’s Edge, Systems Consultant II for internet-based applications, and Instructional Developer for Courseware. When she isn’t working with Omatic clients, Monique enjoys spending time with her family and trying new recipes.