Fundraising Tip – A checklist for post-fundraising event actions
Fundraising events can be a fun and creative way to grow relationships with your donors, connect with potential new donors, and raise funds. All in one night (or day)!
By fundraising events I am specifically writing about events like an annual gala, dinner, luncheon, or awards dinner. The actions I’m about to share apply to other events, I have more experience with them around these specific types of events.
First, some of the post-event actions need to be planned/created pre-event.
One of my favorite actions post-event is sending out an email the morning after, an email thanking everyone for their support, with a couple of photos from the event. Do not ask for a donation from people who may not have donated at the event. That can come later. Simply thank everyone.
Another pre-event action is to plan who will be charged with planning actions of gratitude post event. Who thanks who? How are they thanked? More on this later.
Post-event actions begin as soon as guests are evening. Make sure your team has everything removed from the hotel or event space. This may seem silly, but ensuring you have everything saves time in the coming days, time you will really need.
The most important actions post-event have to do with actions of gratitude.
- I like to have anyone who financially supported the event receive a thank you call the day or two after the event.
- Have your ED call board members to thank them, along with a list of higher-donors.
- When I was a director of development, I like to send an all-staff email thanking everyone who attended for joining us and helping us build relationships with those who attended. Thanking staff is critical.
- A few days post-event send an email to your whole email list. Some of this email can already be written prior to the event. In this email, share about the wonderful time had by all, and this is where you can make an ask to donate to the event.
- Ensure that donor thank you letters and/or tax receipts are sent out within one week.
- If you had any type of auction, keep all those who dated in mind when thanking people.
These actions of gratitude may seem like a lot, and I’m sure there are some readers who believe these cannot be accomplished so quickly. Pre-plan all of this. Have enough people ready to make calls and provide full support to your data person in getting all of this donor information into your system while also getting thank you/tax letters out.
Doing all of this right away means you can quickly move on from the event.
Next, ensure all bills have been paid or at least given to finance to be paid. Once everything is paid send an update on dollars raised to the board.
Lastly, begin the process of finding a location and choosing a date for next year. Perhaps even plan an event meeting to get things rolling.
Good luck with all of this. If you have any questions, please send me an email at dan (@) altrui.org. And if you feel you got something out of this post I’d be grateful if you shared it and subscribed to my blog. I only post once a week.
Take a risk. Be of service. Support your friends and colleagues. Be kind.