by Susanna Decker, Senior Consultant, HUB Philanthropic Solutions
As fundraisers, we all had our fair share of orchestrating fundraising events for the not for profits for which we work. There is so much prep work ahead of time…from securing committees, selecting venues and food, garnering underwriting support, designing invitations….the list goes on and on and on!
Then the fabulous event takes place – our labor of love – and then it’s a wrap, right? While we are weary from the event planning and the wonderful evening that raised incredible funds for the organization, we as fundraisers have a great opportunity to cultivate our donors post-event (even though our feet still hurt!).
What are some things we can do? Well first, pick up the phone. Call your top paddle raisers or sponsors for the evening and let them know that it would not have been a hit without them. Let them be among the first to learn how much they helped you raised on that special evening and what a difference their gifts make to those you serve. And…send pictures of them and their family or other friends at the event with a handwritten note. For those that you really want to cultivate further, drop off a framed photo at their home with a personal note of gratitude. For those donors that are new to your organization and attended your event for the first time, call and invite them for a visit and a cup of coffee to see the work of your organization first-hand.
Perhaps there were some of your donors that were unable to attend your event. If your organization provides a mission moment at the event, send a video link via email and provide an opportunity for them to experience the wonderful evening with a snippet of what occurred.
All of these touch points help cultivate and deepen relationships with our donors. Your gown or tuxedo may still not have made it to the dry cleaners, but, the week after an event provides a wonderful window of opportunity to reach out and touch our donors and cultivate and deepen relationships even further.