Spring Gala Time:Bring the “non-event” donor into the excitement of the evening


by Michele Jimenez, Senior Consultant, HUB Philanthropic Solutions

If you are like me, you are probably doing one of three things this month:  planning a spring fundraiser, attending a spring fundraiser, or mailing in a donation to your favorite organization because you’d prefer to stay home.

With our busy schedules, sometimes dedicating time feels like a more valuable resource than money.  And let’s face, it according to the book The Seven Faces of Philanthropy, (by Russ Alan Prince and Karen Maru File,) there are many different factors that motivate donors to give.  Event going isn’t for everyone.

But despite all this, I do love the energy and enthusiasm that events offer and I love the way they immerse our donors in the mission of the organization.

So here are four tips to reach out to even the staunchest couch potatoes in your donor base.  These will help you make your event work harder and spread some of that “event love” to those who chose bunny slippers over patent leather.

  • If you show a video at your event, place it on the homepage of your website. Send that link out the next day to those who did not join you with a simple message, “We missed you last night, here’s a glimpse of what Steven (participant) had to say.”
  • Likewise, we don’t want to forget about those who have not provided email. So a simple postcard could be printed and mailed to non-event attendees with a similar message, photo from the event, and link to view the video.
  • If you don’t produce a video, then compile a collage of photos that represent the event. Print them in color along with a letter to non-attendees conveying highlights from the evening. These should focus on the mission specific portion of your program and the impact the event will have on your mission.
  • Have a select few participants create a “sorry we missed you” card to dedicated donors who wanted to attend, but could not this year.

Of course any of these messages can all be tailored to individuals who have not yet given.  Just include a message like, there’s always time to be part of this successful fundraising initiative…” Just use the event to the fullest in whatever creative way you can so it goes the extra mile.


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