Not all events have the same purpose. Before you decide to host an event for your organization, you first need to follow the following steps.
- Create a special event that is meaningful to your organization, your board, and current volunteers. Pick something that is important but also that the community will want to be a part of and support.
- Spend as much time in preparation and in debrief of your event as you do in execution. Spend time finding out how to get the prospect individuals to your event that care about your organization, and can help you accomplish the goals of your event. Make sure to write down the short term and long term goals of the event while everything is still fresh in everyone’s minds. Lastly, talk about pictures and hand written thank you notes and determine who will send them and when they will be sent. Complete the correspondence that night, or set up a time to send out thank yous and/or pictures. Each prospect follow-up should be sent from the person who has the existing or developing relationship with the prospect.
- By planning, executing, and debriefing in this way for an event, you can create a fundraising strategy as follows: Special Event=Regular Donor=Volunteer=Meaningful Gift=Impact Gift. If implemented correctly you can follow this strategy in a circular motion, time and time again, successfully.
If these tips are followed correctly the event will:
-Create a sense of community and belonging.
-Ensure responsible stewardship when event evaluation occurs.
-create highly rewarding relationships for your organization.
-Engage Volunteers, board, members, and members of the community.
Kristy D. Burns, Senior Consultant and Fundraising Specialist for Burns & Associates, Ltd.