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Converting your special event guests to program donors

  1. Converting Your Special Event Guests to Program Donors Deborah Spector, President Creative Solutions & Innovations Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  2. Your nonprofit just completed a successful special event! Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  3. Post-event check list  More than 350 guests attended the special event  The entertainment was great  The silent auction was a success  The new awards program was well-received  You had great media coverage  You beat your financial goal! Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  4. Now capitalize on your success! Convert your special event guests into program donors. Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  5. First Step Be sure that senior staff & board members are going in the same direction & are committed to converting special event guests into program donors! Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  6. Special Event Timeline* *Contact for special event timeline template Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  7. Action steps before event  Update timeline & add post-event action steps:  Post-event surveys  Invitations to signup for e-newsletters  Announce updates on programs & volunteer opportunities  Send personalized thank you notes with hand-written note from event chairs  Update CRM database:  Identify interests and connections  Research Google & social media sites  Update contact information  Identify personal contact within organization Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  8. Action steps before event #2  Create event micro-site or update website  Add electronic RSVP & payment services  Include information about your mission & vision to auto- responder thank you.  Update your website and e-newsletter on what programs your special event supports.  Update communications plan including Social Media  Update social media sites  Activate online communications  Create online press room  Invite guests to like you on Facebook & join you on LinkedIn  Update YouTube site Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  9. Action steps before event #3  Hold a brainstorming session with leadership  Identify new guests prospects  Share knowledge & relationships to guests  Volunteer to serve as ambassadors at event  Choose 5-10 guests to personally invite to event  Be involved in developing seating chart Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  10. At the event  Your board members act as hosts.  Ambassadors interact with their ‘target’ guests and where possible join them at their tables.  Signage recognizes sponsors & includes mission statement.  Printed programs and other materials describe your programs & projects.  Be sure all materials have contact information to a person, e.g., development director or program director. Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  11. After the event  Send personalized thank you notes.  Arrange for board chair or event chair to sign.  Ask ambassadors to send a separate note to their invitees on personal stationary.  Hold a post-event meeting  Share knowledge about guests and possible links to programs  Identify guests for further cultivation  Identify ways to stay in touch with key guests  Invite them to special lectures & other targeted programs  Include in your annual campaign with personal invitations Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  12. Keep the story alive Social media initiatives should live on, extending the life of your events. Social media makes it easier for you to reach out to attendees, volunteers & sponsors to keep them engaged.  Event website:  Your event website serves as the hub for your event and after- event activities  Post awards  Post photographs and a link to download and/or purchase  Embed YouTube presentations  Provide easy to find links to your social media sites. Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  13. Keep the story alive #2  Facebook  Launch an event page & keep live after the event.  Continue building your community by inviting people to Like your page.  Feature your sponsors & post their comments on their event participation.  Provide event recaps in photos and videos.  Thank participants, sponsors, volunteers.  Quote participants about their experiences.  Post a recap e-newsletter  After the event turn your friends into activists for your cause. Make sure you focus on opportunities to be engaged.  Link to YouTube presentations from the event  Share your successes. Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  14. Keep the story alive #3  Twitter  Create a Twitter hashtag for your event.  Share relevant information/content about your organization.  Put links to your event in your tweets.  Build engaged community before and during your event.  Invite people to retweet information on your cause.  Say thank you to people who retweet your post.  Set up twitter to post tweets to your Facebook event page.  Tweet links to event videos, & testimonials.  Keep up your presence with meaningful information on your cause.  Continue to build an interested community.  Link to YouTube presentations from the event. Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  15. Keep the story alive #4  LinkedIn  Create a group for your organization.  Post information about your events in your group.  At the same time, foster robust discussion groups and encourage members of your group to join the discussion  Link to YouTube presentations from the event  Share your successes Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  16. Be Realistic! Analyze the reasons people came to your special event. Stay focused on building community:  Were guests asked by a friend? Were they part of a corporate table?  Realize cultivation will be more difficult unless you identify a connection.  Regardless, find ways to stay in touch and involve.  Do they support your mission? Are family members touched by the issues you address?  Invite to on-site visits and lectures with leading authorities in your field.  Provide links to resources. Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  17. Resources In The Spotlight POWERPOINT PRESENTATIONS -  Communications – Getting Attention & Enhancing Your Reputation  Loud & Clear - Successfully Marketing Your Nonprofit  Fundraising Without Special Events? No Way!  The Power of Sponsorships!  Promoting a Film Festival in 3 weeks!  Special Events during Turbulent Times  Role of the Board & Successful Fundraising Techniques Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031