Pardon my rant while I address a major issue in event fundraising.
Two years ago, a friend asked me to attend a breakfast event for her charity of choice. Absolutely, I said. Thanks for including me. My plan was to make the minimum gift that morning but I found myself so moved by the ask that I stretched my donation. Big time.
So why, two years later, am I still waiting for that organization to ask me for another gift? Because the fundraising team had no idea what to do with me, that’s why. Is she an event donor only or an annual giving prospect? Should we keep her touches to event invitations only or consider soliciting her in our direct mail appeal? Confused, and without a follow-up plan in place for event donors, they made the worst decision possible—they ignored me.
Fundraisers, don’t make this mistake. Have the systems in place to make sure that every donor, event related or not, is stewarded to the nines and cultivated for that next gift. It’s not only your job, it’s the expectation.