The key to building lasting relationships with event donors is to let them know how much you value their support and show them how they have made an impact. Thank them PROMPTLY after the event, using the following check-list as a guide.
- Send a thank you email with event results to ALL attendees the day after the event.
- Send ALL official receipts with a thank you note to ALL attendees within three to four days of the event.
- Ask four to five volunteers (including your executive director) to each make 5-10 thank you calls to top event donors. Provide volunteers with donor name, phone number, and a short script. It’s OK if they don’t reach the person and just leave a message.
- Make a PERSONAL visit to each sponsor with 6-8 weeks of the event. Bring them a thank-you packet with a report of event results, an overview of all the places you highlighted their company, such as on the invitation, etc. Have your event photographer be sure to get a group photo at each sponsor’s table and include in the packet. Do NOT plan to ask for next year’s sponsorship at this meeting, but be prepared to respond quickly if they inquire.
- Over the following six-eight months, plan an additional special outreach to your new event donors:
- A short, targeted email thanking them again for joining your cause and letting them know how their gift is helping.
- A personal visit with the highest-level donors to thank them in person and learn more about what motivates them to become donors (do NOT plan to ask for another gift at this meeting – just thank them and LISTEN).
- Include all of your event donors in the rest of your regular solicitations that year, starting with any solicitations at least two months after your event. Remember, the person who just gave you a gift is the person most likely to give you a gift!
- And remember – add your new donors to all of your regular outreach so they start getting your newsletter, annual report and other communications.
By following the key steps above you will have begun to build the kind of deep, meaningful relationships with your new event donors that will help move them toward becoming loyal, long-term donors.