If you’ve ever coordinated a charity event, you know that donors – both individuals and corporate sponsors – are key to success. Their generosity provides the money necessary to make your event happen and allows the proceeds to benefit the cause or organization you’re supporting rather than event costs.
So, what do you do once a donor has given funds? How do you keep them engaged and raise their likelihood of contributing to the event in the future?
We’ve compiled three tips for reengaging donors to help you answer these questions and have continued success in your events.
Say “Thank You” and Show Their Impact
The simplest way to keep your donors engaged is to regularly communicate with them. This goes beyond acknowledging that you’ve received their donation and includes keeping in touch with them leading up to the next year’s event. You shouldn’t contact them constantly, but there are a few natural touchpoints you can act on to keep them feeling connected to your cause:
- When you receive their donation
- When the event has concluded
- When you’re preparing for the next event
At each of these times, make sure you’re indicating how their generosity has impacted the cause you care about. For instance, when you receive their donation, reiterate what the funds will allow you to do. “Thank you for your contribution! Your donation will cover the cost of snacks for our Mini-THON participants and allow the funds we raise to go directly to families with children fighting cancer.”
When the event has concluded, reach out with a story about its success. “This year’s Mini-THON was our largest event ever, raising over $100,000 to help fight childhood cancer, and your generosity made it happen.” This note doesn’t have to be long but can include highlights from the event and a few photos to make it more personal.
When you’re preparing for the next event, it’s a good time to let donors know that you’re gearing up for another successful year, let them know what goals you’ve set, and remind them of what you’re raising funds for. “In 2021, we raised $10,000 more than our goal. For 2022, we’ve set the bar even higher and are aiming to grow our fundraising by 10% to help even more families. You can help us make this happen by….”
Ask for Their Feedback (and Follow It When Possible)
Even if your donors can’t attend your event, they may have ideas about how you can enhance it or your fundraising process in general. Tap into their expertise by asking for feedback and things they’d like to see in the future.
Your corporate donors, especially, are likely sponsoring several different events each year and may be able to offer insight into what they and their peers expect when it comes to requests and recognition. You may get ideas ranging from how to structure sponsorship packages to how many mentions they’d like to receive on social media in exchange for their donation. If you make changes based on their feedback, be sure to let them know and share how it’s helped you.
It’s likely that you won’t be able to implement every suggestion you receive, but connecting with donors in this way shows that you’re invested in improving your fundraising strategies and making your event the best it can be.
Make Your Outreach Personal and Informative
It should go without saying that any of this outreach should be personalized to your donors as much as possible. Don’t send communication that says, “Dear Donor” or “To Our Valued Donor.” Use their name, when possible – “Mr. Smith,” for example – or the company name when appropriate, “To the PSECU Team.” Include details that specifically state what they gave – “your donation of $500” or “your in-kind donation of 500 water bottles for our event” – and the impact it had. If specific donors were present at your event, share photos you captured of them.
Additionally, make sure your outreach is informative. Include stats about the event itself – how much you raised, how many people you impacted, etc. – as well as the exposure that you were able to give your sponsor. For instance, did you mention them in social media posts? What was the reach on those posts?
PSECU Strives to Make an Impact in Our Communities
As a not-for-profit credit union, we embrace the credit union philosophy of “people helping people.” We’re proud to support the great work of nonprofit organizations that are working to improve our communities. To learn more about our impact in the community, check out our most recent Year In Review.