Event donors: more than a one night stand

event360, fundraising event, donor communicationsEvent 360 recently released a new white paper: 4 steps to converting event donors to organizational donors. I will leave the in-depth commentary on whether these are the “right” 4 steps to event pros like Shanon Doolittle┬ábut will say that the event donor segmentation and sample engagement plan for major donors alone are worth giving over your email address for (which you have to do to download it).

Here’s the thing: Event donors often get stuck in the one night stand camp because we try to go too far, too fast.

Unlike most other forms of fundraising where there is a longer lead up to the ask, event participants go from ‘I don’t know you at all’ to ‘going all the way’ (i.e. making a donation) very quickly.

Even after the event, event attendees barely know you! You’ve had a fling. Even if it was a great fling, it was still just a fling. That’s very different than a courtship.

From a messaging perspective, this means you have to properly introduce them to your organization after the event. In the event follow-up, don’t make the mistake of leaping to the middle of your story. Reinforce what they learned–and felt–at the event. Reiterate the key points from the event. Reinforce why they should like you. Cement their basic knowledge of your cause, your mission, what makes you unique and how they can engage.

This may sound incredibly, painfully obvious. But I’m always surprised how clunky post-event communications tend to be. Take it slow and your event donors can turn into much more than a one night stand.