Event Fundraising Strategy & Planning
When it comes to your fundraising events, if you were starting over, how different would they look?
1. Become more data driven.
It is impossible to run a successful event fundraising program without understanding the characteristics of your participants and the linkages between those characteristics and giving.
2. Understand the difference between metrics and analytics.
Event fundraisers are talking about not just measuring more and better, but also predicting donor and participant behaviours. You can use your analysis as a blueprint to think strategically about how to improve your event’s future fundraising results.
3. Think in segments.
It’s essential to target your segments differently. Within each event there are definitely groups of participants that we should focus on more than most. It is essential that you identify up front how many segments you can actually administer.
4. Predict future activities.
This is basic segmentation developed from descriptive analysis. But while this helps to focus efforts, it is essentially reactive 3and does little to develop new gifts.
5. Think relationships.
All aspects of the event marketing relationship are changing. Social media is perhaps the most obvious change, but there are other choices you can use. Rather than treating social media as a standalone channel or replacement for traditional tactics, event marketers should be looking for ways to use social media to support and enhance the successful programs they already have in place.
6. Drive fundraising productivity.
In some organizations fundraisers spend too much of their time doing tasks that the marketing should be doing for you. We’re seeing some organizations use their CRM and personal fundraising systems to take advantage of automation, email and social media to make personal fundraisers more credible with their donors and shorten the cultivation cycle.
7. Use social media to connect and facilitate dialogue.
You’re are accountable for your events’ participation in social media—even if your aren’t engaging in those conversations yourself. You must train, educate and support your event participants who fundraises on behalf of the organization.
8. Remember the 80/20 rule.
Do you treat all event participants equally? You shouldn’t! The most effective events focus the majority of their efforts on the participants with the highest potential return, which typically constitutes only about 15% of the participant base.
9. Give your donor database the respect it deserves.
We recommend that you not overlook an analysis of the structure of your data gathering itself. This is an area all-too-often ignored. This includes administration of hundreds of thousands of participants and donor records and millions of transactions.
10. Be different.
The audit and evaluation of your events should include comprehensive participant, donor, market and competitive analysis. Understanding how you will compete and differentiate your events is critical to success.