When creating a major giving event, it is essential to engage donors from the first impression to long after the event has occurred.
During the session “The Event Pipeline: Turning Event Guests Into Major Donors” at the recent Fundraising Day in New York, presenter Patricia H. Clemency, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Metro New York and Western New York gave those in the audience the keys to creating a clear strategy to make the most from giving events.
By transforming the donor experience from a transaction to a transformation, donors feel more involved in the process. Rephrasing invitations from “inviting to an event” to “joining in the mission” piques a prospect donor’s interest and creates a call to action, rather than a passive request.
It is essential to transform the event guests’ experience from the moment they arrive. Create a strong first impression and center the night not just around past results, also but future needs. Fundraisers can also employ a “divide and conquer” technique to ensure all prospect donors are addressed.
You can also take advantage strategic seating and have members of the organization placed as an “anchor” of the table to gather information and direct conversation by connecting fundraising to the core mission of the organization. By doing this, organizations guide donors on how they can continue getting involved and supporting the cause.
By creating an event that engages donors and allows them to feel that they are being supported and have a clear path for future gifts, it allows the entire experience to move from a transaction to a transformation for both the donor and the organization.