Updated: Aug 27
What if I could teach you how to bottle up the magic of your event and spread that pixie dust throughout the year?
Donors love you. They come to your event (even virtually) to show their support. Maybe you make them cry, cheer, dance and laugh! But what I want to help you do is to find a way to bottle up that event energy (AKA: pixie dust) and sprinkle it throughout the year.
Now you might be thinking, what? How on earth am I supposed to do that?
I'm going to share that with you. Even though events look different right now and we meeting in big groups or having our galas in person, that doesn’t stop us from needing to raise money. In fact, now, more than ever, many organizations are needing additional financial resources to carry out their mission.
To help you raise money, steward your donors, and share your case for support, I have come up with four key strategies.
1. Create a clear stewardship strategy
Everyone's heard ROI, return on investment, but when did you focus your return on relationships?
My clients continue to have the best success when they simply make an outreach to their donors (supporters and volunteers). That phone call is simple and goes like this…"Hey, how are you? Are you navigating these uncertain times?"
Stewardship could be a phone call, it could be an email, or it could be a handwritten note. So many people are craving community. We are desperate to have human connection and interaction.
2. Leverage your board
Engage your board and provide them tasks to support your organization as simple as possible. That may mean that you literally write the email or social media post for them. Make it so they can copy, paste, and share on their social media platforms.
Pro tip: Don't forget LinkedIn, that is an amazing platform, especially for all of these professionals that are civically engaged in your community.
Ask your board members to make personal phone calls. Provide them with the name, phone number, and the message you want them to share.
3. Host a virtual event
Did I just get some eye rolls? Hang with me…I am asking you to think of something different. For example, I am working with one of my clients here in the Metro Phoenix area, and we are doing a conversations with XYZ Organization.
We are utilizing Zoom – it’s free, accessible to most and many people are now very familiar with this platform. These events shouldn’t last more than 45 to 60 minutes. Keep it conversational in style. Ask your CEO, development director, volunteer director, or even your board members to participate.
Invite your guests to join this conversation with XYZ Organization. Invite them to reconnect, provide them with updates from your leadership. Tell them what your organization is doing during the pandemic. Tell them what you're looking forward to next year, and create this casual conversation style. And don't miss an opportunity to tell them how they can play a role in making a difference.
Another good opportunity for a virtual event is bagels with the board. Invite your attendees to meet you for a morning discussion. Invite them to grab their coffee and bagel from the comfort of their own home. Engage in dialogue, again, conversation in style like the example I provided above.
Pro tip: Create an agenda so you're winging it and have one person facilitate the conversation.
4. Customize your communication
We all fall into the trap of being too busy. All of us have 12 months in a year and 24 hours in our day. These hours fill up fast.
A great way to customize your communication is by segmenting your donor database. Sort your data and donors based off their gift level. For example 0-$100, $101-$250, $251 - $500. You get the picture.
Once you have segmented your donor list you can now talk to these segmented donors differently. This is the easiest way to customize your communications so that you're not blasting the same message to everyone. You want to customize your messaging so that you aren’t talking to $100 donors differently than your $10,000 donors.
We want to focus our ask, our solicitation, around that dollar amount, right? What does $50 do? What does $100 do? Maybe $100 for your organization provides a bus pass for 75 people going to work in your community that would otherwise be unemployed. And that's exactly what I want you to do throughout the entire segment of your list. So for instance, what does $500 do? Does $500 provide three nutritious meals for a family for a month? Maybe that's what it relates to. So really focus it in on your impact.
When we say things like, "Hey, your $500 goes to support our organization," and we're vague and we don't tell them what a power of a dollar does, we may lose them. They may come to your website and have the intention of giving a small gift. They may have the intention of giving $10, $25, maybe even $50. But if you tell them what an additional dollar amount may do, you could very well up-level their gift.
For instance, if I visit your website and I have the full intention of giving $25, that's what I want to do, but I see that $50 actually supports 5 families instead of two then I am more likely to my gift from $25 to $50. And right there, just with your messaging, you're able to increase your gift and that will totally prove a positive return on investment. That's why I want you to customize your communications.
These key strategies will help you sprinkle your event pixie dust throughout the year so that you're not having a one and done event.
If you want to nerd out with me, and create your pixie dust strategy together. Be warned, I can nerd out for hours. I truly love it. I'm extremely passionate about our nonprofit sector.
And lastly… Don't give up.
Don't hit the pause button.
Keep taking steps and action.
You can do it. I believe in you.
And I'm here in your corner. I'm here to help you with those four tips and techniques that I just shared with you, so reach out to me, and best of luck.