Continuing from my “Before the Event” post yesterday, here are three simple questions to consider for expectations at the event itself.
At the event:
How will your board members and event volunteers greet the guests? First-time guests may arrive knowing only the person who invited them. In addition to formal greeters, ask volunteer leadership to arrive early, to introduce themselves to at least three people they don’t know, and to share their personal commitment to the organization.
Why should a newcomer make a beyond-minimum gift? First-time attendees expect to make the “suggested minimum gift.” They also expect to learn more about your programs and services. Remember that they need to learn the difference philanthropy makes in your organization’s ability to effectively deliver those programs and services. Make sure to share easy-to-understand information about your “revenue pie” both from the podium and in table collateral.
How will you leverage new gifts? Matching challenges build momentum and excitement and come in all shapes and sizes. Some challenges match gifts of a certain dollar amount; others match percentage increases. Consider a simple match for all “new and increased gifts.” For some newcomers, the minimum suggested gift is a personally meaningful stretch, and a match on their dollars validates their generosity. Target first-time attendees with the capacity to make a beyond-minimum gift to receive personal notes with their commitment cards – from their table captains, key staff or a board member – thanking them for attending and inviting a gift or pledge of a specific amount.
Tune in tomorrow for the third and final part in the ‘Tis the Season (for Special Events) series!
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About the Author
Barb Maduell CFRE
With pithy advice and sensible solutions, Barb guides her clients through the cycle of best fundraising practices, coaching them to greater heights.