An event is not a fundraiser. A person is.
Your nonprofit organization may pour a lot of time into holding events. When the weather is good, you may organize walks, 5k runs, barbecues, or golf tournaments. When the weather pushes you indoors (and the pandemic permits), you may have a gala dinner, an auction, a night at the museum–although I hope you have learned how to make them online events too!)
Those are not fundraisers.
- Some of these events are intentionally aimed at saying thank you rather than raising money. Appreciation events for donors, staff, or volunteers build relationships but may cost money in the short run.
- Some of these events aim to make money but don’t. Oops! (And even more of them run at a loss, or a wash, if you take into account the huge amount of staff time spent organizing them.)
- The main reason is that people who go to events because they enjoy them are not necessarily people who support your organization through thick and thin. They are not the loyal donors whose lifetime value to your nonprofit is huge.
The only way you can create loyal donors is by having people get in touch with them. The people who do that? They’re the fundraisers!
Rev up your fundraisers: reduce your events
You may already have held a spring event or two. You may have summer and fall events in the works. I would urge you to think about your events calendar again. What event can you cut?
Which of your events is
- Raising less money each year?
- Taking the most time to produce?
- Getting stale for your supporters?
- Forcing your fundraisers to spend time with vendors when they could be talking with donors?
Ask yourself those questions. Then, cut one event from your annual schedule.
What should a fundraiser do instead?
If you free your fundraising people from organizing yet another event, they can write personalized thank-you notes, make phone calls, ask donors what makes them give and mark that information in your database.A fundraiser is so much more than an event planner. Give them the time they need for real human contact and watch your income grow. Click To Tweet