You’ve raised funds for a charity and pulled off a great event. Hopefully, everyone had a good time and left more informed about a good cause.
The festivities might be over, but your job isn’t.
By following up after your charity event, you’re essentially entering a bonus round of fundraising. It’s time to turn some of your event attendees into donors.
This guide will go over…
- Looking at your results
- Wrapping up the event budget
- Creating content from the event footage
- Thanking everyone and sharing your results
- Collecting feedback and debriefing your team
At the end of it, you’ll be in a much better place to convert your event attendees into donors.
1. Prepare to follow up
The follow-up after the event should be part of your event planning. You can draft a “thank you” note ahead of time and then just fill in the blanks after the event.
Tip: Use a follow-up email template to help you outline how yours should look.
2. Look at the numbers
Before you send out follow-up emails, you should look at the numbers. Did you achieve the goals you set for the event?
Whether you aimed to raise funds or spread awareness, you should analyse some of the data you have gathered.
You could measure your success based on…
- How many tickets you sold
- How many people attended (if it was a free event)
- Social media and press mentions
- How many donors you signed up
- How much money you’ve raised in total
What everyone wants to see is how they contributed to a great cause. Supply them with numbers and facts so they get a feel for the difference they’ve made.
It’ll encourage them to support you further.
Tip: Use these fundraising success metrics to help you track your performance.
3. Wrap up your budget
Once the party’s over, it’s time to close the books. Charities are under intense scrutiny when it comes to budgeting since the money is supposed to support a good cause.
If you’ve managed to stick to the budget, however, it’ll be a pretty straightforward task.
Some of the numbers you will have to add up are…
- How many tickets you sold
- Any food and drinks you’ve sold
- Merchandise and swag sales
- Corporate sponsorships
- Donations made on the day
And then deduct all the expenses like…
- Venue Hire
- Catering costs
- Speaker and entertainment fees
- Marketing Spend
Compare the final figures to help you determine whether or not you met the initial budget plan. It will be useful for budgeting for future charity events.
Moreover, it’s also a good way to show potential donors that you’re managing the money in a responsible manner.
Tip: Use this guide to help you calculate your charity event’s incomes and outgoings.
4. Create content from the event
You did have a photographer document the charity event you just organised…right? Now you should have a bunch of photos and videos on your hard drive.
If you’ve live streamed the event, you should already have the video up on your social media profiles. But you can still get creative with it.
One of the best ways to use this material is to create an event highlights video. You can combine footage and still images, as well as footage related to the charity you’re supporting.
You should also post still images with speaker quotes from the event on your social media. It will encourage them to share it with their followers, which means more exposure for you.
Visual content is a particularly good way to reach new donors for the cause. Not everyone are wowed by facts and figures — some prefer to see more tangible results.
Tip: If you don’t know how to edit videos, then you can find a volunteer video editor online.
5. Thank everyone for their contribution
You should make a point out of thanking everyone for helping make the event a success. It will add a personal touch, and increase the likelihood of turning the attendees into future donors.
Be sure to send a big “thank you” to…
- Event attendees
- Speakers and entertainers
- Venue and vendors
- Sponsors and donors
- Event team
You don’t have to send out hundreds of handwritten notes. But it’s nice to thank certain key people, such as your big donors, personally.
Tip: Look at these fundraising “thank you” quotes to find some inspiration for your email.
6. Share your results (and tell a story)
Everyone will be interested in what the charity event accomplished. Your follow-up email should include as much relevant information as possible.
Don’t bombard people with complicated stats and figures, but give them a broad overview of the numbers. Show them how much of a difference their support has made.
Here are some of the results you can share post-event:
- How much money and awareness you raised
- Press clippings and media mentions
- Social media engagements and shares
The most important part is that you highlight what all these results mean for the cause. What are they able to do with all the additional funds and attention?
Tell a story related to the charity and how the support has helped. Use it to show what additional funding from donors could do to further the cause?
Tip: Read about how you can measure fundraising success and include some additional results.
7. Collect feedback from everyone
One of the most crucial parts of the event follow-up is to ask for feedback. Everyone involved will be able to give you valuable insights you can use for future events.
Asking for feedback will not only help you, but it will also make guests and sponsors feel like they’re a more integral part of the event.
You can send a feedback form and ask attendees to rate your event on a scale from one to five. But you should also include a comments box where they can give you more detailed feedback.
If you want to get more specific, then ask your attendees…
- What they loved about the event
- How you could improve the next event
- If they would be interested in similar events
- If they would consider donating the charity
Tip: Use a website like SurveyMonkey to make your own custom feedback form.
8. Debrief your team
The last and final part of your event follow-up is to hold a debrief meeting. You should already have a general idea of what worked and what didn’t work.
If you don’t, then now is the time to ask…
- Did you achieve your goal?
- What went right?
- What went wrong?
- How can you improve?
Now is the time to go more in-depth with your team and put the feedback to good use. See if you can boost the positives and reduce the negatives for your next event.
Use the opportunity to reiterate the results from the event that just happened. You should get your event team pumped and excited for the next charity fundraiser.
Tip: Read this guide on how to properly debrief your charity event team.
To sum up
You’ve now successfully followed up after your charity event. Hopefully, it has resulted in happy donors, sponsors, and event team members.
Most importantly, you’ve hopefully made a significant contribution to a good cause. And the feedback you’ve received should give you an idea for the next event.
Speaking of the next event, try to strike while the iron is hot. You’ve helped the event attendees take the first step towards becoming a donor.
The next step is up to you!