Converting Event Donors to Organizational Donors

A fundraising event is not an end in and of itself. 

nonprofit_fundraising It holds the potential to expand your organization’s traditional fundraising pipelines.

 A strategic approach can convert event donors into annual fund, major and planned gift donors.

 Spending time engaging event participants is vital.

Studies have shown that there is a tremendous untapped opportunity in event donors who have already demonstrated their support through a monetary donation.

But most organizations make the mistake of dismissing this type of philanthropy as merely tangential in their nonprofit marketing plan. 

The burden is on each organization to pursue a deeper relationship and engage these donor prospects outside of their relationship with the event.

If you don’t take the first step, chances are the relationship will never move beyond their support of the event.

While an event donor may have little knowledge of your organization’s mission, we believe it’s in your best interest to use this five-step plan to convert them to organizational donors;

  • 1
    Identify and segment your event donors; capture all the information that you possibly can from event donors’ checks, credit card receipts, online giving forms and other related correspondence and code this information into your data base.
  • 2
    Apply wealth screening to your event donors; using the capacity and inclination characteristics of your organization’s existing major, annual and planned gift prospect pools assign each event donor to one of these giving populations and rank them within each group. Prospect research centers such as Wealth Engine can help you with this research.
  • 3
    Engage event donors; using a unique engagement strategy that is tailored to reflect the event. Send a series of 8 to 10 communications each referencing the fundraising progress of the event itself. The communications should include a pre-defined mix of media and content, letters, emails, phone calls and post cards. The purpose of the communications is purely for the sake of drawing the event donor’s interest further into the organization. This is not the time for solicitation.
  • 4
    Qualify and cultivate; each event donor prospect should be assigned to a major, annual or planned gift officer responsible for making personal contact and qualifying each person within 4 to 6 weeks of the event. Once qualification has occurred, cultivation can begin which should focus on personalizing their experience and providing a subtle call-to-action.
  • 5
     Convert; will the event donor convert? The only way to find out is to ask. Listening to your donor prospect is the best way to know when they are ready to make the conversion from event donor to organizational donor.

By identifying, using wealth screening, engaging, qualifying and converting event donors your nonprofit organization can leverage its event participants’ networks to build new donor pipelines. 

Doing so will likely require an investment in education and training in order to shift the current culture of fundraising staff and event participants.

Persuading people to commit to contributions has never been easy.

Learn how to develop a marketing strategy to retain current donors and attract new donors by downloading this informative eGuide entitled; How to Attract and Retain Donors.

You can download it here.