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don’t forget to add this to your next donor event

September 25, 2011 |

It’s the time of year for your annual breakfast or banquet or gala or fashion show or dogwash. It’s not even October and we’ve already been to several and there are several more on our calendar.

It is the season for events if you’re a nonprofit or ministry.

And I suspect that if you’re like most, you’ll forget one key ingredient.

You do a good job on the invitations and program. You get the right people in the room and make sure that you have a good Ask. You KNOW that the “food count” has a few extra built-in, just in case. You have nametags and places for everyone (names triple checked). You make sure that those special major donors have just the right person sitting next to them. You double-check the PowerPoint deck and triple-check the video projector. You test the microphones. Everything has fresh batteries.

What did you forget? What else is there?

The keynote speaker is set…and briefed. The response cards and envelopes are 100% correct—one last double-check for typos. The room is perfect. Oh, and you have extra business cards in your pocket. Oh and there ARE pens at every place. All set.

What are you missing?

Nothing. Maybe. But.

How about a little Social Media?

Wouldn’t it be great if on the way in or the way out or during the event your donors could connect with you on Social Media?

How about a laptop or two set up where people could “check in” and tell all their friends what they’re up to? Maybe even connect with your organization if they haven’t already.

How about a QR code or two for them to play with during the mingling time?

Speaking of mingling, how about a time for them to “mingle” with each other out there in the social media world? Why couldn’t they “friend” each other during that time.

I betcha there will be a lot of smart phones in the crowd.

What if right after the big close, on their way out, you gave people an opportunity to say 30 seconds of nice things about you on video? Don’t worry about the videographer…just have staff with their smart phones videoing. They’ve just heard great things from their favorite charity and are feeling wonderful about the big gift they made, why not capture the moment on video? And, with their permission, you post it on your YouTube channel or Facebook or your website. And you help them share it with their friends…

Or maybe even if you have a really killer closing…why not encourage everyone in the audience to pull out their smart phones and capture a 1 minute passionate moment about your cause. Then ask them to post it everywhere they can. Help them share their influence and love for you. They’ll love it.

That could help your event live beyond the moment. And it adds to the overall experience which is vital to today’s successful events.

Don’t forget to add a little social media spice to your next event. You’ll love how it changes the dynamic and how it extends the reach of the event.

What about you? How are you using social media at your events? What do you think about combining social media with your events? I’d love for you to share your ideas with the tribe.


Steve Thomas
Partner, Oneicity

(photo credit: Tracy Hunter)

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