follow up on events to maximize your impact

Your big fundraising event is over. Whew.

You’ve done a great job with everything…including a dash of social media to keep things interesting.

Now what?

Of course, lots and lots of gift acknowledgments…anything else?

How about a nifty follow up email with photos, a video and more good stuff to connect your donors with your organization?

Hoots and I attended a gala and auction for one of our favorite charities a few weeks ago. It was a great night and we had a ball. (I was out-bid for a auction item I really wanted, but it was fun running up the price for a good cause).

A couple of days after the event an email popped into our personal email box. It was a thank you and a wrap up from the event.

Here’s the top half of the email.

Notice that the email assumes our support (completely true) and doesn’t assume that we attended. My guess is they sent this to the entire invitation list. I might have missed out on the event or I might not been paying attention during the whole event (I do have a tendency to get involved in side conversations). But now I have the chance to know what happened.

Here’s the bottom half of the email.

Here’s where it gets interesting.

They recap sponsors, table sponsors and all of their primary supporters of the event. That’s a nice additional “thank you” to all of those important donors.

Then they restate the reason their work is important (you have to keep reminding us why you do what you do).

Then they toss in photos! Here’s the live link to their Flickr site.

I flipped through and sure enough there are we are in a couple of photos. Plus I saw lots of people I knew. Just flipping through the photos took me back to the event in my memory. Excellent. A huge bump in stickiness.

Oh, and the subject line on the email? “Thank You & Photos from the Heritage Home Auction and Gala!”

Everyone wants to see their photo from an event.

And if I didn’t attend the event, I get to see what it looked like…maybe I’ll be sure to make it next year. So they give me the date of next year’s gala…I’m set.

Oh and I get a chance to see the video from the event and just in case I didn’t give or give enough…TA DA: a donate button.

The email closes out with personal contact information for the email signer who offers to give me a personal tour! Nice and unusual for a big organization.

I probably would have shortened the email and reordered portions of it but it’s a great email doing the right things.

How about you? How do you follow up your big event? Are you offering social media opportunities? (Those who’ve been in our seminars know that it’s a much bigger world out there than just Facebook—this is a great use of Flickr).

What have you loved from events you’ve attended? I love hearing from you.

Steve Thomas
Partner, Oneicity

(photo credit: Alan Light)

Steve Thomas

Steve Thomas

3 thoughts on “follow up on events to maximize your impact”

  1. Thanks for posting this. We are one week from our Annual Banquet/Silent Auction. I had planned on doing an email followup. Additionally, we are thinking of sending out a photo card to those who attended the event.

    This blog post will cut down on our time.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.