I was having a conversation with a client yesterday that had big plans for their fundraising walk. As has become the usual in this very unusual year, they were moving the event to a virtual platform. After sharing some of the very clever ways they had re-imagined the walk, I asked "and what's your follow-up plan for your fundraisers and new donors?" Silence.
This isn't unusual. Reflecting over the last twenty years, I've found it rare that a nonprofit has a detailed outreach plan for the post-event period. More often the six to nine month cycle (in a collapsed form) goes something like this:
Sound at least vaguely familiar? And while I know with Covid we're doing things a little different, the mentality remains.
A critical step 5 is absent and you don't win a prize if you've been reading this and guess what it is: A Follow Up Plan with Your Fundraisers. Thank you's. Feedback. How else would they like to be involved?
And then depending on how the fundraising was done i.e. peer-to-peer, sponsorships etc. , A Follow Up Plan With Your Donors. Not so different. Big THANK YOU's. What did they enjoy about the experience. Etc.
Here's my point: Forget the Bagels! Spend a little less energy on that stuff - the really committed one's don't care that you only have plain bagels and skipped the everything and sesame. Use that energy to have a true post-even follow up strategy that truly leverages the hard work you just invested in the front end of your event.
And feel free to substitute bagels for the committee discussion over the choice of chicken or fish, the perfect tablecloth or what gets put in the goody bag that promptly goes in a closet never to be seen or heard from again.