It’s 1:30 am and you are walking out of the venue. Your feet are sore, your back hurts, you are beyond tired, but…you are over the moon with how amazing your event was. Guests were happy, volunteers pulled through and you raised A LOT of money! Congratulations.
Sleep in the next day, but DO NOT take a vacation from your event. Your event “To Do List” isn’t complete yet. You have a few more valuable tasks to complete before you take that well deserved break.
Here is your Post-Event To Do List
Send Thank You’s – You had a great team helping you. Be sure to thank all of them. Send an email, phone them or even send a handwritten note. The more thought and effort you put in, the bigger the impact. Be sure to include your staff, volunteers, committee members, suppliers and speakers. Social media is a great tool for this as well.
Expert Tip: Draft these thank you’s ahead of time and fill in the missing info post event – saves you needing to be creative after the event when you are wiped!
Balance Your Budget – It should be an easy thing to do because you should know your numbers going into the event; needing to only plug in the night of fundraising numbers (silent auction, live auction, fund a need, etc.). And we encourage you to announce your NET number. Yes, it’s amazing if you raised $1 million, but if your expenses were $999,999…announcing $1 million is deceiving. Communicating honest numbers with your guests will help develop trust with your donors moving forward.
Send Surveys – Surveys are a great way to collect honest feedback. Be sure to send the survey 1-2 days after the event, so it’s fresh in your guests’ minds. Target your surveys for the audience – guests, volunteers, suppliers and sponsors will have different surveys offering you different, yet important perspectives. These survey results will help guide some of your decisions for next year.
Debrief – Your committee has been working on the event for a long time. They have been the face of the organization in the community for many months. Be sure to set up a thank you dinner (ideally they are not paying for this) where you can thank them in person and collect feedback. This meeting is about constructive feedback and can be tough for some to hear, so be sure to start and end with a celebration of the event’s success.
Implement Your Stewardship Plan – You’ve created your plan and now it is time to implement it! Your event has attracted new donors (hopefully) and has inspired current donors. Now is the time to connect with them. Here are some of our favourite ways to connect:
Send a tax receipt & thank you letter
Add them to your newsletter list
3- 6 months post event send them a letter highlighting how the funds from the event have made an impact
By keeping donors in the loop throughout the year, it makes the next ask (ticket sales, sponsorship or annual gift) not seem like it’s come out of the blue. You never want your donors thinking you are only reaching out to them to “sell” them something. Let them in as part of the community your organization creates and they will be more receptive to ongoing support.
After these things are taken care of, it’s time for you to find some time to relax and recharge. Plan your down time as carefully as you plan your event. Celebrate your successes – because soon, you will be planning for next year!