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4 impactful strategies for post-event donor engagement

March 24, 2022
This nonprofit professional is talking to donors after a fundraising event.

The end of a successful fundraising event marks the beginning of productive, long-lasting donor relationships for your nonprofit organization. The days and weeks following your fundraiser are a prime time to boost donor engagement and giving. Make the most of this opportunity by having a detailed post-event communications plan in place to steward your attendees.

To help maximize your results and maintain your fundraising momentum, let’s discuss the basic levels of donor relationships and four effective strategies for post-event donor engagement.

Levels of donor engagement

Your donors’ relationships with your nonprofit are continually evolving. Once they’re introduced to your work and purpose, they continue to learn more about your organization the more they interact with you. The ultimate goal behind forming a communications plan is to level up these relationships and cultivate reliable, long-term supporters. The basic levels of donor relationships are:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Involvement
  • Investment

After your fundraising event, reach out to attendees who are new to your organization and encourage their interest by asking them to sign up for your email list or follow you on social media. Prompt your event volunteers to deepen their involvement with your nonprofit by contributing a gift, and follow up with current donors with additional ways they can invest in your purpose, like becoming a peer-to-peer fundraiser.

4 post-event donor engagement strategies

1. Follow up and thank your donors.

Account for follow-ups in your fundraising event plans. This will ensure that you have time blocked out to send thoughtful and strategic communications to your attendees after the fundraiser. A basic part of donor appreciation is a thank-you message. The more valued your supporters feel, the more eager they’ll be to participate in and contribute to your future fundraising initiatives. Beyond a thank-you note, take your nonprofit’s appreciation efforts to the next level by:

  • Spotlighting key donors on social media
  • Inviting them to appreciation events
  • Featuring them in your annual report
  • Honoring major donors on a recognition wall or plaque

Ensure that your donors understand the important role they play in driving your organization’s impact by regularly sharing news and updates. Your post-event thank-you's are a great place to start by providing an update on your event’s success and sharing details about what the raised funds will accomplish.

2. Share event results.

To encourage post-event donor engagement, be prompt and specific in sharing the results of your fundraising event. Send a follow-up email to your attendees detailing how much your event raised. Consider creating a post-event landing page and compelling social media posts for updates on the impact of supporters’ gifts, so they can better visualize how their contributions made a difference.

Additionally, send out surveys after the fundraiser to collect donors’ feedback. This will allow you to identify what you did well and how you can improve the attendee experience in future events, showing them that you care about their input.

3. Segment your donors.

Personalize your post-event donor communications by creating a segment in your donor management system for event attendees. In addition to sending them a thank-you note, encourage them to return for next year’s event. You can also segment your donors according to their:

  • Giving history
  • Interests
  • Communication preferences

Tailored messages are essential to making each donor feel individually valued by your organization, so collect detailed data in your database to inform your outreach and optimize your post-event donor engagement.

4. Offer additional ways to get involved.

After your fundraising event, take the opportunity to motivate your attendees to increase their involvement with your nonprofit. For instance, they can:

  • Subscribe to your blog.
  • Share event pictures and videos online.
  • Follow your organization’s social media channels.
  • Become a volunteer.
  • Opt into your recurring gifts program.

Set your organization up for success in the long run by focusing on post-event donor engagement. While it’s productive to attract new supporters to attend your event, retaining them long after will generate a sustainable source of funding for your nonprofit.

Cultivate lasting donor relationships

Supporters will engage with your nonprofit in multiple ways throughout their relationships with your nonprofit. Get creative with your donor interactions by following up after your events and offering convenient and exciting ways for them to support your purpose. Prioritize effective stewardship efforts after your events to ensure that each relationship is a long and productive one.

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    Donor Engagement
  • Nonprofits
  • Digital communications & marketing