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How to raise more money before, during, and after an event

January 14, 2022
This group of supporters is smiling for a picture at a nonprofit event.

A fundraising event has an abundance of potential—not just during the function itself, but in its planning and follow-up phases as well. As your fundraising team begins to prepare for your nonprofit organization’s next event, make sure to broaden your focus!

How can you maximize your time, resources, and efforts across planning, execution, and after the event? Every step of the process offers valuable opportunities for interacting with your supporters, so take advantage of these chances to leave a positive impression on prospects and current donors.

Optimize your fundraising event plan with these before, during, and after tips:


Incorporate a peer-to-peer campaign

An engaging and productive way to spread enthusiasm for your event is through peer-to-peer fundraising. Launch a peer-to-peer campaign before or in tandem with your event to extend your nonprofit’s reach even further. Recruit several of your most dedicated supporters to lead outreach for your organization’s purpose. 

As your peer fundraisers share their individual fundraising pages with their personal networks, your organization can amplify your revenue without having to expend additional resources or funds. Also, your campaign will heighten excitement and engagement from staff and attendees for your upcoming event.

Add a donation option with ticket purchases

Your fundraising event invitations and registration page are prime places to encourage interested attendees to further engage with your organization through donations. 

Take your guest RSVPs to the next level by including a line on your mailed event card or an option on your online registration page for responders to donate along with purchasing tickets. This way, even those who may be unable to attend your event have the opportunity to donate in lieu of registering, and those who can attend may be inclined to give more.


Encourage in-person giving

Once you’ve launched your event, put its energy to good use by offering easy ways for attendees to donate at the event. For instance, consider placing donation slips at tables and in your event program, or incorporating a paddle raise into your schedule.

You can even take advantage of the convenience of mobile giving by promoting text-to-give among your supporters. Enlist your host or auctioneer to draw attention to these calls to action throughout the event.

Sell branded merchandise

Another giving option to offer your attendees is purchasing your organization’s branded merchandise. This is an effective way to cultivate deeper relationships with your supporters and align them closer with your purpose.

Be consistent and thoughtful with your branding as you design t-shirts or other merchandise for your nonprofit. Take the opportunity to get creative with promotional items that reflect your organization’s cause and impact.


Show appreciation

After your organization’s hard work has paid off and attendees leave with positive memories of your fundraising event, take time to follow up with your supporters. Thank them for their contributions and further promote your nonprofit’s purpose by sharing concrete ways that the event will benefit your organization in a second follow-up message.

Remember to show gratitude to your staff and everyone else involved as well. Solicit feedback from all event participants to cultivate more productive relationships in the long run.

Analyze data and feedback

To ensure even greater success in events to come, decide on some key fundraising metrics and have data collection measures in place to analyze the results of your nonprofit’s efforts.

Coupled with feedback, useful data such as the number of event attendees, donation revenue earned, and amounts earned from merchandise purchases can help you identify where your organization did well and where you could improve in the future.

Maximize your event results

Events bring supporters, staff, board members, and volunteers together. They represent moments of unity among your community, drawn together by your organization’s purpose. Keep that connection alive through consistent communication and marketing efforts related to events and other updates about your nonprofit.

By investing time and resources into all aspects of your event planning process, you can ensure that your attendees and staff can walk away from your event eager to contribute to your nonprofit’s impact. 

For more tips on how to host the event of the season, download The Ultimate Guide to Nonprofit Fundraising Events.

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