A few days ago I tweeted about how at College Success Foundation (@College_Success) one of our founders brought a new idea for our big fundraising evening. Another event she attended had place cards with a pledge card on the inside. We thought, “brilliant!” and moved to use it.
Our event is smaller, about 180 total seated guests, so it was not too much to prepare these.
The outside looks just like a normal place card (folded size 4.25 w x 2.75 h).
Inside, we merged the information we had on the guest. In every case, we had the name. Since we use Raiser’s Edge, we listed the information as address, preferred phone and email (preferred email is what is used when sending emails to constituents).
First the stats on giving: we raised about $220,000 that night (via a six-item auction, 17 centerpieces and Raise The Paddle). [We were delighted to work again with Totally Blown Glassworks this year for our centerpieces. You can see our auction videos here, here and here.]
A total of 79 donations were received that night from these (average gift $2,789). The ”silent/via place card” gifts helped us in two ways – obtain new or corrected address information and additional gifts. We received 18 additional gifts this way, with an average gift of $322 (23% of people giving and 3% of gifts)… so we received 3 $1,000 gifts, 2 $500 gifts and then the rest were below the amount for Raise the Paddle. Many of these people were people who might work at universities at attended but may not have been considered in our usual prospect pool.
Second, we also had 17 people amend their contact info, which was very helpful. That may have been nearly as big a “win.” We printed place cards for those for whom we had a name (and could not obtain additional information) and also printed some which were completely blank for last minute changes (and there were some!).