In my last post, I offered some practical tips on ensuring that your nonprofit events maximize donor, volunteer and prospect relationships and help move them forward (and how to deal with challenges here).
But much of this can start even earlier – at the invitation stage.
What typically happens for an event is that we invite those who invited last year (or maybe even up to five years back!), generous donors, faithful supporters, board members – what we might call the “usual suspects”. This could be for a gala, golf tournament or other event with an invitation and where you are creating an invitation list.
When it is time to pull the list together
- Take a look at the list of prospects and lapsed donors – Whether you have a major gift team or are in a one-person shop, you likely have a list of lapsed donors to re-engage and prospects to try to engage. Who among these people might be interested in attending this event? Is there someone who could be invited by a board member, Ambassador or other key volunteer to join their table or foursome? Use a critical eye. Of course, you should have a strategy for each of these people, but perhaps you haven’t yet had time. For some, attending an event with peers may be preferable to accepting a meeting request from a fundraiser. Be strategic. Personalize. Think about choosing from these lists, but no more than 5 – 10% of your total invitation pool.
- Continue reading