Congratulations! You have gone through and completed your fundraising event checklist and have concluded your hugely successful fundraising event. You had strong attendance, an engaging experience for your guests, and you raised a ton of money for your nonprofit or cause.After such a worthy effort, take some time and reflect on the work you’ve done. Maybe even take a day off! Then, get ready to come back refreshed and ready to complete your event wrap-up.While it may not be the first thing you think of when organizing a fundraising event, your event wrap-up can be as important as the actions leading up to your event, as it will both conclude your most recent event and also help you transition into the next year.As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, the team at Accelevents runs a large 1,000+ person fundraising event each year in Boston. This year’s event ended about two weeks ago, meaning we are just finishing our event wrap-up. In this post, we will walk you through the best practices that we’ve learned over the years, in order to successfully conclude each of your fundraising events and set the stage for future success!
Hopefully, you’ve taken some time leading up to and during your event to thank all of your supporters.Once your event has ended, this acknowledgment will be one of your most valuable tools to build long-term success for your event. Thanking your supporters frequently and in a unique fashion will allow your fundraising event and committee to create a lasting relationship with your donors. The result? Repeat guests, sponsors, and donors! As you think about thanking your supporters, there are three major groups to consider:
These different elements provide further entertainment to our guests and allow them to relive the great experience we provided at our fundraising event!
Again, the key here is to build a lasting relationship with your sponsors so that they return to support your cause year after year.
These people should also be acknowledged and thanked for their generosity, for they have taken a valuable item and donated it to support your cause free of charge! On a similar note, be sure to thank any vendors who may have donated their services, or even offered a discount on the services they provided at your event. Great vendors can be hard to come by, so show your appreciation in order to be able to work with your best vendors each year!As we discussed before, you can use many different channels to thank your supporters, including social media, email, written letters, phone calls, and more. When thanking your supporters, always try to include some kind of engaging content (photos, videos), as well as updates on how the event performed. If you have updates on how much money you donated or what the proceeds are being used for, be sure to share this information with your supporters so that they can share in the pride associated with such a generous act!
In the early morning and days after your event, you and your committee will want to be thorough in conducting your event wrap up. Some of the key focus areas should include:
While you may be getting a bit tired of your event, the best time to begin reflecting and applying learning for your next event is in the few weeks following your fundraiser – this is when your experience will be the freshest in your mind! When reflecting on your event’s success, keep in mind that fundraising events will always be works in progress. Even the most successful events have room to grow and build on the experience and success they have created since their inception. To start, begin discussing the general success of some of the major elements of your event:
After you’ve discussed some of these major topics, it’s time to reflect on some of the finer details of your fundraiser. These may take a bit more time to discuss:
Finally, you can pull all your learnings together with the post-event survey that you send out to your attendees. This survey will provide hard data about most of the elements mentioned above, and will also give you the freedom to ask your audience specific questions about your event.
Once you’ve completed the steps above, you are finally ready to take a breather. Don’t forget to take some time to celebrate with your committee and your supporters and recognize the feat that you’ve accomplished by running a successful fundraiser AND supporting an amazing cause. When next year's event comes along, don't be afraid to go back to the future and do another quick debrief!Now it’s time to make next year’s event even better!