Recently, Gail and I had a fantastic coaching call with one of our Coaching Program participants. We spent the entire hour strategizing about the event she was planning strengthen her organization’s relationship with former and current donors.
Now you may know that Gail Perry is the Queen of Events. She loves a good party and she’s great at throwing them.
What’s more, she knows more about nonprofit events than most of us — including me — will ever know.
So I got a great tutorial from Gail right along with our client, Ellie.
Gail’s 5 Hottest Tips to Make Your Capital Campaign Event Shine
Follow these five tips when organizing your event and you can’t go wrong.
Hot Tip #1: Your capital campaign event is NOT a fundraiser.
Capital campaigns rely on raising money through larger gifts that are not raised through events. Use your events to build relationships; not to ask people for money.
Be sure you include the costs of your events in your campaign budget so you won’t have to sell tickets to cover the costs.
Hot Tip #2: Use a pre-event gathering to make people feel important.
Invite a subset of the most important guests to arrive 45 minutes before the main event. Then use that time to give people a preview, to honor them and tell them why they are so important to your organization.
Your VIPs will love the extra attention.
Hot Tip #3: Offer transportation for VIPs and older donors.
If you’re inviting some older donors, arrange to have them picked up and brought to the event and then driven home afterwards. You can have staff members do this or recruit board members or other donors who plan to attend the meeting.
Not only will they appreciate the ride, but that’ll increase the likelihood that they actually get there.
Hot Tip #4: Don’t let the program get too long.
Worried that your program might go on too long?
Even when you tell people that they have 5 minutes to speak, they often go on much longer. Politicians are famous for being long-winded.
Gail suggests getting a skilled MC who knows just how to get people on and off the stage. Encourage your MC to stand right beside the speakers when their time is up. And be sure to let every speaker know what the MC plans to do to keep the program running.
Hot Tip #5: Help your board members do their job at your event.
Give every board member a special name tag that makes it easy to recognize them as board member. Then instruct board members to behave like hosts and hostesses, circulating the room, welcoming people and talking to them.
Before the event, ask every board member to select two or three donors from the list that they will make it a point to talk to about the organization. Then, after the event, be sure to call them to find out what they learned.
What’s Worked for You? Win a FREE Phone Session
Share your ideas and experiences in running campaign events. What’s worked for you? What hasn’t?
Anyone who suggests an idea for how to run great campaign events that Gail thinks is TOP-NOTCH will be put in a drawing for a FREE 30 minute phone session with the Queen of Events herself. (Offer expires, June 1, 2014)
So what are you waiting for? Leave a comment below!