One of the primary relationships in event fundraising is the link between participants and donations. In general, the more participants a program has, the more donations it should raise. This is because participants bring in donors, and donors give donations – and so as participants increase, the overall fundraising should increase as well.

However, although this is a primary mathematical relationship, it is also the number one challenge facing most nonprofit organizations. Simply put, many fundraising events underperform – not because of a lack of participants, but because the participants do not fundraise. In almost every engagement we manage, therefore, we find that at least part of our task is to take an event that has successfully created awareness and help our client transform it into a successful fundraising program.

Do your events raise awareness, but no money? Are you struggling to turn participants into fundraisers? The good news is that you can impact these results. From our work, we have identified four key steps to transform an event from a gathering of people into an effective fundraising program:

  • A well-articulated ask;
  • A segmented participant base;
  • A customized communication plan targeted to the segments; and
  • A management culture that supports fundraising.

I’ve recently written a free white-paper outlining these steps in a bit more detail. I invite you to download it here.

Remember that attendance doesn’t fuel the programs that change the world — revenue does.

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