Over the next two weeks, we’ll be sharing our insights into What 2020 Taught Us. I know, I know; it’s hard to imagine everything we’ve learned fitting neatly into two blog posts. But it will! First up, I’ll be talking about the importance of connecting to your mission (more on that below). Then you’ll hear from us on why COVID-compliant, hybrid events are the future.
Life has been turned upside down since March. And it’s safe to say that the event production business has been tested like never before. Here at Event 360, we are wired to be out on the road producing life-changing, memorable events on behalf of the clients we’re privileged to work alongside. Obviously there’s been very little, if any, event execution going on since COVID-19 came into our lives like a wrecking ball.
Despite that, the need for fundraising hasn’t changed. It has been vital to find meaningful ways to engage with participants and supporters to ensure that our clients can continue to deliver the critical services they provide. Now more than ever, connecting your constituents to your mission needs to be a top priority. There’s a lot of competing noise out there, and narrowing in and focusing on your mission ensures that it is also top of mind for your event participants.
The single best way to ensure fundraising dollars still come in is making sure your constituents are connected to your mission. How do you do this? Consider these three tactics:
- Clearly communicate what your mission is. Do your participants know what your mission is? In order for them to feel connected to your mission, they need to know it. You should be infusing this language into regular communication across all mediums including your website, emails, and social media posts. If people don’t know what your mission is, how could they possibly feel connected to it?
- Personally engage with your mission. It’s not enough for you to just push out mission messaging to your participants; you as an organization need to live it. It cannot only be an external strategy. This means ensuring employees stand behind your mission and that you foster an environment that reflects this mission. One of the best ways to do this is to talk directly with your participants and to participate in the events that you produce. (For most of us these days, this means engaging virtually.)
- Always always connect fundraising to your mission. We all know that fundraising has been impacted by COVID-19. Organizations who are still raising money are doing so because their participants feel personally connected to the mission and are committed to doing everything they can to further the cause by continuing to raise money. With or without an event, your participants need to know how they are making a difference and where the funds they raise are being directed. The best thing you can do is to provide your participants with the information they need to ask their networks to donate. Whether it’s simple statistics or glossy infographics, provide your participants with easily digestible data that shows both the need and the impact.
Take a moment to consider how well you’re doing these three things above. If there’s room for improvement, see how you can tweak your strategy by focusing on connecting your participants to your mission. And during this particularly challenging COVID time, remember that it’s your job to communicate a sense of urgency. Everything seems critical right now, especially when it comes to raising money. You’ll be far more successful in getting participants to fundraise when they are personally connected to your mission and the important work of your organization.
You’re doing important work during a critical time. Your mission is one of the most important things that sets you apart from other organizations. Make sure your participants know it inside and out and the role they play in bringing it to life.
Molly Fast leads the company’s local operations for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Series and feels privileged to work with our participant-facing (customer service) team. For more than 16 years with Event 360, Molly has been fortunate enough to combine her love of people with the ability to make a difference in the work she does focusing on exceeding expectations and delighting participants along the way, whether it’s talking them through a fundraising plan on the phone, or giving them a hug out on the route.