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Skagit Valley Hospital

‘Tis the Season (for Events): Part 1, Before the Event



Table captains are calling. Mailboxes overflow with invitations. Whether your organization’s big event is a month beh ind you or a month away, ask yourself the following questions to ensure that you are maximizing revenue and building awareness about your mission with new supporters. With thoughtful strategies in place, this event is the first step to turning a new donor into a loyal one and expanding your base of support.

Before the event:

What first impression will you make for newcomers? For many attendees, the first time they hear about your work is when a friend or colleague invites them to sit at their table. If they need to register online, is the process an easy and clear one? Does the confirmation – by email or snail mail – include your mission statement and vision? Your website address? Recent highlights of the impact on your clients? Do you have an easily visible link a new attendee can click on to find out more about you before they attend your event?

What will you learn in advance about first-time attendees? Table captains and board members reach out to prospective supporters who might otherwise never appear on your organization’s radar. Ask multiple people in your organization to review the list of attendees in advance. Does the guest list include long-time major donor prospects with whom you have not previously had a connection? Do corporate tables include executive leadership as well as their own clients?

How will you follow up with invitees who are unable to attend? Some people will not wish to attend and many others may not be able to. What tools and resources will you give your table captains to follow up and introduce your mission and clients to those they reached out to? What’s your plan to capture their attention if they don’t attend the event?

Tune in tomorrow for Part Two: At the Event


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About the Author

Barb Maduell

Barb Maduell CFRE

Senior Consultant

With pithy advice and sensible solutions, Barb guides her clients through the cycle of best fundraising practices, coaching them to greater heights.


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