Event attendance is the gateway to deeper donor engagement and more donation dollars, according to our latest research, Donor Experience Study. But, to start that long, fruitful courtship, you have to get potential supporters to attend your fundraising events. Get started by implementing these four practices:
One: Share About Your Event on Social Media
Social media is a powerful tool for nonprofit organizations, because it has a wide reach and is inexpensive. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are great for sharing about upcoming events or fundraising initiatives.
On Facebook, you can create a “Facebook event” with all the details of the event and instructions for ticket purchases. You can then share the event on your organization’s page and invite followers.
On Twitter, messages are meant to be short, but you can use images and links to share more information about your event. Create a catchy image with your event name and date and tweet it out with a link to your ticket site.
On Instagram, you can use the same image used on Twitter, but include instructions for purchasing tickets in the caption.
While LinkedIn is more professional than the above social media networks, it’s great for connecting with people in your professional world with whom you may not be friends on Facebook.
Two: Encourage Board Members, Staff, Volunteers, etc., to Tell Friends and Family About the Event
Ask your board, staff, and volunteers to share about the event in their personal social media networks. They will have a different reach than your organization, and may be able to convince some of their friends and family to attend the event with them!
If you’re able, offer a discount on ticket purchases for friends and family of those close to your organization. A 10 percent discount may not make a large difference to your organization, but may encourage someone new to your nonprofit’s cause to attend … they could become a larger donor in the future.
Three: Reach Out to Local Press Outlets About Featuring Your Event
The best way to reach your local community is through the media. Create a press release detailing your event and your organization and send it to local media outlets for a chance to be featured. Make sure to do your research and try to send your piece to the right person! Target specific reporters, like lifestyle editors, who cover local goings on and charity events.
There are many media outlets like newspapers, magazines, radio stations, and TV stations that will also promote your event on their website. Never hesitate to reach out!
Four: Send Reminder Emails to Attendees and Let Them Know Their Friends are Welcome
As your event nears, you’ll want to send a reminder email to all supporters who have RSVPed to give them any last-minute details and let them know you’re excited to see them! In this email, you can also mention that ticket sales are not yet closed and encourage them to invite friends to the event.
Here’s an example paragraph that you could add to your reminder email:
“I also wanted to let you know that ticket sales are still open for the event! If you have any friends or family who are interested in attending with you, they can register online using this ticket link or they can pay at the door. We’re excited to see you!”
It’s also worth reaching out to past attendees. Even if they can’t make it this year, they may have friends or family members who would like to attend. Encourage them to share the ticket information on social media or through word of mouth!