How to Use Post-Event Follow Up to Build Lasting Relationships

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Hosting an event for your organization is an excellent way to build relationships with your supporters and to enable them to introduce their own networks to your cause in a fun environment. Surprisingly, post-event follow-up is often overlooked, but is still critically important.

 

While many debate the value of nonprofit events given the high costs, data supports the idea that an event is an excellent opportunity to build a more actively engaged community – one that volunteers, donates, and supports your organization in multiple ways. Your follow-up is an acknowledgement of their participation and can build on the relationship between your supporters and your organization.

 

Some initial ways to foster the relationship after an event:

 

  • Show Appreciation: Thank your donors and event attendees in a separate email from their tax receipt.
  • Demonstrate Tangible Results: Show your donors how their contribution has impacted your organization and what you were able to accomplish because of them.
  • Listen and learn: Request feedback from your attendees on how your organization can improve the event experience in the future. Donor surveys can also help you quantify the value of events to other stakeholders within your organization.

 

Building a Lasting Relationship:

 

While Cost per Dollar Raised is a popular metric amongst nonprofits for measuring the efficacy of their event, the true value of the event is often the relationship built with supporters that can transform into a lifelong commitment to your organization.

 

Email is an excellent way to communicate with your supporters and continue to build a relationship with them after your event. Email content can be a primary driver for why your supporters continue to engage.

To keep your event attendees engaged and interested in your content, it’s important to…

  • Keep your emails short and sweet: Avoid long emails that contain heavy content. Keep your content short, to the point, and ensure your tone is engaging.
  • Get feedback to inform customized content: Create a small survey to understand what programs and communications are of interest to supporters, so you can craft email segmentations for those based on their preferred topics of interest.
  • Share relevant content that engages your Supporters: For example, sharing a campaign-landing page with stats and photo albums from the event may be a relevant follow up that is engaging. It may also help you learn more about that supporter who sat at Table 5 and did not provide an email address (yes, there are tags for that).
  • Communicate immediately: It’s important to be responsive and timely; send communications immediately after your event to ensure Thank You’s are received and that your attendees feedback is still fresh in their minds. Follow up within 24-72 hours of the event.

 

What does this mean for Nonprofits?

 

An event is an excellent opportunity to invite supporters to participate and further engage with your organization. If your organization uses a specific attribution model for measuring success, it’s important to think about the desired actions that fall along this model, and how to best drive the supporters to take desired actions. At Timshel, we are fans of the Ladder of Engagement, which helps to provide campaigns with more structure.

ladder of engagement

For more resources and tips on your nonprofit event strategy, please feel free to reach out to us to learn more.

About author

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Lauren Keates

As a Digital Analyst at Timshel, Lauren conducts research to inform our partners' engagement strategies and develops digital measurement approaches that connect program metrics to human impact. She is passionate about discovering ways technology can help nonprofits further their missions. Over the past decade, Lauren has helped a broad range of public and private sector organizations leverage unstructured data to meet their business goals.