Closing the Loop: A simple tip for fundraising success

In the lead up to the event, you worked tirelessly to acquire and motivate your supporters to achieve their fundraising goals. Now that the event has wrapped up, you may be thinking that the hard work is over but, before you pack up and tally your dollars raised for another year, there’s just one more thing you need to do. Developing and maintaining a relationship with your fundraisers and their donors, after the event has passed, is more important than you think. The truth is, it could be the key to your fundraising success well into the future. Recent research shows that event income is increasing, so it’s a great opportunity to connect with those who care about your cause. In fact, 83.3 per cent of event participants say that they would be likely to fundraise for the charity again, 26.1 per cent would consider donating to the cause and 1 in 5 would consider becoming a regular volunteer. Yet, 44.2 per cent of them are never contacted after they cross the finish line. Here, providing fundraisers with opportunities to support you in different ways encourages them to remain passionate and motivated long-term. Whether they bake, run a marathon, climb a mountain or donate their daily coffee money, the way you communicate with them post-event, will ultimately be the difference between a once-off and a life-long supporter. To ensure that you don’t miss out on the opportunity to achieve MORE, don’t forget to contact your supporters and thank them for all their efforts. Here are our top tips for closing the loop:  

Acknowledge your fundraisers

Always acknowledge their efforts, not just the money they raised. A simple thank you for dedicating their time, energy and voice to you goes a long way in forming lasting relationships. Make sure to let people know how much their event raised and if possible, how that money is being spent.  

Encourage future participation

Ask event participants if they would be prepared to sign up for another event and inform them of other fundraising appeals that are coming up. Encourage fundraisers to consider fundraising for their birthday, anniversary or wedding, as big moments like this in their lives are great opportunities to make a difference with the generosity of their family and friends.  

Engage with those you already know

Explore your data to determine how can you capitalise on your volunteer base or past event participants. Once you know who is most likely to support you, build a communication plan that includes fundraising and training tips in the lead up to the event, during the event and by engaging again with meaningful content post-event!  

Support them on social

Sometimes a little ‘warm and fuzzy’ is all you need, and social media is an instant, cost-effective way to engage in a two-way conversation with event participants. By opening more casual communication channels with your fundraisers, you will understand more about why they care about your cause and they will feel great knowing you’re behind them! Make sure to share their messages and send a personalised congratulations to keep them feeling inspired. Invest in social media monitoring tools to look at who’s using your event hashtag, posting images and tagging you. Engage directly with them as much as possible to create a true sense of community.  

Identify and celebrate stars

Consider implementing an ambassador-style program for those who are particularly enthusiastic and have reached their fundraising goals. Once you have identified them, give your top  supporters more recognition and motivation to go above and beyond for your cause via tailored communications or free branded merchandise they can use during the event. While you’re there, feature them on your social media channels, charity blog and ask them to consider getting involved in other media forms like TV interviews. Not only will this allow them to share their story and have their voice counted, it will ensure that your message reaches a larger audience.   So, next time you’re signing up for one of the many major community events or organising your own, make sure to consider how you will close the loop in your communications. Leaving your supporters feeling motivated and highly engaged will nurture relationships with individuals that lead to a lifetime of valuable support.