How to Keep Donors Engaged After an Event

To keep donors engaged after an event, remember three simple words: connect, interact, and nurture. Here's how to put these steps into action.

Nonprofit events get people excited about your cause. They get to connect with other supporters and see the impact that is possible when everyone comes together. While events are engagement hotspots for donor stewardship, you don’t want that momentum to fizzle out as soon as the event ends. Keep your event’s energy going by incorporating a follow-up plan into your event strategy.

To keep donors engaged after an event, remember three simple words: connect, interact, and nurture. Below, we’ll cover what each of these post-event steps mean and what they look like in action to keep your attendees invested in your cause.

Connect With Your Donors

Following an event, the first thing you want to do is connect with your donors. This doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. It can be a simple email thanking them for joining the event. The key is to keep your nonprofit’s brand and message in front of your audience while positive memories from your event are still fresh in their minds. Doing this helps solidify your nonprofit as an important part of your donor’s community and identity.

To make this connection step easy, build your donor follow-up strategy into your overall event timeline. Thinking about this step during your pre-planning stages will promote follow-through, ensuring no attendees fall between the cracks.

A timeline for connecting with your donors after an event could look like this:

  • Within 24 Hours: Automate an email to send to all donors thanking them for attending
  • Within 72 Hours: Send a more personalized donation receipt to attendees expressing gratitude for the impact they had at the event
  • Within 1 Week: Email attendees an event recap, including overall fundraising results, key moments from the event, and photos to remind them of the fun they had

Interact With Your Donors

You want your attendees to continue to engage with your nonprofit after your event. Following your initial post-event outreach to connect with and thank attendees, begin to offer them opportunities to interact with your organization again.

Interaction with your nonprofit can take diverse forms, from additional events they can attend to becoming your latest Instagram follower. As you continue to build your relationships with donors after an event, invite them to interact with you again by encouraging them to:

  • Subscribe to your newsletter
  • Follow you on social media
  • Use your hashtag on social media
  • Tag your nonprofit in their event photos
  • Complete a survey about their event experience
  • Join a volunteer day
  • Attend your next event
  • Start a peer-to-peer fundraiser on their birthday
  • Sign a pledge or petition for your cause

Using a solution like Instil can help tailor your donor interactions based on their preferences and your past engagements with them. For example, if a donor profile notes that your donor already follows you on social media, offer a way to interact with your work that is new to them. If you’ve noted that a donor has past experience volunteering with other nonprofits, invite them to volunteer with yours since they’ve already shown an interest in that activity type.

Nurture Your Donors

After you connect with your donors following an event and give them opportunities to interact with your nonprofit again, you’ll want to plan for ongoing stewardship. When you make a consistent effort to nurture your donor relationships, you increase the likelihood that they’ll become lifelong supporters.

Nurturing your donors requires being creative with your content and offering a variety of ways they can contribute. You may want to create a 12-month plan for your donors with at least one key touchpoint for each month. As part of your outreach, you could:

  • Mail them a special souvenir to remind them of the fun they had at your event
  • Give them a bring-a-friend pass to your next event
  • Send special thank you messages through videos or from your beneficiaries
  • Personalize your engagement based on donor interests and giving capacities
  • Organize gatherings for donors to meet and connect with fellow supporters of your work

The end goal of the nurturing stage after an event should be to create a sense of community and identity for your donors that revolves around your nonprofit. This moves donors from making occasional gifts to your cause to feeling a sense of belonging and meaning with your nonprofit. When they have this connection with your work, they’ll be more likely to share it with their wider network.

Turn Event Attendees Into Lifelong Supporters Through Meaningful Donor Stewardship

After hosting a nonprofit event, remember: connect, interact, and nurture. Quick engagement after the event, followed by sustained outreach and opportunities for additional interaction with your work, will turn event attendees into steadfast champions for your cause.

You can use Instil to automate, track, and personalize many of these donor stewardship touchpoints. With holistic donor profiles and moves management tools, you’ll never miss another opportunity to strengthen your donor relationships.

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