How not to waste money on event donors

If you do fundraising events, such as walks or runs — where you have participants who get their own sponsors — there are two common mistakes to avoid once the event is over:


  1. Ignoring those event donors. As if none of them have any interest in your cause, and none will ever give to you again.
  2. Dumping those event donors in with your “normal” donors. As if supporting an event participant is exactly the same as giving directly.

Either mistake is going to cost you. Lost revenue if #1. Wasted fundraising efforts if #2.

There’s help handling these unusual donors in a white paper from Event 360: 4 steps to Converting Event Donors to Organizational Donors (PDF; registration required).

Here’s how to think about it:

Treat event donors the same say you would treat a friend of a friend. The burden is on you to pursue a deeper relationship and engage them outside of their relationship with the event participant. If you do not take the first step, chances are the relationship will never move beyond their support of the event participant.

If you do events, check it out.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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