You just hosted a great event the previous evening. You feel really good. The event exceeded expectations for fundraising. Everything went smoothly. You’re feeling very proud of yourself and your team. And you should feel proud. Congratulations. That was a job well done.
However, if you’re thinking; “Now that that’s behind me I can take the day off to get some rest. I’ll deal with all those small details that we need to take care of in the next week or two. I deserve a little break.” Think again!
The day after the event there are two very important things that need to be done.
One is to write down everything that went well and everything that was challenging or needs improvement. This information will be revealed during the debriefing meeting that will be held in the near future and executed during next year’s event.
The second thing, and perhaps even more important, is to get on the phone and call the generous people who donated to your cause – who made the event so successful – and to say thank you.
It doesn’t have to be a long phone call. It doesn’t have to be from the CEO. It can be from volunteers. It can be from board members. It can be from almost anyone. Just call.
Remember, a timely phone call placed the day after the event is not interfering in your attendees’ lives – it’s going to make them feel very grateful for attending and giving. Pre-write the script and keep your thank you short. Have just a few talking points and remind them where the money is going. But most of all, just extend your gratitude.
We all know that everyone is busy and not always at home or in their office. This could mean your call will be forwarded to voicemail. That brings up the question; “Should I leave a message of thanks, or call the donor back at a later time and talk to him or her in person?” Now this answer may surprise you – Leave the Message.
Voicemails work even better to your favor because you’re going to be able to say what you wish to say and extend your gratitude, and it’s going to take less time. Leaving a voicemail is just as good as speaking with the person on the phone. Don’t be afraid to do it.
The important thing to remember is to extend your gratitude to the donors immediately the next day – while they still have the euphoria for giving. Two weeks down the road, your event will be a past memory.
And don’t ask them for their support next year, just stay in the present. Extend your gratitude for this year. If you do that, you and your charity will be viewed as people who truly care and are truly grateful.
So, write that short script. Then burn up the phone lines. If they’re not home, leave a message. It will pay off in dividends for years to come. And, hey, it’s the right thing to do.