4 Steps to Continue Marketing Your Event — Even After It’s Over

Once the last guest leaves and the final auction tally is added up, most event teams want nothing more than to prop up their feet and congratulate each other on a job well done. While this is definitely an important part of the process, the job isn’t done yet. The time period right after a successful event is one of the ripest moments to capitalize on new donor engagement and deepen existing supporter relationships. Organizations looking to host subsequent events like a golf fundraising tournament—whether a month or a year later, should start promoting and marketing efforts as soon as an event ends. This is critical to the overall post event marketing checklist because:

  • Your organization’s message and purpose is still at the forefront of donors’ minds.
  • The fun and excitement of the most recent event is fresh.
  • Recent donors are still engaged and connected with the organization.

To ensure successful fundraisers aren’t just a ‘one-time thing’, nonprofit event marketing teams should make sure to:

Step #1: Send Follow-Up Communication

Fundraiser attendees and donors love being recognized for their time and actions. Whether through an email, handwritten notes, phone calsl, or even a gift, a small token of appreciation and thanks can make a big difference. While handwritten notes and gifts deliver a more personalized message and can be displayed on a desk or bulletin board, emails and phone calls can help gather any feedback or comments from attendees. The type of follow-up communication really depends on what an event team is trying to accomplish with the new donors and contacts on their list. For nonprofit event teams, sending this follow-up communication immediately after an event—or at least within the following few days—is key to forging strong relationships with donors. The right follow-up can truly mean the difference between a one-time event attendee and a lifelong, engaged donor.

Step #2: Update Social Pages

While posting social updates is a great way to engage with attendees during an event, not everyone is constantly checking and updating their social feeds—especially when they are at an engaging event. Luckily, social media is a great way to connect with attendees after an event, as well as attract attention from those who might not have been in attendance. After a fundraiser, event teams can post an entire photo album to both a Facebook page and an organization’s online Giving Center. This gives donors (and even friends of donors) who are connected via social platforms the ability to see photos, outtakes, and videos from throughout the event, and it also shows those who weren’t there how much fun the event was.

Step #3: Share the Results

Supporters love coming to fundraisers and nonprofit events to help raise money for a good cause. Nonprofit event marketers can let these individuals know how well an event performed by sharing the results of a fundraiser. Once this information is publicly announced, attendees and donors can share this success with their networks, driving even more interest for subsequent events. Announcing the success of a fundraiser helps to ensure past attendees feel as though they participated in a truly impactful event and also serves to raises awareness of upcoming events for future audiences. Media outlets, news teams, and PR companies can help share your success with larger groups, building awareness and visibility for an nonprofit organization as a whole as well as its upcoming events.

Step #4: Start Marketing for Next Year

No matter how a nonprofit event marketing team communicates with past attendees and new potential donors—whether through thank you emails or social posts—it’s important to include information on the next event or fundraiser in your post event marketing efforts. This could be next year’s gala fundraiser or even next month’s charity golf outing—as long as something is planned, it can be promoted. The best way to make sure upcoming events or other important giving periods like Giving Tuesday and Year-end giving are top-of-mind for past attendees is to include a ‘save the date’ link to an event page. These event pages (or Online Giving Centers) can include:

  • A timeline of all upcoming events and how to register
  • Photos and videos from past events
  • A place to purchase tickets to upcoming events
  • Ways to donate to a specific cause without attending an event
  • Sponsorship opportunities and inquiry sections

The best way to get started promoting a large-scale nonprofit event is to eliminate any downtime between promotions. This means capitalizing on last year’s event the day after it happens to start driving excitement for the next one.

The Nonprofit Manager’s Post-Event Checklist

Use this checklist to make sure your next nonprofit event or fundraiser builds long-term donor relationships.

  • We have easy access to all of our donor and attendee contact information.
  • We know exactly who made what donation, who bid on which auction item, as well as all sponsorship details.
  • We already have a list of people who have RSVP’d to the next event, and are suppressing them from all promotions.
  • Our social media team posted all pictures and videos from the event online, and we’ve tagged attendees whenever possible.
  • We posted the results of our fundraiser on our website, social pages, and anywhere audiences can engage with our organization.
  • Our Save the Date and event page are built, live, and ready to start collecting attendee information for next year.