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The Event Pipeline: Turning Event Guests into Major Donors . Patricia H. Clemency, CFRE President and CEO, Make-A-Wish Metro New York and Western New York Fundraising Day in New York June 27, 2014. Fundraising Realities. We compete with 1.5 million charities for awareness and funding
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The Event Pipeline: Turning Event Guests into Major Donors Patricia H. Clemency, CFRE President and CEO, Make-A-Wish Metro New York and Western New York Fundraising Day in New York June 27, 2014
Fundraising Realities • We compete with 1.5 million charities for awareness and funding • Annual events account for the largest share of fundraising revenue for most charities • Event donors hardest to convert to other giving • Donor loyalty may be to your event, rather than your organization • Special events have higher cost, lower ROI
Traditional Pyramid of Giving Estate Or Planned Giving Bequests Planned Gifts Investment Involvement Major Giving Endowment Campaigns Capital and Special Campaigns Major Gifts from Individuals Major Gifts from Corporations And Foundations Donor Contact Donor Growth Donor Commitment Interest Information Annual Giving Support Group Organizations Special Events and Benefit Events Annual Giving Campaign/Direct Mail/Online Selected Publics All the Public/Everyone in the Area Identification
Fundraising Expense Pyramid $.03 - $.075 of the amount of each gift for processing Online Fundraising $.05 - $.15 per dollar raised Major Gifts/ Capital Campaigns/ Planned Gifts $.20 per dollar raised Grants $.25 per dollar raised Direct Mail – Donor Renewal $.50 of gross proceeds Special Events $1.25 - $1.50 per dollar raised Direct Mail – Donor Acquisition
$10 million lead gift Largest individual gift to Make-A-Wish worldwide $500,000 gift From 20-year donor What do these gifts have in common? $200,000 For endowment $90,000 For wishes
Applying the Major Gifts Model to Our Special Events Planned Gift Sustainability Big Gift Linkage Involvement Major Gift Advocacy Special Gift Upgraded Donor Repeat Donor Research Linkage Donor Ability Prospect Interest
Changing The Event Donor Experience: From Transaction to Transformation
TheRelationshipPath POST-EVENT Long-Term Engagement As advocates, leaders, major donors EVENT Connect with Mission PRE-EVENT Screen Prospects Guests, past transactional donors
Changing the Before, During, After Event Cycles to Support a Major Gifts Culture Screening Phase • Past Event Donors • Evergreens for growth • One-time supporters – renewal strategies • LYBUNTS – other opportunities to make a difference • Other Pipelines • Those who gave what we ask • Those giving us clues • Qualifying the Guest List • Make it part of the pre-event culture • Table Captains
Connect: Transforming the Event Guest Experience • From the point of arrival • First impressions • Guides • Mission Champions • Telling Our Story • First-person testimonials • Future need, not just past results • Champions and Recruiters • Board’s role • President’s Table Connecting Guests
Connect: Transforming the Event Guest Experience • Divide and Conquer • Meet and greet assignments • “Shadows” • Strategic seating • Prospect research support • Anchors • Information gathering • Night of Fundraising • Connect fundraising to the mission • Opportunities for investment
Building Long-Term Engagement Post-Event: • Potential to move donor from transaction/ transition to transformational relationship • Efficiency and effectiveness are key • 21-day rule • Schedule post-event de-brief sessions before the event takes place • De-brief with staff, board, volunteers for clues, strategies and next steps • Create multiple touchpoints – it’s not just a receipt/thank you letter! • Personal calls and visits to major donors/ prospects
Long-Term Engagement: Developing Champions, Leaders, Donors • Get in front of as many major donors/ prospects as you can – individual meetings, receptions, etc. • Build on case for support presented at event • Mobilize the board as mission champions • Identify options for future engagement and support and clarify next steps • Guide the individual donor journey – How can they help? Who guides? How do we build on-going involvement and support?
Guiding the Event Donor Relationship:The Journey from $1,700- $10 million Transaction - Special event donor • Welcome to a community of like-minded donors who believe in the mission Transition – Wish Sponsor • You have made a difference for a child • Mission Connection • Active Engagement Transformation– Challenge Matches; Lead • You have made a difference for the organization by investing in our future. • Value Added Proposition: Inspiring others • Lead gift for 10 in 10
Guiding the Event Donor Relationship:The Journey from $5,000-$500,000 Transaction – Third party event • Basketball memorial game • Holiday gift to parents of classmate Transition – How can I make a difference now? • Build Advisory Board • Gala Honoree Transformation– How do I make a difference for the future of the mission? • Advisory Board becomes feeder group to board • Lead gift to the endowment - $250,000 • Chair of 30th anniversary • Gift of $500,000 for “10 in 10”
Ten Development Team actions that help make special events part of your major gifts strategy • View events as three equally important parts: pre-event, night-of, post-event • Efficiency and effectiveness are key • Focus on strategy first, logistics second • Demystify process - Prepare, train, de-brief with board/CEO • Eliminate talking heads - use your best storytellers • Build mission connections to create donor loyalty to the organization, not the event • Empower board to make a difference, not just fundraise • Create clear options for post-event engagement • Remember the 21-day rule • Celebrate success!
“We got involved with Make-A-Wish because of a six-year old girl named Micah whose wish it was to be a ballerina. We have remained involved because of the hundreds of other children whose lives have been changed by Make-A-Wish. Make-A-Wish may not have cured their illnesses, but their wish gave them hope and the will to fight.” - From cultivation event guest to $90,000 donor