Follow-up after your relationship building events, as part of your fundraising strategies

Successful fundraising strategies are focused on relationship building. Once you've had an event then its time to follow-up with the attendees. There are two types of follow-up. The first is a general follow-up that applies to all of the attendees (and even those who didn't attend!). The second concerns additional follow-up techniques that you apply to your potential volunteers.

One example of a follow-up activity for the general community is to publish the results of your questionnaire in your newsletter, website and any other communications channels you have. Publishing figures such as, 98% of people agreed that the organization is very beneficial for the local community or 70% of people agreed to help out the organization from time to time, are great for invoking what's known as the principle of social proof.

This principle is one of the powers of persuasion. These powers can be used throughout all of your fundraising strategies. They are particularly useful for relationship building. The principle of social proof works even for people that didnt attend your relationship building event.

Another example of a general follow-up is to publish a small article that praises the local community for being great supporters of your organization. Tell them how much the organization appreciated them attending your event. People tend to believe what is written about them in the public domain. That becomes their image. The next time you ask them to support your fundraising efforts then youll face much less resistance because theyll start to see themselves as "great supporters of your organization".

Include in your fundraising strategies, a plan to continually keep the community up to date with what you are doing as an organization. That includes people that havent been to one of your relationship building events because everyone is always a candidate to be one of your supporters. Supporters will vary in their commitment to you, from those who couldnt care less about you but are willing to buy a ticket to get you off their doorstep, to those who wouldnt volunteer but always give you their unwavering support in relation to your fundraising activities.

Sometimes you'll use email as part of your fundraising strategies. You can use it for follow-up communications with your event attendees. The secret is to read every line you write and ask yourself the question "is this talking to me or to people in general?" As far as possible, it should be talking to the individual. Obviously when you praising the community for being good supporters it has to talk to the community as a whole but mostly your writing should talk to the individual, especially when youre talking to them in the context of them having attended an event.

A more general follow-up is to publish plans for the year to show people what the organization is going to be doing in terms of development etc. This also helps them understand why you need the money when youre organizing fundraising events, functions and campaigns. At the year end publish figures to show people what their money has done and the benefits its produced.

When using relationship building events as part of your fundraising strategies, you'll be able to identify those who may be potential volunteers. When following up with potential volunteers there are a few extra steps but first of all you need to identify the candidates.

Usually you can get a feel for people that may be open to volunteering from their attitude at your relationship building events. It could just be their attitude when asked to do something small or maybe they've committed to some small task in the questionnaire (and believe me they are likely to if it is written using the powers of persuasion. Take a look at the baby steps principle for more details.

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