But here is the deal.
You have about a two-week window after the banquet to maximize all of the time, energy and money that your organization invested into the banquet.
What you do in the next two weeks after your banquet can make a huge
difference in your continued financial support for a long time.
TWO PRONG RESPONSE
After many banquets, we learned to implement the following two initiatives to maximize our efforts.
1. A team composed of board members and key staff was assigned to making personal phone calls to all banquet attendees. Everyone who attended got a phone call from someone from the organization thanking them for coming. It’s fine to leave the thank you message on a phone voice messaging system.
The phone message went something like this:
“Hello, this is Beth Chase. I am the CEO of Life Choices and I want to personally thank you for attending our fundraising banquet and for your donation of $500. We are so thrilled that you are partnering with us in assuring that at-risk pregnant women in our community have alternatives to abortion. We are mailing a short report to you soon about the banquet. Please call us if you have any questions.”
2. Another team composed of board and staff was assigned to writing, printing and mailing the thank you letters. Here some tips on what the thank you letter should include:
- Post your picture (the executive director) on the top left hand corner of the page with your name and title in caption at the bottom of the picture. People love to see pictures of someone they know on letter heads.
- The salutation should be personalized. Do not use a general salutation like “Dear Banquet Attendee”. And always include the amount of donation they gave.
- The letter should be as short as possible with lots of white space.
- The more you can tell you story in pictures the better.
- In the body of the letter you want to thank them for coming and report on 1) the total number of attendees, 2) the financial goal for the banquet, 3) your financial outcome that night, and 4) where people could go to donate to help towards the deficit in your goal (if there was any).
- Insert a few positive comments that you received from banquet attendees.
- Remember that most EVERYONE reads the PS so make it count. Point them to your website more giving opportunity or information.
- Include a link to iTunes where they can download your organization’s donor mobile app or have a QR Code on the letter that they can scan with their smartphone to download the mobile app on their phone.
And last but not least, remember to handwrite a personal short note on the bottom of the thank you letters. Short and sweet messages are all it takes for most attendees to feel appreciated.
If you have a mobile app send out a “push” message thanking everyone for attending. (If you do not have a donor mobile app click here to learn more.”)
Happy post banqueting…