Your Fundraising Wrap-Up Checklist – Step Five: Celebrate!
The previous four steps covered all you need to do to collect information and prep for next year’s fundraiser. But is there a similar benefit to celebrating? Though celebrating your fundraiser won’t help you plan for next year, it is a necessary (and fun!) piece of the process and there are several – often overlooked – benefits.
How celebrating impacts your next fundraiser
Without some sort of official end, participants may not feel like their efforts were recognized. If you don’t take time for this, chances of them participating again next year go down.
Having to rally new participants is costly. In fact, according to NonProfitPRO, “It costs less to have someone who participated in an event before come back than it does for you to acquire a brand-new participant…In some cases, that cost can be zero.”
Additionally, if they do participate again next year, they may not feel as excited about their contribution. By hearing from leadership that they did a great job and made an impact, they will be more likely to feel their work is worth it.
Various ideas for celebrating
Ideally, you could throw a big event, but since you just spent all this time raising money, it’s maybe not the best idea to use your funds. If there isn’t an opportunity for a free or sponsored event, try one or more of the following ideas.
social media sharing
One way to celebrate is simply through talking about the fundraiser on social media and publicly recognizing success. Try writing a series of posts sharing how much money was raised, what it impacted, who the top sellers were and maybe even some fun quotes from participants.
In a post, “Why You Should Be Celebrating Your Fundraisers On Social Media,” The Guardian points out how Cystic Fibrosis Ireland does an awesome job of this.
“Social media allows us to recognise [participants] publicly so that they can then share with their networks,” Caldwell says. “This becomes a very personal process because it builds loyalty both ways. It’s a mutual acknowledgement.”
They go on to point out how adding a personal tone to the posts, feels more authentic. Stick to language like “Well done, guys!” or “What an amazing achievement!” rather than something formal.
send personal notes
We talked about sending out thank you cards to your donors and the same benefits can come from sending out notes to participants. It can be a few simple words, but it’s the thought that counts. This is also a nice private way to tell top-sellers about their achievements and congratulate them.
mix up your activity
Maybe you can’t afford a big celebratory event, but chances are your sports team, scouts, class or group will be meeting again. A great way to celebrate is to just switch up your routine. Maybe it’s playing a game or watching a movie. Don’t use money as an excuse not to celebrate.
You made it! Thanks for checking out our five-part series. We hope you feel good laying your fundraiser to rest until next year and you can go celebrate your hard work.