Often, we get so caught up with the small event details at special events that we forget to think long-term. Just this week at a conference that I spoke at, I was asked, “How do I collect all the names of people who are attending my special event?”
While the group had many suggestions, I recommended focusing on the more difficult part, what do you do with those names once you have collected them? It is one thing to collect names, but how do those names add to the strength of your development program?
Well, here are a few things I would suggest about name collecting at events and how to build your development program.
Obtain as much contact information about each name that you do have. This process may take some manual research, or you may want to avail yourself of some of the append and other tools available.
Once you have conducted the research and have as full of a record as possible, you then want to determine who on your list may have additional capacity. This process can be done either manually through a rating and ranking session or using a screening tool.
Once you have determined capacity, you then need to assess interest. Capacity can be meaningless without a good assessment of interest or affinity. You can evaluate interest by again, doing some manual research to determine what causes the prospective donor may have supported in the past and conduct a rating and ranking session to learn that.
Conduct some follow-up to your top prospects calling them in person to find out how they found the event and to “qualify” them by learning if the organization’s mission is of interest to them.
If it is, then proceed to add them to a list to further cultivate them to develop a relationship. If it is not, you have learned some valuable information. This prospect is not interested, and no further action is needed except to invite the attendee to the next event perhaps!
The one thing we have to remember and keep asking about our special events is, now how we collect names, or how much money did we raise, but it is how are we building our development program through holding this event. We all must have functions, so how can we make them work for us well beyond after the event ends.
And, here are some more resources you may want to check out: