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Getting Deep with Donors: Why Fundraising Events are Key to Build Donor Relations

Posted by Ian Lauth

Use Fundraising Events to Connect with Nonprofit Donors

Why do people contribute to Nonprofits? Well, that’s easy—because they feel passionate about making the world a better place and are emotionally invested in a Nonprofit’s mission.

If that’s the answer, then why don’t all Nonprofits put the objective of building deeper connections to get passionate supporters at the forefront of their priority list?

It’s probably because they aren’t sure how. Organizations, including yours, might try sending out emails or newsletters that are filled with information, updates and anecdotes, but marketing materials can only go so far. You can be multitudes more effective in person by hosting a large fundraising event with awesome fundraiser auction items.

At a fundraising event, you’ve got a room full of people who came ready to listen. This is the ideal platform for informing your contributors and potential donors about your mission. You can leverage a live and attentive audience to explain what you’re trying to achieve and ultimately, why the organization needs money.

You’ve probably been told time and time again that the audience doesn’t want to sit and listen to you talk all night. That’s true—they came to the event to have some fun! However, they know that part of a benefit fundraiser is educational. Keep your audience engaged by sharing a compelling story that relates to your cause. Humans are storytellers and inherently emotional beings, so it’s no wonder that we respond better to a compelling tale rather than hearing a bunch of facts and figures.

Read Next: "The Power of Storytelling During Fundraising Events"

If you have an employee or even an audience member who can share their personal story, get them on stage and let them talk. This is crucial for building deep connections with the audience. You’ll see that guests are more likely to develop an emotional connection to your mission and will want to contribute after listening to a heartfelt story.

Once you’ve tugged at their heartstrings enough to get their attention – take the opportunity to build excitement for the future. Don’t let guests leave your event feeling hopeless or sad. Give them a reason to get excited about affecting change! After hearing an inspiring or tragic story, attendees want to be able to help, and it’s up to you to let them know how.

Don’t be shy or uncomfortable asking for contributions. Be upfront; tell attendees how their money will be used to make a direct impact. Inform… Inspire… then Enable your supports to act!

Speak to an Expert


Winspire Communications Director
About Ian Lauth

Ian Lauth has been working to help Nonprofits maximize their fundraising revenue since early 2012 when he was hired by Winspire to develop external communications, brand expansion and product delivery processes. You can also find Ian on .

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Donor Relations, Acquiring New Donors, Donor Retention
Ian Lauth
Ian Lauth
With an extensive background in marketing development and content design, Ian’s role at Winspire is to develop external communications, brand expansion and product delivery processes to help Nonprofits maximize their fundraising revenue. Ian serves as the Editor-in-Chief for Winspire News, creating and managing blog content, newsletters, eBooks and other resources for Nonprofit fundraising professionals.

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