10 Steps to Start 2012 on the Right Foot

Happy New Year! To help start the year off on the right foot for your non-profit fundraising event, I’ve created a 10-item checklist that you can start implementing now. Some are quick and some will take time and resources – all are worth it!

  1. Gather your 2011 statistics. Check your website analytics, Facebook insights, Twitter stats, ticket purchase history, and any other numbers you can get your hands on. Review them. Understand them. Use them.
  2. Assess your audience. Based on your statistics, determine who your main audience is – gender, age, income level, education, etc. Create profiles for these individuals so you can direct your content to specific personalities, rather than genaral audiences. Divide your personaes by media type – are you getting a younger audience on Facebook and older, corporate attendees from your email? Adjust your content in those areas to match the people using them.
  3. Survey your audience. Send out a quick 5 to 10 question survey / poll through various channels. Phone poll a random sampling of your attendees. Question your sponsors. Let them give their feedback into the event and your communication channels. Implement new ideas based on their feedback.
  4. Clean up your website. Remove outdated content, add data about your new event, revise the langauge, add links to your social media pages, add an email signup.
  5. Link your online and offline marketing efforts. If you haven’t already, be sure your social media channels and website are listed on your hard-copy materials such as form letters, flyers, sponsor packets, etc.
  6. Plan your year. Your communication schedule shouldn’t be limited to event lead-in to just after the event. There are ideas you can implement throughout the year – use them to keep your event in the forefront of your audience’s minds all year.
  7. Send an email message THIS MONTH. It doesn’t matter if your event just happened, doesn’t come until this fall or is just around the corner. Send out some sort of message this month to ring in the new year and tell your fanbase your 2012 plans. Then, plan to send an email at least once a month with various messages (more on email planning coming soon in another post…)
  8. Be social. if you haven’t already, be sure you have Facebook, Twitter, Google +, YouTube, Posterous, FullyFollow.me and other social media accounts setup for your major fundraising event. Make sure you also have accounts for yourself and as many of your committee members and regular volunteers as possible to increase the viral possibilities (read this post on status lending for more information). Don’t set up accounts you won’t use, and plan to use those you do have.
  9. Make a video. Videos are one of the biggest ways you can spread the word quickly about your event and your cause. Didn’t make a video at your last event? Use a string of photos with well-selected music and voice-overs to give a visual representation. Create interview videos of those impacted directly from the event’s fundraising efforts.
  10. Go mobile. iPhone, iPad, Android Smartphones, Blackberry, Kindle Fire, Nook Color, Samsung Galaxy. You’ve probably heard of these and probably own own at least one of them yourself. December 2011 saw almost 7 million NEW Android and iOS devices activated. Now the question is, can all these mobile users find your event and view information in a meaningful way? Your mobile site doesn’t have to be as full as your regular site – try to think of the areas people would most look at for your event while on their phone (check out m.treadsandthreads.org for a good mobile event site). Tablet users may not always get your mobile site, so make sure your regular website is clean enough to work on tablets.

Here’s to a productive and fund-filled 2012 for all of you!

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One comment on “10 Steps to Start 2012 on the Right Foot

  1. Pingback: Top 12 Posts « Extra-Special Events

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