After the Run/Walk/Ride: How to Avoid Dropping the Relationship You Just Built with Your Participants like Hot Potatoes

How to Avoid Dropping the Relationship you Just Built with Your Participants like Hot Potatoes

No one ever intends to do it. Maybe you’ve even tried to plan on NOT doing it. But for so many organizations, the resources, time and the effort that goes into the planning, execution and of course the fundraising involved with peer-to-peer events mean that when the last participant crosses the finish line, you are simply tapped out. Done. Finito.

It’s a critical moment. And the time you should be doing everything you can to continue to build on the great relationship you just developed with donors and participants.

Here’s 5 tips to make sure you avoid dropping the relationships and keep your participants engaged and feeling the love post-event.

Plan ahead.

Technology can be amazing these days. Plan some post-event communications way ahead of time so that you all you or your team has to do is hit “send.” (Better yet, schedule those posts or emails so it’s one less thing on your to-do list).

Think beyond a thanks and recaps.

It’s good to thank your donors and participants profusely, and to provide some event recaps shortly after the event. But it’s also important to start communicating broader messages that keep participants tied into your mission and aware of how their donations are making an impact. Are there other ways they can get involved? Can they take action, share a message, or attend a meet and greet? This is a prime time to be leveraging all the good-will you’ve built up from a great event into further action.

Do more than just ask for more.

Especially after an event participant has raised so much for your organization, sending a message the next month asking them to pony up again could backfire. Make sure that before you ask them to give again (of their time, money or resources) that you engage them in other ways and keep them informed about what’s going on with your organization. Long-term loyalty deserves a long-term engagement and communications strategy.

Pick your channels wisely.

With so many participants receiving communication from you on multiple channels pick and choose how, when and the best channel for your messages. You can use social channels more frequently for ongoing engagement unrelated to making sure your donors “do something”, while email and direct mail is great for updates, additional asks, and advocacy. The important piece is thinking of your multi-channel communications as a way to deliver a cohesive and compelling message to some of your most important donors.

Pick up the phone.

For your high-value participants (think team captains, multi-year participants, survivors) nothing beats picking up the phone and checking in every once in a while. Before, during, after the event, make sure these folks have what they need, are really personally connected to your mission and know exactly where their fundraising dollars are going.

There’s so much more we could add to this list, but we’d like to know what you’d do or have done to keep engagement going past a peer-to-peer event.

Jenn Smith

About Jenn Smith

As an executive for Donordigital and the Watershed Company, and a Senior Social Strategy Consultant for Adobe, Jenn has helped many organizations. A marketing and fundraising professional with 10+ years experience in lead generation, management and donor acquisition, Jenn’s in-depth strategic planning has developed creative communications and marketing campaigns for mission-driven organizations to help build relationships with clients, community partners, and diverse audiences.

One comment

  1. Mary Pustejovsky

    One of the most effective strategies I’ve seen are awards banquets/thank you parties for top participants. It’s a great way to recognize people who have done a lot for your cause, while connecting them to others who care about your mission.

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