Speaking during a recent international conference, however, Amy Scerba Karazsia, director of individual giving at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, said that an event can also help an organization build its donor base.
How can it do that? Step right up.
- It can engage new prospects. It offers a chance to reach out to major gifts prospects, brings the mission to life, displays the need for funding in a way that opens the door for a future solicitation, builds a sense of community around the project or event theme and creates a path for follow-up.
- It can engage current leadership. It has the potential to deeply engage current board members, current major donors and volunteers in the content that is the event's theme, cultivate those people to become an organization's greatest champions and allow them to “bring in” their network and open doors without having to make a solicitation.
- It has advantages over 1:1 cultivation. It provides less pressure than a 1:1 meeting, it offers more incentive to attend, creates a unique and memorable experience for prospects, allows prospects to more fully engage with content, exposes prospects to a funding need and makes the need real, builds bonds with the organization and with a community of like-minded people and might yield better return on investment by reaching several prospects at once.