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    By Drew Fox Jordan • September 16, 2021

    What To Focus On To Maximize Your Return From Fundraising Events

    It would be an understatement to say the world has changed in the past 18 months. Adapting in the face of adversity became the essential skill that all nonprofit leaders had in common. But, of course, what adapting looks like changed faces many times throughout the pandemic. The solutions we leaned on before may no longer be relevant given the ever-changing nature of both the pandemic and donor intent.

    max out return on events

    At this stage in the pandemic, "going back to the way things were" is a proven path to failure. It requires alignment from both the organization and donor on expectations, and what might work for some donors might not work for others making blanket policy changes nearly impossible. However, a return to normalcy is what the industry craves. A recent survey found that 68% of respondents prioritize a planned return to in-person events after a year of either remote or canceled events.

    While that figure can be debated based on external factors, the same survey found that 0% of organizations plan fully remote events. So regardless of how many organizations are positioning for in-person or not, it is clear that organizations are ready to double down on the same strategies that were successful pre-pandemic.


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    But the decision to return to in-person was certainly not purely emotional. Instead, leaders identified the success they saw through in-person events and realized this is a strategy worth keeping even after being given a chance to explore other options. Because of this, organizations can focus more of their attention where it is needed rather than trying to cast a wide net and risk spreading their fundraising efforts too thin.

    A recent survey found that 68% of respondents prioritize a planned return to in-person events after a year of either remote or canceled events.

    Committing to the success of pre-pandemic strategies, which means in-person events, requires an emphasis on execution. Identifying what works and what doesn't helps point your team towards optimizing the investment you are making in that branch of your strategy.
    So what does this "commitment to execution" mean? First, it means worrying less about strategy - you already have a plan in which you are confident. Otherwise, why would you have chosen to return to this method of fundraising? Instead, more focus should be on setting gift officers up to succeed and doing the right things to capitalize on the short and long term.

    With an emphasis on execution, the allocation of working hours becomes vital. Gravyty's fundraising toolkit "Reprioritizing A Fundraiser's Time" dives into where development staff should be spending their time and energy, so executing at a high level doesn't mean ignoring other duties or working longer hours. Finding a balance between donor-facing activities and background tasks will play a significant factor in finding success in today's campaigns.

    Of course, the easiest way to see how your team can perform at a higher level would be to sign up for a Gravyty demo and learn how AI is enabling fundraisers to execute at a high level. AI-enabled gift officers are starting, building, and maintaining more high-quality relationships than ever before thought to be possible. See for yourself what AI can do for you:

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