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The key to maximizing event attendance

Posted October 19, 2017 by Timi Paccioretti

maximize event attendance

Fundraising events, a key component of many nonprofit organizations’ annual fundraising plans, are often expected to bring in substantial revenue for the organization, so it’s imperative that they are successful. When the success of your fundraising event is dependent on drawing a large number of invitees and their guests, employing some good database strategies can be vital to maximizing attendance.

What database strategies can you implement to maximize event attendance?


Strategy #1: Perform a data audit on your records

Want to ensure maximum attendance at your event? Perform a data review well ahead of mailing your first invitation to ensure maximum reach. Consider employing a data audit before your next event, to include:

  • A donor and invitee name audit – Ensure you have the data to properly address constituents and produce accurate name tags/placards.
  • An address information audit – Do you want to produce a list of constituents who are within a certain mile radius of your organization or mail a single invitation to many members of a household? You’ll need good, clean addresses and the technology to make it all work.
  • An email and phone audit – Do you plan to send follow-up emails or make personal calls after the invitation mails go out? Be aware of the type of information you need and its reliability so that you can properly follow up.


Strategy #2: Identify the right supporters to notify about your event and segment them for a more personal ask

Many of the constituents you wish to invite to your next event may already exist in your donor database. The businesses you have in your database may be prospective sponsors or advertisers, and your organization’s members, volunteers, friends, and donors may be just the people you want to invite.

By segmenting your list, you can personalize the invitations you send. You may decide to segment your list by attendance at past events or activities, their affiliation with your organization, or even the type of constituent they are.

Here are some examples of event segments and the kind of personalization you could use in your ask to maximize attendance and participation at your next event:

event segment examples

Strategy #3: Keep event-related activity in your donor management system

Keeping event data in your donor database will not only help your organization to better plan and execute future events, it will also help you develop a clearer picture of your constituents’ engagement with your organization. Using this information to more personally connect with your supporters will go a long way in demonstrating that you value your relationship with them. That, in turn, will encourage your supporters to continue to be invested in your mission, and to be active participants in your events!


Incorporating these database strategies will help you both maximize attendance at your events and develop stronger, more personal relationships with your organization’s supporters.

One thought on “The key to maximizing event attendance

  1. Question for Timi: Cascadia Prepared is a new NGO this year. We want to create a strong private sector impetus for earthquake resilience in our region so that LGL and other small businesses can survive.

    We need to start using LGL to recruit new members/subscribers. Do you have any data that would help us with tactical questions like should we ask for one-time donations (e.g. $100-250) or monthly subs (e.g. $10-25)? What kind of response rate should we expect from a well crafted pitch?

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