When a university’s advancement officers sit down with their leadership team to start planning a campaign, their focus is on crafting the case, identifying key donors, building internal capacity, and testing and refining the message.
Events probably aren’t even on the agenda.
But they should be.
And we’re not just saying that because we’re in the event business.
Events are about relationship-building. We’ve seen the vital role they can play in a community’s feeling about a campaign. Great events strengthen donor relationships, deepen alumni engagement, raise institutional visibility, attract new friends, and can serve as a galvanizing force among internal team members.
The work you do in the 18 months leading up to your first public event is essential to its success. An early start in planning how you will carry out and follow up on campaign events will pay off well beyond the campaign period—strengthening every aspect of your advancement operation by making your team more proactive, responsive, and strategic.
We’ve looked back on the most successful campaign events we’ve partnered on over the past few years and put together 7 tips for planning campaign events that amaze—and raise…the bar, school spirit, funds, awareness, morale, and so much more.
Tip #1 – Mind the Gaps
Everybody on your team has a day job, and it’s unlikely your institution is suffering from an excess in capacity. An early start lets you take the time to develop a checklist of the expertise, resources, and hands-on-deck you’ll need to execute truly spectacular events and do the kind of follow-up that will be essential to the campaign ’s success. Seize the moment to take a thoughtful look at your team... (Read more)