Capturing Donor Information
Recently I was meeting with a non profit in Nashville who have had a tremendous gala the past several years. It was THE Party to go to; unfortunately, some years the event only broke even with fundraising. As part of our services we meet with the entire auction committee well in advance of the event to make sure we have the best game plan to raise the MOST money.
This was a big concern and big reason why our firm was hired. When we met in our initial consultation meeting is was discovered that many guests are there for the party, and they skip the check in line... Stating "They don't need a bid number", or others did not want to put a credit card on file.
In the world of fundraising, this is unacceptable. We began brainstorming on ideas to make sure everyone who walks into the event is prepared to donate. One of the best answers came from my friend and fellow auctioneer Kurt Johnson, Chief Financial Officer of the Benefit Auction Institute.
"Insist no one gets in without registering. Period. YOU as the organization have the right to control who gets in to their event. Even guests of guests.
Do not make them swipe the credit card. Offer it as a service but simply smile when they say no.
Make sure they get a driver’s license to put address into records and get a cell
number. Also, if they are a guest of someone it is helpful to get that in case you need to reverse track someone down.
As for why registering- this is YOUR event and YOUR rule. YOU can say it is for security
reasons if needed. If someone refuses to register on the way in I might not want them at my event. YOU can get ahead of this issue by putting this information out early in promotions and to last attendees. If they did not do it in past they might question it. New people will not know the difference. Stay firm."
Well said Kurt!
It's okay to have a great party when you are fundraising, you just need to make sure the expense of the party meets the goal of the fundraising. With a few minor changes you can have great party and raise a lot of money in the same night!