NonProfit Event Planning Workshop part 3

hey we’re back blockbuster fundraising and I’m joy Olson and this has been a development workshop a special events development workshop. Our guest Development director is tasked with putting on an event and as of today she’s only got six full weeks. this event is on april eighth. Our guest development director has pages and notes and feels really good about planning but needs a few more details! She is concerned about the event emails, how they should look and the letters, what should they say?and so let’s talk a little bit more about details! writing dynamic creative content is hugely important. First, short sentences! and use the most powerful words you can conjure up. be emotional and tell a story! Make your story exciting and fun! This is an exciting announcement, not a big important document. it has to be fun, powerful, and snappy. We’ll help her later with fun powerful and snappy but this is something important for all of us to remember. write something short, clear, a message that people will read. I was just talking with Matteo my production manager and good friend who does events, and we were talking about all these special events books I ordered and just received and honestly I could hardly get interested! I got bored so quickly with so many words. Not easy to read, just jumble of a million words. they weren’t at all scannable! they weren’t easy to read and I think that that’s very important whatever you write whether it’s an email or whether it’s a letter. Put lots of spaces, bullets, headlines! make it scannable. maybe only have nine eight sentences but there’s information I can scan through and I see oh, i get it, fun event kids will love this and in conjunction with this other big event I’m going to anyway. make its scanable, make it easy to read I have some statistics that I think are kind of interesting. you want to really break up your emails or your letters in short paragraphs. eighty percent of the attention goes to the artwork. did you know that? I didn’t before today doing some research for this seventy-five percent of the attention goes to the photos. (images so important). fifty six percent goes to a word I cannot read I can’t even read my own writing HEADLINES (56%) and only twenty-nine percent goes to captions so Artwork, Images & Headlines are so very important combined with short paragraphs and lot of white space!I at my last development job I I worked with a particular marketing director and I’d come up with all the stuff I just really loved and she’d say white space, white space, you need more white space, so it got implanted in my brain! In your letter or your email answer why, why are you doing this, what the organization is, what the program is, and it’s happening now. there’s sense of urgency They don’t want to forget this because it’s happening now! Make it easy for them to why, when, where and how much. of course important issue is to create a mailing plan, to know when you’re sending out which communication. have an idea of exactly when it’s going to be in their mailbox. if you’re doing something that has a message in conjunction with St. Patrick’s Day you don’t want to get it to get there a week later so have a mailing plan and an email plan that’s got to be a part of your details you’ve got to know what you’re going to send and why and you want to make sure that you’re always following up. you know that was the one thing my very first development position was with PBS and I tell you up they follow up follow up follow up they let you know a month ahead of time and then two weeks ahead of time and then right on time and then when you’d miss up you haven’t you haven’t renewed follow-ups a very important thing people and I think people really appreciate it nowadays they’ve got so much on their schedule so much is going on. Again an important detail is to keep it short and sweet don’t make your missives long and if you’ve got your email list ready, personalize it, use their names because that makes it sound like we’re going to have a fun party come on attend come with us bring a friend this is going to be great but use their name. when I get an email message or a letter and especially in an email they say joy in the subject line Joy you’re not going to want to miss this I think Oh who is this and I check it out! it really does work personalization so make sure you do that! segment your list because you you might want a different message perhaps to the parents that you see often, you’ll have a different message. Hi Jean and Sam love seeing you every week and blah blah blah and hey want you to know and thought it would be a perfect opportunity for you to invite some of your friends who are having a really fun event on april eighth you’re probably going to be downtown anyway for this big celebration so come on over we’ve got some special surprises for you and so bring friends and then if it’s perhaps a grandparent you can tell them about it the message will be a little bit different and we’d love to have you if you’d like to attend and if you can’t attend perhaps you would consider a small gift so that we can keep our programs healthy and vital and we so appreciate your support and appreciate what you did for us last year and your help is making 2017 looking like a great year so segment your list and have a little bit a different approach because the young parents are probably going to show up and bring the kids and bring friends and family and the grandparents are going to be happy to send a check and stay home that’s like so segment the list. try to time your messages right your emails I think you want to think about that when do you think people have the time to read their emails a lot of people get it out there first thing in the morning you can think that through you know your list you know your donors you know your peeps better than I do you want to use concise language be specific and you want to create a sense of urgency you want to let them know when this is happening you need to hear from them please reply soon and absolutely make it sound like you’re excited about them coming you want them to be there make them feel special because they are actually that’s why you’re inviting them I think that I haven’t missed anything it I hope that this is enough detail there there are a lot of them maybe not a lot but I’ve got some great articles on power words and you can you can look for a blog on power words you can look for blogs on catchy subject line catchy phrases I do that it’s fun it really helps you sit and you’ve got a 6 week plan like this where you you know you’ve got two letters and at least four emails but you’ve got some special dates to work with well help yourself you know development is all about borrowing borrowing great ideas what’s that old saying if you borrow from two sources your creative but borrow because there are a lot of people out here especially with bloggers and authors that they can really be very helpful so I don’t know about you but I always need creative input to try to be more fun and more exciting in my communications well I did figure out the one word when I couldn’t read my own writing HEADLINES and I really appreciate the opportunity of having worked with with the development director here in my studio I hope that I’ve helped her and I hope that if you’ve been called upon recently to plan a special event that this will help you so stay happy stay healthy and I’ll see you soon again Joy Olson of Blockbuster Fundraising

Michael Martin

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