August 4, 2014
Receptions are a major part of annual planning for some nonprofits. These gatherings allow charitable groups to bring a large number of their contributors together in the same room, providing a time for updates about operations, the overall mission of a group and the advances made on specific projects. There are many benefits of having a reception, but hosting events more specific to the mission and character of a nonprofit can lead to more unique and compelling events which can increase effectiveness when engaging with contributors.
According to the Nonprofit Marketing Guide, events that are closer to "donor experiences" than generic receptions can create more engagement with contributors and lead to better outcomes in a variety of ways. Incorporating contributors into the actual activities of a nonprofit allows them to see how their gifts have helped the local community, as well as the importance of continuing their sponsorship. Although the specifics of these donor experience events differ between individual nonprofits, some thought into crafting more unique experiences can yield stronger results.
The Giving Institute explained the benefits of a meaningful donor experience by pointing out the ability to keep contributors engaged with the nonprofit to which they donate. Providing the chance for donors to directly interact with the people being helped or projects being undertaken, creates a more significant bond with the work of a nonprofit than an unconnected dinner or social gathering. Nonprofits that want to keep the reception as sort of a "gift" to their contributors can incorporate such an event into the overall engagement experience.
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