These seriously dreamy cultivation events are especially great for major donors.
I got goosebumps when my colleague Rachel Muir (founder of GirlStart & voted AFP Fundraiser of the Year by her peers) first described to me her tried-and-true method for creating high-impact cultivation events that – while NOT fundraising events, per se – seriously moved the needle on community support in the long term. Part art & part science, her approach played to the inherent strengths of current & prospective donors.
Her focus on scalability & repeatability startled me. Add that these events would cast community leaders in (well-supported) starring roles as high-impact volunteers, & my old brain started forming new synapses.
The events she created would provoke unforgettable *personal* experiences that participants wouldn’t be able to stop talking about – with colleagues, friends, and family.
I don’t remember exactly when, but at some point, I hugged her.
And then I begged her to share her strategy. And so she let me write up this Major Donor Cultivation Events guide, which includes her formula, sample events, a preparation checklist, and even a script for the *very important* post-event dialogue with participants.
As a donor, I really hope fundraisers will take advantage of this method. I can’t think of a more efficient way to provoke the necessary light bulb moments among movers-and-shakers. As a board member, I’d have been proud to invite my friends and colleagues to serve as volunteers at such events, learning about the mission – yes – but more importantly having their own personal look at the impact being delivered. And with the focus on minimal time commitment, convenience, “ready-room” support, & the networking possibilities, I’d have been more than pleased to participate, too.
Someone needs to keep inspiring big giving that strengthens our communities. I hope it will be you.