As They Say in Gossip Girl: “Your Only Value In PR is Your Social Network.”

To all of you trying to jump start the year with fundraising events galore: Are you talking to the rightstockvault-large-key127837 people?

A recent study by Blackbaud revealed that 20 percent of fundraising event participants are participating because their employers asked them to. In addition to that, 37 percent are participating because a friend or family member asked them to.

In other words, “your social network is key.”

What does that mean for you?

1. Target big employers: many employers have it in their mission or strategic plan to give or fundraise at least once throughout the year. Work with them to ensure they support your cause and promote your event among their employees. Some companies offer incentives for involvement, be sure to check these out!

2. Offer a bring a friend discount: for events where there is a registration fee, offer to waive the fee if the participant brings a friend to the event.

3. Offer incentives to your employees/volunteers for recruiting: This could be offering them volunteer hours for sharing a social media event post or offering prizes for the person who personally recruited the largest number of participants.

For options 2 and 3, be sure to include a “why are you here” or “who brought you” field on the registration form.

4: Promote family involvement: If the event lends itself to the creation of teams, be sure to promote inter-family rivalry. Have the Smiths of West side vs. the Smiths of East side. Encourage the families to have traveling trophies to promote yearly participation!

It isn’t about what you know in the fundraising business, it is about who you know and who your people know! Your social network is key.

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