Volunteer, Staff, to Guest Ratios

Events work their very best when they bring distant people closer to your organization. This is a bit different with recognition events, as their sole purpose is to acknowledge those donors who are present. The traditional cultivation event is meant to introduce people to your organization or pull an existing relationship closer. Regardless of how you look at events, events are always about the guests.

Events can be a lot of fun and are often a focal point of activity for any organization. It is a good practice to make sure that every volunteer or staff member at an event has a specific purpose. When you start running regular events and everyone starts talking about having a good time and how fun the event was, many volunteers will want to start attending just to be at the next event. If you are not careful you will find you have as many volunteers as you do guests.

One good technique you can use is to let your board know that only board members who have prospects attending an event can attend. You don’t want the place of a new prospect to be taken by someone internal to the organization. This technique also encourages volunteers to invite their friends and to connect new people to the organization.


3 Responses to Volunteer, Staff, to Guest Ratios

  1. Eric Foley says:

    Some good advice here, Jason. I’m curious about something, though. In your first sentence you say that events work their best when they draw people closer to the organization and in the last sentence of your first paragraph you note that events are always about the guests. So there seems to be two parties – the organization and the guest – whom the event is serving.

    I’m wondering why there are two – why not one? Why not make these events solely about the guests, helping them to get involved in the cause?

  2. Jason says:

    Eric thanks for your comment. I think you have a great point I’m sorry I was a bit confusing. What I am trying to say is regardless of your perspective events should be about the guests. Whether your event is for donor aquisition of new people or stewardship of your existing major donors it should be about the donor. Does that clarify what I wrote? Agree/disagree?

  3. Eric Foley says:

    Yep, that definitely clears it up. Sorry for thinking confusingly! :)

    I agree.

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