RFL Training Plan: Recognition

It’s easy to wrap up your fundraising season after your event, calculating final fundraising numbers and updating leaderboards. Forgetting to plan for the next fundraising season immediately is a common oversight. However, by thanking all of your donors, like big corporate sponsors, or recognizing smaller donations from friends and family, we can ensure future support and donations.


The main, post-event focus should be re-recruiting past participants and fundraisers by giving them a great experience at your event and by thanking them post-event. Following up with feedback forms is one way to gauge how your “customers” felt about your event, and is an easy way to determine what changes to make to your event in the future in order to retain participants, fundraisers and donations. Once a participant is hooked, we don’t want to let them go! We want participants to feel both appreciated and useful, because they’re making a difference in the fight too. If they feel as though their money and time has been used in a productive way, they’ll continue to participate. By tying in mission-centered recognition, we can show our participants how their money has helped patients, caregivers and survivors. One way of doing this is to give participants who have raised over $25, for example, a card at event check in showing how many rides to treatment or stays in a Hope Lodge their fundraising has provided.

Recognition can start at your event by giving out awards for largest team, most money per team member fundraised, most emails sent, top 5 fundraisers etc. Schools give out poster-sized awards, social media shout-outs, top 10 lists and more to show their appreciation for the hard work their volunteers and participants do. Public recognition is a great way to thank a fundraiser, because everyone likes a shout out for their hard work! Keeping public leaderboards at the event that are updated every hour is another great way to drive fundraising at your event and to show the teams putting in the work to get their numbers to grow!

All in all, by treating participants, fundraisers and donors like customers and following up with them post-event, we can help to ensure that the same people come back next year for another great time. Simply by saying thank you, we can retain the people we need to be successful in the next fundraising season!