Q: What is the best time of year to plan your Ask Event?
Rudolph in Jamaica
A: There are many factors to consider in planning a Benevon Free One-Hour Ask Event.
We have found the best times of year to hold an Ask Event to be spring or fall. Spring would be March, April or May. Fall would be October or November. The first thing to consider in choosing which season will work best is your organization's calendar of annual events. If you have another fundraising event that typically is held in the spring, you should go with fall for your Ask Event. If you have an existing event in the fall, go with the spring. You may also want to consider programmatic events in choosing which season would work best.
In order to hold a successful Ask Event, you will need to be holding at least two Point of Entry Events, with ten to fifteen guests in attendance, each month for nine months leading up to the event. Each Point of Entry will bring new people through the doors of your organization, allowing you to educate and inspire them with your mission. Once they have attended, you will follow up with each guest to hear their feedback and to ask if they'd like to be involved going forward. Those who are not interested will be "blessed and released," and those who are interested you will continue to cultivate through further contacts. These individuals become your pool of cultivated prospects who you will ultimately invite to your Ask Event.
One of the most important measures in holding a successful Benevon Free One-Hour Ask Event is the percentage of people sitting in the room at your event that have been to a prior Point of Entry. These guests give, on average, two to four times more money at the Ask Event because they have been well cultivated before coming. At your first Ask Event and each year going forward, you need to have a minimum of forty percent of the guests at your Ask Event who have attended a Point of Entry in the prior twelve months. More is always better, but forty percent is the minimum.
In choosing the date for your first Ask Event, start by looking at which time of year works best, and then work backwards from that date to ensure you have enough time to hold Point of Entry Events to fill your pipeline with prospects who will have been engaged and cultivated by attending these events. That should ensure you are on track for a successful event!