In recent years, live events have changed, but they still serve their primary purpose of building community and affinity for nonprofits. AJ Steinberg, CFRE, from QueenBee Fundraising has shared key strategies to ensure a successful event. These strategies include starting with an audit of your past events, setting up standardized protocols that organizers can follow, conducting training, and choosing to engage a full-service production company that can provide the white-glove concierge-level service that supporters deserve and expect.

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AJ Steinberg, a certified fundraising executive and founder of Queen Bee Fundraising, shares insights on four steps to optimize nonprofit events. The conversation is hosted by Jarrett Ransom and Julia Patrick, CEOs of the Raven Group and American Nonprofit Academy, respectively. The discussion revolves around conducting a strategic event audit, implementing standardized event protocols, providing training, and engaging volunteers effectively.

AJ emphasizes the importance of conducting a strategic event audit, which involves evaluating past events to identify areas of improvement and understand how well the event resonated with different demographics. She encourages organizations to set goals before starting an event and involve board members, committees, and guests in the audit process to gather valuable feedback.

The hosts share their personal experiences and acknowledge the significance of receiving feedback through surveys to understand attendees’ perspectives and make necessary changes. AJ explains that strategic event audits can reveal demographic shifts and help organizations adapt their events to cater to different age groups and preferences. She also highlights the need to build a separate event committee for younger generations to create events that resonate with them and foster long-term engagement.

The conversation then shifts to the importance of standardized event protocols. AJ emphasizes that many organizations reinvent the wheel each time they plan an event, which wastes time and leads to frustration. She suggests creating a standardized protocol notebook with predefined steps for tasks like graphics, invitations, guest management, marketing, social media, stage programs, and volunteer management. These protocols save time, ensure consistency, and provide a foundation for successful event planning.

The hosts discuss the significance of implementation and training, emphasizing that organizations should provide tools and training to help committee members and staff succeed in their event planning roles. They highlight the need to invest time in training volunteers and ensuring their positive experience to retain them as champions for the organization.

AJ mentions the challenges of engaging grumpy board members who may have had negative experiences in the past. She emphasizes the importance of involving board members in the event planning process, seeking their input, and ensuring they have a sense of ownership. By addressing these challenges and providing proper training and support, organizations can build a positive and motivated event planning team.

The conversation concludes with the hosts expressing their appreciation for AJ’s insights and acknowledging the need for further discussions on topics such as generational shifts in fundraising and board engagement.

Overall, the video transcript highlights the importance of conducting event audits, implementing standardized protocols, providing training, and engaging volunteers effectively to optimize nonprofit events. These steps can lead to better event outcomes, increased engagement, and long-term success for nonprofit organizations.