Why Every Gift Officer Should Track Facebook Events

Known as “America’s Game,” the annual Army-Navy football game is an institution with a 118-year history. It’s broadcast nationally and is the event of the fall for graduates of West Point and the U.S. Naval Academy.

For gift officers at both military academies, it’s both the perfect opportunity and a perfect storm. Thousands of graduates from both sides descend on a neutral location for rivalry weekend (This year, the game was held in Philadelphia). Advancement staff love knowing they’ll have a captive audience, but it’s also tough to keep track of who’s in town for the event, nevermind arranging meetings at tailgates, events, or the game itself.

This year, the team at West Point tried something new.

First, they used Facebook Events to promote the rivalry game among their fans. Facebook allows people to indicate whether they’re going to or interested in an event. More than 3,000 Army football fans engaged with the post.

The West Point team then used EverTrue insights to dig into the list of graduates who said they were going. In just a couple clicks, gift officers could see who in their portfolio would be in Philadelphia for the game.

Troy Schnack, Major Gifts Officer at the West Point Association of Graduates, used this information to contact his prospects. Within minutes, he’d connected with former cadets and booked meetings with a company president and a leader at a Fortune-50 corporation.

“Using the Facebook Events information in EverTrue allowed me to rapidly identify donors I was previously unaware were traveling across the country to attend the game,” said Troy. “I connected with them swiftly and naturally, allowing for a very personal touch at the year’s most memorable event.

(The event was memorable for these prospects not just because of Troy’s personal outreach, but also because Army beat Navy, 14-13, in an instant classic.)

Know When and Where to Meet Your Prospects

Sending insights from modern tools such as Eventbrite or Facebook Events to EverTrue brings your advancement efforts full circle, efficiently moving alumni from event attendees to hot prospects.

Instead of combing through Excel lists of registrations, gift officers can see who’s coming to an event in real-time and reach out to prospects when they’re engaged with their institution. That’s what we call “advancement automation.”

Best of all… promoting events on Facebook is free and can double event attendance. Every team in the country should be using Facebook to share events, harnessing the power of the world’s largest social network to reach alumni, parents, and friends where they live.

Seriously. Start now. Why miss another chance to connect with your best prospects?

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