We can’t really start talking about awesome fulfillment reports without addressing the obvious elephant in the room – awesome fulfillment!
Grunt. You know who you are, and so do I. We’ve chatted about how totally crappy it is to get to fulfillment report time and realize that what was promised hasn’t actually happened. I’ve been there. I’ve had to make the call explaining how things went horribly wrong and why the commitment just wasn’t filled. It’s infuriating, embarrassing and hugely disappointing.
What the *$@& happened?
Sure, sometimes when plans go awry, the blame falls elsewhere. Maybe a colleague dropped the ball or external circumstances made plans impossible to execute. Then again, sometimes your fulfillment plan just seriously underdelivered. Not judging! It happens. But before it happens again, let’s debrief and figure out exactly what went wrong.
Okay, now let’s shift gears to the moment after awesome fulfillment has been achieved. Let’s talk about how you absolutely must follow up on your sponsorship, corporate philanthropic gift or program support with a fulfillment report. Preferably, one that sets up renewal or increase of the initial investment. And yes – it’s totally possible.
Exactly what is included in each of these reports varies as the depth and focus are based on a variety of factors. The one thing they have in common is the fact that they all have to be done, as they are a critical and powerful tool in building your corporate relationships.
Your Awesome Fulfillment Report Checklist
A successful fulfillment report is built on a few key philosophies that we’ll touch upon below. I encourage you to put this blog up on the screen the next time you are completing one to help keep you focused and on track.
1. Say it with me, “It’s all about them!”
You might remember that this was #1 tip for creating a great proposal (if you missed that blog, click here) – notice a trend? While gathering data and stories, and carefully wording it, you must remember these reports are all about the client and how their support led to a successful event. Or how their support led to the impact they wanted to see.
An awesome fulfillment report is telling the company what a great investment they made. In the case of sponsorship, the key is to remember their investment isn’t just about supporting your event, but also gaining visibility with a specific audience. In the case of program investment, it is about the impact made and ensuring there are stories, and in some cases marketing efforts, to show it.
2. Build trust, reinforce your value-add
A fulfillment report that clearly explains the investment and timely execution of the investment builds trust between you/your organization and your corporate partner. You might think you’re providing the same report as other charities but the truth is, great fulfillment reports stand out – a lot. Even if you didn’t hit the mark on all targets, your report can help reiterate the value of your existing partnership – and pave the way for the next steps. Making everyone look good is beneficial to both partners so try to include some stories and photos that will over-deliver for your partner.
Basically, if you submit your fulfillment report on time, provide detailed, relevant feedback and prepare first-hand accounts that reinforce your value-add, you’re already way ahead of the game (if it was a game – you’d be winning).
3. Pave the way for next steps
The role of the fulfillment report is about more than summarizing what just happened; it is also about laying out what’s going to happen next. Stick to high level, broad strokes, while starting to tease what’s coming up in the next proposal.
Questions you have that will help elevate the partnership going forward should be addressed through the process of delivering the report. Ideally, you are delivering reports to significant clients in a formal debrief so you have the opportunity to really set the stage for growth. Capitalizing on the momentum and positive impression laid out in the report is a huge opportunity – don’t let it pass you by!
There you go, fulfillment report awesomeness is at your fingertips! If you need more help with this, I hope you give me a call. Getting these done right and on time is a small investment in building a successful corporate partner program.
You’ve got this!
P.S. Do you need help building the proposal that comes before awesome fulfillment? If so, I covered that in my last blog and you can check it out here.