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Anatomy of a Perfect Fundraising Campaign

Our goal is that you always hit yours. With that, we wanted to discuss key steps and stages to think about when preparing for your next campaign.

PrePlanning 

First things first: Set a goal. Not too high and not too low, and also, what will this goal achieve.

From there, you can Develop the Brand- Title, description, why you’re raising money? – Focus on a “Spreadable Message” or in other words, a message that engages and activates current and future supporters. Next, Develop your Content: logo, marketing message, photos or videos.

Simultaneously, create an incentives system. It does not have to be expensive or even monetary, but try to get some prizes or run a contest for fundraisers to compete for. It could be as simple as “We’ll highlight the top fundraiser of the week on our Facebook wall”. Always remember that while people are charitable by nature, the likeliness of them fundraising is raised when there is a possibility of personal gains.

Cultivate an editorial and content calendar – when emails go out, what should they say, what should tweets and shares say and the perfect timing for both. Remember, supporters want to help, but are not always aware of the strategic nature of a fundraising campaign. Guide them!

Give advocates time and space before the push. Develop a timeline that allows for people to plan their own outreach. While you can’t predict how quickly your supporters will get moving on their fundraising, providing them with ample time to get behind the idea of fundraising and to continually connect with them on Successful Tips, the more apt they are to hit or meet their goals.

Recruiting is key. Kick off the campaign by doing a personal outreach to your most ardent supporters to get them on board first. Also try to reach out to “influencers” that might be familiar with your event or organization. Ask them to share your campaign or even better see if they’ll join the campaign! Below is an example of how an influencer can create significant growth for a campaign.

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Focus on minimizing campaigns. While fundraising is a year-round task, you have to remember that your supporters are participating in their own networks interests, in addition to yours. By asking too much, you run the risk of burnout. So, keep it fun, focused and simple. You don’t need multiple campaigns annually, just one well-developed and executed one. Don’t be frightened, you can do this!

Take a week and set a goal of getting a certain amount of fundraisers signed up for the campaign. Only officially launch the campaign once you get a handful of supporters creating personal fundraising pages.

Once you go live with your campaign make sure you are sending potential fundraisers to a page with a clear “Call to Action”. Meaning the webpage clearly defines the campaign and how to get involved and WHY?! Make sure to describe how important it is to customize the fundraising page (compels potential site visitors to donate and even become fundraisers.) Now, that you’ve planned, lets get to it!

During

As you have by now managed to recruit your fundraisers, you have to activate them! Initially focus on the fundraisers that have yet to complete key pieces of the campaign. If you are holding a 5k and you need them to register or pick a t-shirt size, reach out to that group first. Second, reach out to those that have not completely filled out their personal fundraising page. Lastly, assist those individuals that have not raised any money. Provide tips and encouragement along the way. Campaigns are a journey and every participant needs some love along the way.

For those better at fundraising make sure to communicate your appreciation for them, bring them closer into the fold by asking for best practices or ideas on how to help struggling fundraisers. Thank them for their efforts. Those power users can raise 10x  the amount of your average fundraiser. Keep them engaged!

Also be sure not to blow through all your rewards or marketing messaging. Be strategic with how you connect. Its not about a pat-on-the-back everyday, but when your Top Fundraisers hit their own personal goals. Make them your Co-Thought Leaders.

Be patient and optimistic. While this can be hard, especially if goals slowly being achieved, you cannot give up hope. If you planned thoughtfully and continue to engage your followers, then be patient as the money will come in, sometimes just later than you would have preferred.

Post

This is where we think the key to your campaign comes in: the post-mortem. All of your success is not based on you, its based on your supporters. Without them, none of this is possible. Find unique ways to thank them. IF you have a notable Executive Director, have them craft commemorative takeaways for your supporters. Additionally, make sure that as you thank your supporters, they are thanking theirs, otherwise your donations can dry up in subsequent years. As always, ensure that this is a memorable experience. RallyBound designed its interface with the end-user in mind so, when you design your campaign, hone in on what that end-user wants to see in return: donations in action! Give them that. Give them the visual of money doing good work.

Lastly, take stock of your ROI. If the campaign didn’t meet all of your expectations, discuss with your internal stakeholders the faults and the adjustments for next year. Additionally, include your Board of Directors and Top Fundraisers. Basically, if someone cares about your mission; about your campaign, get them to weigh in. As long as its constructive, it helps. Then get going on next years campaign. First thing would be directing funds to the right sources as promised in your messaging.

We hope these tips help you achieve complete Mission Success. Please feel free to offer additional thoughts on how we can best provide tools and tips on how to create the best fundraising experiences around!

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