Oftentimes, nonprofit organizations, especially smaller ones, start fundraising campaigns without any plan or well-articulated strategy in advance. The secret of success does not lie just in organizing your campaign carefully, but also in starting from the right premises.
In spite of a rigorous execution, your campaign will be unsuccessful if it is not addressed to the right audiences or does not use appropriate media channels. By following the next steps, you may be able to gather a large amount of funds for the cause you support.
Here’s a few ways on how to plan the ultimate fundraising campaign:
Formulating the goal
Why do you want to start the start this fundraising campaign? How much money do you want to raise and what for?
Recalling your organization’s mission
Is the new campaign consistent with your nonprofit’s mission and values? This approach should also provide an answer to the question why you want raise funds.
A general, major goal should be split into smaller objectives which make it easier to create strategies and come up with tactics ideas. Objectives should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timed.
Before getting to tactics, you need to consider the overall strategic planning. Some critical elements of your strategy should be resource allocation, methods to detect donor prospects, choosing fundraising methods (partnerships, sponsorship, online fundraising, direct mail, government funding and so on), and following up with donors. Disparate tactics that are not organized around major strategies will produce inconsistent results.
Considering the actual fundraising tactics
Tactics represent the execution part of your campaign and they can be extremely diverse. Some common fundraising tactics are: direct mail, events, engaging with donor groups, individual giving, telemarketing, grants, online donations, mobile giving, multi-year giving campaigns, and corporate donation programs.
Calendar and budget
Even if your goal is raising money, you will need to allocate some financial resources to implement your campaign. Furthermore, a critical aspect is setting a timeline; otherwise you will never get things done. Detailed timelines may feel pressing, but when you have decided the exact date of an event, planning and preparations will run more smoothly and you will be less likely to oversee important aspects.
One step that many nonprofits oversee is assessing the performance of their fundraising campaigns. Evaluation of a past campaign can serve as research for the next one and there is always some mistake you can learn from. A thorough assessment of your campaign outcomes will tell you which methods work and which don’t and will allow you to optimize your future fundraising efforts.
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