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The Best Non-Profit Intel

Part 2: Messaging for the Fundraising Campaign

So now you know about your ideal donor and have an idea of what motivates them to donate to a cause. The next step is to create messages that move these individuals to give money to your campaign – even when you aren’t asking for donations. Good messaging should be tied to the overall objective of the organization and set clear, measurable goals.

This image displays a pen and a notebook and portrays relevance to branding and strategy for non-profit fundraising campaigns

During the first phase – before going public with the campaign, your messages should be designed to drive behavior that will encourage support once the campaign is launched publicly. Evaluating any data you have collected will allow for more targeted, effective messaging.

For most people, giving is generally driven by a personal connection to the charitable cause.

The messaging should:

  • Demonstrate clearly the financial impacts and benefits of supporting the cause
  • Make donating easy
  • Show that public funding does not support all of the programs
  • Clearly show how donations fill the gap
  • Make supporters feel important.

During the first phase also, the public messages should ideally highlight clients, volunteers, staff and donors using the framework above. This should be consistent messaging that forms part of every communication plan going forward. Getting more followers and keeping them interested is very important. The first phase can be used to build an audience and test messaging – particularly if this is your first fundraising campaign. Testing messaging will allow you to find out what works and what doesn’t work. You can then use the messages that resonate the most and create a more effective campaign.

You’ve already identified your ideal donor now you can use that information to craft messages and identify the tools that will reach these donors. Your efforts should focus on the tools used most often by the ideal donor. For example, if the ideal donor is 45-55 years old, a tool that is used most often by 15-25-year-olds isn’t the tool for your campaign.

Questions to ask:

  • Does my ideal donor have concerns I can help with?
  • How does what your charity offers relate to the ideal donor?
  • What information will be valuable to them?

Staying relevant to your donors, clients and volunteers should be a consistent goal in your communications plan every year. Attracting and retaining interest will mean you have an audience to draw on for future campaigns. You will need to keep up two-way communication with your audience to help ensure you are providing them with the information they want. Check-in with your audience periodically to create a dialogue and keep them interested.

Now you can start writing your plan for the first phase of your campaign.


Stay tuned for Part 3 of this four-part article where we will dive in the first phase of the fundraising campaign and its elements.