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The Best Non-Profit Intel

Part 4: Phase Two – The Public Fundraising Campaign

Now it is time to go public with your fundraising campaign

During the public phase of the campaign, it’s important to stay focussed and constantly update the public on your progress.

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

A successful public campaign will:

  1. Use coordinated multi-channel campaign with the key messages developed for your campaign materials.
  2. Create a sense of urgency by having an end-date for the campaign that is short and publicly communicated.
  3. Communicate a short, clear call to action.
  4. Set clear, realistic goals that are measured and reported on throughout the campaign – even if you fall short.

If you have the resources, dedicate a staff member to the fundraising project for the entire campaign. That person will be responsible for ensuring that the plan is being followed and the goals are being reached. Make sure to keep your internal audiences informed and motivated to spread the word.

Define what the donation will mean:

People are more likely to donate to a campaign if they have a clear sense of what the donation will mean. By setting target donations and defining what each level will mean, it will give donors a real idea of what their money is achieving whether it’s buying needed supplies, going towards an expansion or building or providing services to new individuals. Quantifying a donation gives people a target to reach and a sense of what other people are donating, which can motivate people to donate more. A donor wall can serve as a permanent thank you to large donors and as a motivator for future donations.

See if you can encourage a major donor to match donations for a certain period of the public campaign. Having a matching donor for an amount or timeline is an excellent way to motivate the public to donate and can be used as a motivator for large donors – it means their contribution is doubled.

Make it easy to donate:

No matter what channel is being used, donations should be easy to make – a few seconds at most. Any individual or organization that offers to help with fundraising should be provided with a toolkit that will make their fundraising efforts easy and consistent with the overall campaign.

Be positive:

Every donor should receive a message about how their donation will make a difference to you and the people you help. Using personal stories and photos show donors how they have contributed to the overall goal. The message should be about the donor and how they have helped people by supporting your cause.

Keep your supporters engaged:

Let your supporters become part of the campaign. Give them the opportunity to share the message and encourage donations, if they would like. Some very powerful grassroots campaigns in an inexpensive way by getting supporters to share their message and encourage donations.

Stay focused:

Make sure you keep your fundraising goals front and center. Use your channels to provide consistent updates that demonstrate:

  1. What specifically the donations are supporting.
  2. Individuals who have benefitted from the donations.
  3. How much you have raised and how far you are from your goal.
  4. Publicly thank your biggest donors.
  5. Promote the people who started their own campaigns.

Evaluate the Campaign:

The information you collect about the campaign will be invaluable for your future efforts. Collect data about the campaign – which channels worked the best? What information and tools have supporters found the most useful? How did people donate – which channels were used the most? Who were your biggest supporters? You want a clear understanding of what worked well, what did not and how you can improve for the next campaign.

Follow up:

Keep in touch with your supporters and let them know what happened at the conclusion of the campaign – you want to keep them interested. Always congratulate and thank everyone who participated in the campaign, and continue to let them know how their efforts helped – be specific.