The Checklist You Need to Build Your Campaign Communication Strategy

6 min
Classy blog author photo of Elizabeth Chung
Elizabeth Chung

From a campaign’s launch to its close, you need to maintain steady communications to engage supporters and attract gifts. This means you have to deliver the right content, to the right people, at the right time, and through the right channel.

It can be challenging to keep a tab on all of those components, so we’ve created an overview of the different stages of a campaign and the communication strategy needed during each phase. Be sure to download the full checklist for free so you don’t miss a beat during your next campaign.

Campaign Launch

How you launch your campaign is critical to its overall success. While you might have your campaign pages, assets, and incentives built and ready to go, you don’t want to loose all of your cannons just yet. It’s critical that you first position yourself to garner as much support as possible during your launch. You can accomplish this by dividing your launch into two stages—a soft launch and a hard launch.

Soft Launch

Soft Launch Campaign Communication Strategy
A soft launch is a one to two week period during which you recruit core supporters into your campaign before opening it up to your entire audience and the general public. Getting your most dedicated champions to donate and start fundraising first generates initial momentum that can encourage your wider community to take action.

Reach out to your power players during this soft launch period and invite them to be part of an exclusive group that will help launch the campaign. This gives them a sense of pride and ownership over the campaign that gets them excited and motivated to share the campaign with their networks. These early adopters can include:

Your Communication Strategy for This Stage

Email: Send a personalized email to your A-list supporters inviting them to get involved in your campaign. Remind them of their past support for your organization, and let them know that they’re part of a core group that was handpicked to help ensure your campaign’s success. If you’re running a peer-to-peer campaign, ask them to create personal fundraising pages. For other campaign types, send a targeted appeal asking them to donate.

Free Download: The Beginner’s Guide to Email Appeals

Social media: During this preliminary week, you want to use social media to build anticipation for your campaign. Consider putting together a photo series that counts down the days until your public campaign launch. You might use images of the people the campaign will impact, or photos of supporters taking action. This is also when you want to introduce your campaign hashtag.

Free Download: The BIG Guide to Social Media for Nonprofits

Hard Launch

Hard Launch Campaign Communication Strategy
After the soft launch, it’s time to kick off your campaign to your entire community. It’s crucial that you promote your campaign across every marketing channel at your disposal like email, video, social media, and blogs.

Your Communication Strategy for This Stage

Email: Rather than sending just a one-off message, deliver a series of emails to your entire contact list. A two to three part email series generates four times as many responses and nearly twice the average donation size as a single message.

Newsletter: Promote your campaign at the bottom of your biweekly or monthly newsletter, along with a call to action to donate or fundraise.

Website: Update your homepage with an eye-catching image that spotlights your campaign.

Social media: At a minimum, you should post at least once on each of your social networks, everyday. Show photos and videos that highlight your organization’s work, testimonials from volunteers or the people you serve, and blog posts that dive deep into your campaign’s progress. Your goal is to direct as much traffic back to your website as possible in order to secure more donations.

Pro Tip
To free up your time, schedule posts in advance with a social media management tool.

Mid-Campaign

Mid-campaign Communication Strategy
In a typical eight-week campaign, you need to use the core four to five weeks to motivate supporters and hurtle towards your campaign goal. Leverage all of your communication channels and deliver targeted messages to keep people excited and engaged.

Your Communication Strategy for This Stage

Email: Segment your email campaign to send customized messages to different groups of supporters. Your sub-groups can include:

  • Volunteers or blog subscribers
  • Average gift size
  • Last campaign or program they donated to
  • Donation frequency

You should also craft an entirely separate email campaign for your fundraisers. By targeting them based on their fundraising activity, you can provide any tips, email or social media templates, or encouragement they may need to move their personal campaigns along.

Social media: Focus on visual content like photo reels, graphics, and videos to grab people’s attention and inspire them to get involved. Also shine the spotlight on your donors and fundraisers by tagging and thanking them. While you might thank donors for their generous gifts, you might call out fundraisers based on their personal fundraising progress.

End of Campaign

End of Campaign Communication Strategy
With one week left in your campaign, you need to get strategic with your communications. Get prospective donors off of the sidelines by broadcasting the upcoming deadline and ramping up a sense of urgency.

Your Communication Strategy for This Stage

Email: Just as you opened your campaign with a strong email series, you also want to close it out with a 2- or 3-part message. Thank supporters for all that they’ve raised and accomplished so far, communicate what’s needed to reach your goal, and emphasize that there’s only week left to make it happen.

Social media: Just as you created a photo series to generate excitement for your campaign’s launch, consider using one now, too, to build a sense of urgency as you near the end of your campaign. You can also couple this with graphics that demonstrate everything your campaign has made possible so far, along with what it could fund additionally once it reaches its goal.

Dive Into Each Campaign Phase and Get Your Communication Strategy Checklist

Now that you have a general idea of what’s needed throughout your campaign, dive into specific tips for each content channel and campaign stage in our Build a Communication Strategy Field Guide. You can expect to find:

  • In-depth strategies to plan your communications for each stage
  • Email layouts for each message in your opening and closing series
  • Tips on how to reenergize supporters during the mid-campaign lull
  • An interactive checklist to help guide your campaign communications

For even more advice on building communications strategies, be sure to watch all the recordings from the live sessions at the Collaborative: Virtual Sessions, as well as over 20 bonus Extended Sessions, for free below.  


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