When you look at the most successful fundraising campaigns, the nonprofits behind them all do one thing in common: prepare. Effective preparation is to your campaign as a foundation is to a house. Without it, you don’t have the groundwork you need to build up success.
When you do your homework before launching a campaign, it sets you up to achieve both fundraising success and organizational growth, every single time.
That being said, we know there’s a lot that goes into planning. It can be difficult to check whether you’ve covered all your bases. That’s why we’ve created this series of Campaign Field Guides, to break up the prep work into three main stages. Each Field Guide walks you through one stage of the process, so that by the end of the series you’ll be ready to kick into high gear for your campaign.
Know Your Donors Field Guide
Your first step to fundraising campaign preparation is identifying your audience. Without a solid understanding of your donor base, you won’t be able to start a meaningful conversation, let alone spread the word. You need to know who your donors are, where they spend their time, how you can reach them, and what makes them tick.
This means you should collect and analyze direct feedback from supporters to inform your engagement strategy. Practically speaking, this involves a) conducting interviews, and b) creating donor personas that will help your entire staff understand your donor segments.
The Know Your Donors Field Guide helps you achieve these two goals. In it you’ll find:
• Best practices on how to conduct research on supporters
• Sample questions to use when conducting interviews with donors
• A customizable donor template to create your own donor personas
• Tips to identify untapped audiences
Simply put, this Field Guide provides the tools you need to gain a solid understanding of your current and potential donor base.
Plan Your Campaign Field Guide
Once you know your audience, you can turn your attention to planning your fundraising campaign. In the same way architects start out with a blueprint, you should start by creating your campaign roadmap. After all, you need to know exactly what your fundraising campaign aims to accomplish, and how you’ll achieve your goals.
This second Field Guide helps you build your very own roadmap—aka your campaign brief. It takes you step by step through establishing key details of your campaign, including its goals, launch dates, key metrics, theme, target audiences, and engagement strategy. Each section delves into best practices and tips to consider when planning your campaign.
And, because it’s built like a worksheet, you can work your way through it and complete your entire brief by the end of the Field Guide.
Build A Communication Strategy Field Guide
The third and final Field Guide covers your campaign communications strategy. When (and what) should you email your supporters? What should you post on social media? At what point should you roll out campaign incentives? How do you communicate with fundraisers versus donors?
This Field Guide answers all of the above. In order to keep supporters engaged throughout your entire campaign, you need to send the right content, through the right channels, at the right time. To help you do this, the Field Guide will:
• Show you how to communicate with supporters during every stage of your fundraising campaign
• Offer best practices for every major communications channel
• Provide a quick checklist you can use to plan and execute your strategy
Your communications strategy is a big deal, so find out how to optimize it, right here.
With all three Field Guides in hand, you’ll be ahead of the game when it comes to campaign prep. Use these hands-on worksheets to gain a better understanding of your donor base, plan your overall campaign strategy, and chisel out your communications tactics. If you’re looking for a launch pad to campaign success, this Field Guide series is it.