Whether you’re creating a slide deck, building out tasks in your project management platform, or writing emails to your supporters, templates can drastically decrease the amount of time it takes to bring a project to life.
When it comes to creating fundraising campaigns, templates are no less valuable. The key is to start designing now so you can let your creativity flourish and produce a template that will serve you well into the future.
We met with Taylor Luebkeman, one of Classy’s resident experts on campaign creation, to learn how to integrate this strategy into your fundraising efforts. Below, we’ll walk you through what campaign types are best suited for templates, what goes into making a good one, and how you can start creating it today.
Find the Right Fit
According to Taylor, campaign templates typically work best with either a crowdfunding campaign or registration with fundraising event. These campaigns usually have firm end dates, which means you’ll need to create new campaigns when the current one ends.
The good news is that with enough foresight, you won’t need to go back into Classy and start from scratch. If you’re able to build a strong template, creating a new page can take two clicks.
For example, let’s say your organization hosts run/walk events in 10 different cities each year. Each run/walk is tied into the same overarching theme, and the only thing that changes from page to page is the location information for the event.
Instead of going through the process of uploading your logo, rewriting all the body copy, and designing the page 10 different times, create a “master” campaign template. You can save time by building a strong template, duplicating it 10 times, and updating the location to get your 10 pages finished.
While you’re saving a lot of time in the short term, this strategy can also pay off year over year. If this run/walk series is an annual project, you can use the “master” template the following year with minor edits to update the time, date, and location once again.
The idea is to spend the bulk of your time upfront creating one template that only needs minimal adjustments to fit your specific event or initiative.
Anticipate Your Assets
A central part of any successful fundraising campaign or event is how it looks. Assets like logos, photos, page copy, and supporter collateral are what grab peoples’ attention, communicates your message, and encourages them to take action.
However, Taylor tells us that getting all of your assets lined up, finalized, and ready to publish is one of the hardest parts of creating a template. Maybe this is a first-time event and you don’t have a pool of photos from last year to populate the page. Or maybe your campaign messaging hasn’t been finalized yet, blocking you from writing the page copy.
While it’s difficult to get all of these ducks in a row, one of the benefits of templates is that they push you to consider the future, today. Anticipate challenges like these so you can get the ball rolling sooner rather than later.
When you think about your assets, it’s important to not gloss over things like collateral for your supporters. For example, you might want to send run/walk participants a race day kit that has maps, parking instructions, and directions to the venue.
Similarly, you could create assets like an outreach kit that informs supporters how to successfully promote your event on their social channels. The extent of your fundraising campaign templates are only limited by your creativity and foresight.
Go Deeper Than Just Design
There are so many moving parts to a campaign outside of the page itself. For instance, there are countless options in the back-end of Classy you can build out, like emails.
For example, Taylor tells us there are different email categories associated with a registration with fundraising campaign, like:
- Email receipts
- Supporter notifications
- Campaign messages
- Milestone emails
Further, he tells us that within each category there are other, more specific emails like:
- Donation or registration receipts
- Progress to fundraising goal announcements
- Campaign comment activity notifications
These emails should be considered an integral part of your fundraising strategy. They’re how you keep people engaged through a mid-campaign lull, announce things like matching gift periods, and thank your supporters at the end of the campaign. Better yet, you can automate these emails to trigger at specific times or during specific milestones.
The difficult part, however, is writing all these emails.
“Emails have the biggest benefit for your campaign, but they definitely take the most time to prepare. However, getting this all prepared now will save you so much more time in the long run.”
But when you plan ahead and create your template, you only have to fill these emails out once. Then, every time you duplicate your template for a new campaign, they’ll come pre-filled and ready to fire off to your audience.
Aside from emails, there are a host of settings under the “details” tab in Classy.
Make sure to explore this section of your template as well, as there are different things you might want to turn on or off like:
- Promotion codes
- The ability for donors to cover transaction fees
- Custom questions
How to Create a Template
No matter what you decide you want to create a template for, it’s a relatively simple work flow. You create a new campaign:
You can also navigate to the Classy Manager and create a new campaign there as well:
Make sure to denote this new campaign as your template in the title. Then, go ahead and build out the page. Once that’s finished, your template will live in your Classy account and can be easily duplicated with one click:
The more time you spend on your templates now, the less time you have to spend overall on creating campaigns. That, in turn, frees you up to focus on other areas of your organization that might require your attention.
“I recommend you do this as soon as possible when you come on to Classy. Especially if you know what you’re going to do for the next year, there’s no reason to wait.”
To get started, call out all the campaigns you can think of for the next year. It can be beneficial to pair the template creation process with planning for your annual fundraising calendar as well.
As you plan a new fundraising event, mark that you’ll need a campaign page for it and account for that in your new templates. This can be a beneficial exercise to do with your entire team or organization.
Everyone has the opportunity to align and start thinking about the future now. Together, you can shape the future of your fundraising year.