I often get asked, “What are the key indicators of a strong nonprofit fundraising campaign?”
In order to have a strong fundraising campaign of any sort, whether it be capital, endowment, or even annual, you need several hallmarks of success in place before you launch it.
Let me share with you what is needed to ensure your next fundraising campaign’s success:
1) First, you need a dedicated group steering the planning of the effort and ensuring that there are enough capable and willing “askers.” Out of this group, you need strong campaign leadership to emerge in the form of campaign chairs.
2) A strong campaign plan outlining the goals, purpose, and particulars of the campaign, including timing and gifts needed, is critical. You wouldn’t want to operate any campaign without a strong road map of how you propose a strategy to unfold.
3) An established database of prospects capable of making the gifts indicated in the gift range chart that you note above.
4) A Case for Support or rationale for the need for contributed income, a media plan, a calendar of events, and key messaging.
5) A cadre of willing and supportive ambassadors close to your cause who can champion it on many different levels, including influence and connections.
6) Events that build cultivation and solicitation moments into the campaign, whether they are recruitment, fundraising, or thank-you events.
7) A hard start and end date for the campaign to prevent campaign lulls and to foster continued momentum.
8) Develop a donor stewardship program for all those donors who supported the fundraising campaign. Those “moves” may include things such as annual face-to-face meetings, a director’s update, and invitations to post-campaign events. Be sure that you have identified appropriate donor recognition opportunities for acknowledgment purposes.
Above are the hallmarks of a strong fundraising campaign. If you lack any of the above elements, you may want to consider how you can “shore up” the missing components and create a really strong campaign that meets goals AND your mission.
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