Tips for Creating an Effective Fundraising Campaign
Step 1: Tell your Story
What compels people to volunteer their time, treasure and talents? People give to organizations that are doing important progressive work on a topic that personally matters to the donor. A financial gift is a decision of the heart. It’s a decision to partake in the narrative of your unfolding story.
It is for this reason that storytelling is such an important part of fundraising. The best stories are true stories. Tell your story with authenticity and brevity. Those that have a heart for the work you do will become financial supporters.
A tip for crafting a draft message is to record what you’d say if you were talking face to face with an interested donor. The message should be clear in conveying the following items:
- What is the need?
- Who will this help?
- How will my gift make a difference?
Step 2: Target your Audience
It’s a best practice to run segmentation counts on your target audience to help guide the strategy and messaging. For example, potential first-time donors may need to hear your story in a different narrative than previous donors. Previous donors could be segmented into groups based on criteria such as recency of last gift, amount of last gift and life-to-date total gift amount. Running counts on these various segments will provide insight and reveal opportunities for message personalization and custom calls to action.
Step 3: Create the Campaign
Now you can start the content creation process. Leverage the insight from steps 1 and 2 to map out the messaging game plan for specific donor segments. Now is the time to connect with the audience at the heart level through alignment of shared values and interests. Invite prospective donors to partner with you and become part of the solution. Acknowledge and graciously say thanks to donors for their continued support even as you ask them to stretch and grow in generosity.
Step 4: Execute the Plan
You may want to consider A/B testing small segments to determine ahead of time which email elements work best. Popular items to test include the friendly from, the subject lines, and the messages. Once testing is complete, put together the final messages and leverage the fundraising starter kit workflow to make your own automated fundraising campaign. You may want to have different campaigns to measure and track performance by audience segment.