Three key components to a strong fundraising campaign

Conal Dougan
July 6, 2017

At THINK Digital we believe that there are a number of key components to running successful campaigns if you’re a non-profit. We wanted to share three of them with you here.

  1. Creating a sense of urgency

When someone sees your campaign, you want them to act there and then. To feel that if they don’t act the opportunity will be missed. This is easy if you’re running an emergency campaign or one with a very short timeframe, but less easy in other circumstances.

The best opportunities, of course, are those with real deadlines to work towards. For example, Greenpeace’s effort to get supporters to sign a petition before Donald Trump backed out of the Paris Accord.

However, trying to create a sense of urgency for other campaigns is more difficult. Using a countdown when a campaign is running for three months, for example, makes people think that there is no urgency and no reason for them to take action now. Trying to enforce a sense of urgency can often have the opposite effect.

We have found that using ‘key moments’ within a long campaign provides the opportunity to ask supporters to act now. For example, for a recent campaign we helped deliver focusing on penguins, we used World Penguin Day as a key moment to ask supporters to donate.

  1. Audience targeting

Having a well thought out audience targeting strategy can be key in helping to achieve the campaign goals. An effective strategy will use those goals to determine who will most likely engage in the campaign, and ensure that marketing budget can be used as wisely as possible.

Using existing supporters as a basis to match potential supporters to is usually a good starting point, but some thought needs to be put into this. For example, supporters who have attended a non-profit’s events or signed a petition are not necessarily those who will donate to an online campaign.

As important as it is to have an audience targeting strategy in place before a campaign launches, you should also be open to testing it during the early stages of the campaign and then adapt it depending on performance.

  1. Consistency

We talk about joined-up, consistent approaches across a lot of our work, and it is no different when running campaigns.

When planning a digital campaign, think about how easily people can see all of your online platforms and content. Treating the campaign in isolation on one channel or page (for example the campaign landing page) doesn’t give it as good a chance of succeeding as if the content is consistent across other platforms and channels too.

The campaign should have high visibility on all channels and platforms. There should also be consistency of messaging across communications. If a key campaign message goes out on Facebook, it should be reflected on all other social media channels, and go out in a supporter email at the same time.