Creating Effective Fundraising Campaign Goals

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“What are your fundraising goals?” While it may sound like a simple question, especially for a nonprofit corporation, many NGO firms and charity organizations tend to struggle with the answer. In many ways, their goals go beyond the financial funding competencies where their work is simply meant to drive an overarching impact on the under-resources and under-privileged communities all around the world. As great as it is to have that longer-lasting vision, it is still incredibly broad and unhelpful within the overall operations of an organization. Like it or not, money will always play a role. Because of this, you need to have strong, well established, and well-defined tangible goals in order to see success within your fundraising campaign. Without them, the workplace can feel a bit suffocating and worrisome, especially if there is a lack of direction to help navigate your efforts in the right direction. Having a clear vision of the end-state will allow you to take the necessary steps in order to achieve success. For this to be beneficial, you need to be crystal clear idea on what you are looking to achieve at the end of every quarter.

Setting a fundraising goal is vital because it helps you establish a more collaborative mindset. While easy as it may sound, creating these fundraising goals are incredibly tough. Yes, we can all throw the goal that we want to hit a million dollars. While I will never criticize your professional ambition of hitting that top level, I will question whether or not it is plausible, especially if you’re running a small level fundraiser. When creating your fundraising goal, you want to make sure of two things. The first thing your goals should do is that it should challenge your team each and every day. Many people need that level of challenge and motivation to get them through the mundane task of the office. They need to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that their work is steering the train. Now, as much as you want to shoot for the stars, you also want to be tangible about your goals. This brings us to the second requirement when establishing your fundraiser goals. While it is always fun to think about hitting those fundraising makers, you have to live in the realm of reality. Not doing so can be incredibly detrimental to the overall success and growth of the campaign. As much as your goals are meant to push you, they will not be able to be reach if they are clearly unattainable.

Now, as you create these goals, you want to start evaluating the situation holistically. Many organizations make the mistake of being too broad and vague with their targets. To prevent that, you need to analyze and internalize every factor of your fundraiser. To start, analyze the data. Look at the previous success and flaws of last years campaign and evaluate the strengths and positives. From there, you and your team should meticulously breakdown the information in every which way possible. This can be from the number of donors you have to the number of financial gifts you received in that year. The more information you know, the better. Once you have consolidated that information, look at the targeted goals of the overall organization. Ask yourself what the financial cost are for said-charitable resources and implement that into your thinking. This will allow you to truly understand the figure should realistically be looking at moving forward in the future.

In addition to this, try asking yourself specific overarching questions such as: What are you trying to accomplish? Who are you trying to reach? What do you want them to understand about your campaign? These questions will provide a strong overview so that you can establish efficient and effective steps that can lead you to your goals. Think of these as mini-goals. These particular objectives are meant to help you conceptualize your path for success. To help improve this, try and make sure these steps are able to measure progress. This will allow you to analyze whether or not you are on or off track when it comes to your campaign’s achievement.

Dan Pallotta: The way we think about charity is dead wrong

Activist and fundraiser Dan Pallotta calls out the double standard that drives our broken relationship to charities. Too many nonprofits, he says, are rewarded for how little they spend — not for what they get done. Instead of equating frugality with morality, he asks us to start rewarding charities for their big goals and big accomplishments (even if that comes with big expenses). In this bold talk, he says: Let’s change the way we think about changing the world.

Leveraging Social Media to Increase Donations for Nonprofits

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Living in the digital age, we cannot help but notice how far social media has grown. Not only do we use these platforms for our personal lives to connect and engage with family members and friends, but also we utilize these properties within our professional lives as well. But even with its daily use, many nonprofit organizations are not leveraging the power of social media and taking advantage of its untapped possibilities for future donors and donations.

While most nonprofit organizations usually tailoring their efforts to a more personable approach such as direct mail, flyers, cold calls, one-on-one sit downs, and other offline marketing tools, online marketing tools, especially those dealing with social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or a company page blog, should be optimized in the best possible way. Why? As such, social media properties allow your organization to double, triple, and even quadruple its exposure. As much as personal approaches and built-in relationships can gain you stronger retention donors, you have to understand that increased awareness and online marketing can also produce strong and effective results.  

The key here is engagement. Like any fundraising relationship, you want to make sure you are targeting the wants and needs of your donor. With off-marketing tools, you are only limiting your organization and your efforts to a specific physical area. To branch out beyond your own personal proximity, I would advise your marketing team to take advantage of social media. For many people, they want to donate. In fact, they look to support various causes they care about. But they cannot do this if you do not give them the option to.

To help with this, I have outlined four easy-to-do practices in utilizing social media to increase donations.

1. Blogging

With the world of journalism becoming more and more reliant on the Internet, it is imperative that you optimize your nonprofit organization’s website by writing and creating rich, organic, and informative blogs. For these blogs, you want to make sure you are discussing the overall niche of your organization and highlighting the mission and goals of your nonprofit. Many donors want to make sure the organization they are donating to is the right one. Be sure to discuss various accomplishments and direct them where they can make that transformative change through monthly or annual donations.

2. Expand your Exposure

We all know the popular social media platforms out there like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To of course optimize these in the best possible way, make sure you are providing daily, if not weekly, updates about your organization. This can be a great platform to showcase your blogs and also share more current event news and press releases about your nonprofit. Make sure you are also connecting with those online. Find various organizations and thought-leaders that are similar to your field. This could eventually lead to a potential partnership in the future.

3. Paid Campaigns

Like anything dealing with business, you may want to consider possible paid promotional campaigns. Much of social media relies on engagement. To help build up your brand and highlight your organization’s mission, paid promotional campaigns for either followers or engagement through Twitter, Facebook, and StumbleUpon could be excellent avenues in spreading your message. Some days, a small investment could push you ten steps forward in the right direction.

4. Photos and Videos

For many social media properties as well as the social media market, photos and videos play an integral role in increasing engagement. Just think about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Through small promotional engagement videos, you are able to market your organization, while increasing your donor pool in other areas of the world. Make sure these image and multi-video campaigns highlight your mission and various efforts in which people can help.