Making campaigns more successful

August 11, 2014

Making campaigns more successful

The campaign is the most versatile tool available to nonprofits. In broad terms, these efforts all follow the same basic path: a cause or desired end result is selected, action is taken to motivate awareness or raise contributions, and positive influence on the current situation is exerted. However, one specific campaign can vary greatly from another, even inside of a single organization, making special consideration of each campaign necessary. This adaptability is one of the biggest strengths of campaigns, but it needs to be balanced with careful planning and attention to both broad goals and smaller details. Nonprofit groups that can successfully plan a campaign and understand the unique components that it requires will be generally more successful in their efforts to raise both funds and awareness.

According to the Nonprofit Marketing Blog, having a specific goal in mind is one of the most important parts of an effective campaign. Starting with the desired result in mind can help to inform strategies that boost both the overall effort, and specific components such as initial promotion of the campaign and materials tied into fundraising and bolstering awareness. Understanding what steps need to be taken to reach the goal is also very important. If a nonprofit can't determine how to achieve its desired end result, despite the presentation of different scenarios and discussion amongst staff members, it's a prudent move to alter the goal to become more manageable. Putting metrics in place to measure progress and success, is also key to a successful campaign. Without measurements , it's hard to determine whether a campaign is paying off or not.

Using the right amount of resources, tools and experience
Network for Good highlighted the concept of "just enough" as a campaign planning concept in a recently released guide. The issue being addressed is the normalization of campaign creation and using too many or too few resources for the task. Those who are new to the field may use too many progress measurement tools, outreach methods and other concepts, dragging down results. The opposite is sometimes true for experienced campaigners. By taking the time to select the most necessary and useful components while setting aside less-needed ones, campaign planners can optimize results and get more out of their efforts.

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We first started using First Nonprofit’s Unemployment Savings Program when we were a small startup nonprofit.  We didn’t have an HR department and needed expertise in the event that an unemployment claim was made.  We knew we were eligible to be a reimbursing employer, but weren’t sure how to navigate that process.  They made it easy to set things up, plan for, and then manage claims when they came at a very reasonable cost. The amount of time and stress they’ve saved us dealing with all this has been worth way more than the cost.  We’ve now grown to a large nonprofit and do have an HR department but have no plans to stop using their services.  I highly recommend them to every nonprofit I come into contact with!


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Prevent Blindness America, Chicago, IL

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