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Fundraising campaign strategies 11 min read
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A fundraising campaign is part of a nonprofit’s strategy to gain funds to keep the organization afloat and achieve its mission. A fundraising campaign typically takes place over an extended period of time and is aimed at achieving a specific goal. This could be to raise awareness about the cause, launch new programs or initiatives and encourage donations. The main goal of a fundraising campaign by charities or nonprofits is to gather a target amount over a set period. While this is a broad definition, the reality is that a fundraising campaign will depend on the needs and resources of the nonprofit at any given time.

Online fundraising is now on the rise, therefore now is the time to revise your fundraising plan to include additional online fundraising concepts. According to the most recent M+R Benchmarks survey, internet giving will climb by 32 percent in 2020 and it has been progressively increasing in recent years. With the rising popularity of digital fundraising and the significant change toward digital-first fundraising, we believe that it will only expand in the future. Perhaps your organization hasn’t yet built an internet fundraising strategy.

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Types of fundraising campaigns

There are a few fundraising campaigns for nonprofits to consider:

  1. Capital campaign: A capital campaign, as the name suggests, is based on a goal to solicit funds for a specific purpose, whether a cause or project. This type of campaign is typically pursued when funds are required to launch large projects, including renovations or purchases to benefit the nonprofit and its mission.
  2. Advocacy campaign: An advocacy campaign aims to create support for a specific policy, draft and pass new laws, change existing laws, or attempt to reform an aspect of the legal system.
  3. Awareness campaign: This campaign is designed to educate and raise awareness on a particular issue or cause supported by the nonprofit. It focuses on education with the goal to raise awareness and support.
  4. Annual giving campaign: These campaigns are run to raise annual funds for a charity or nonprofit. These funds will then go toward the organization’s annual revenue goal. This campaign can take place at any time in the year or throughout the year in different forms.
  5. Social media campaign: Probably one of the most accessible types of campaigns, social media campaigns use social media to raise awareness or solicit donations. This can be done for free or paid, depending on the required reach and end goal.
  6. Text-to-give campaign: Here, people are able to donate money to an organization via text from their mobile devices.
  7. Crowdfunding campaign: This campaign has become popular in recent times. It allows nonprofits to raise funds for a project or initiative through small donations driven by individual supporters. Crowdfunding typically happens on the internet through websites like GoFundMe and BackaBuddy.
  8. Peer-to-peer campaigns: This campaign is typically run by supporters who organize their own campaigns to raise funds for your cause from their peers. These types of campaigns are also usually done on social media to allow for wide reach and easy connection.
  9. Online fundraising campaign: These campaigns take place entirely on the internet in the form of emails, digital advertising, and social media. This is often incredibly cost-effective and successful as the reach is wide and donations are easy to complete.
  10. Year-end campaign: December is usually the biggest giving month of the year. A fundraising campaign during this time capitalizes on the giving nature of the season with the aim to boost donation volume for the new year. This is a great way to jumpstart your revenue for the following year.

fundraising campaign

How to run a successful fundraising campaign

Whether you’re planning an event or simply spreading a message, there are some key things to know when running a successful fundraising campaign. This includes the following:

  • Remember who your audience is: Keep your audience front and center in your mind. This does not just mean when crafting your message but practical considerations as well. Where is your audience hanging out? What platforms do they use? What’s their wealth screening? Are they established donors? Are they familiar with your charity? Are they based in your city? Does your cause affect them? The more you consider the needs of your audience, the better the chances of your message resonating and receiving the funds you need.
  • Let everyone know why you need the funds: No matter the size of the donation, most donors want to know where their money is going. A relationship between your organization and its donors should be based on trust. In order to retain your donors and attract new ones, be upfront with your plans, whether it’s maintenance costs or funds for a new initiative. This will help your donors find something to connect with, and therefore be more interested in donating to a cause they support.
  • Design something your audience can share: If you’re asking people to donate online, make sure to provide them with content to share. Social media is one of your strongest allies and cheapest forms of marketing. Take advantage of the digital age and craft content that appeals to your audience. If it’s interesting enough, they will share it with their following to achieve a greater reach and potentially more interest. People love using social media to post about causes close to their hearts and will encourage their followers to do the same.

The best fundraising ideas

There are plenty of fundraising ideas available, but some are more effective than others. Below are some of the most effective fundraising ideas:

Social media sharing events

Email fundraising accounts for one-third of all online contributions, and while your organization may have already had an email campaign this year, a one-day email fundraising push may be in order. A day of giving, if you will. Consider Giving Tuesday, but without the congestion of thousands of groups soliciting donations.

Choose one day, preferably one with some symbolism or significance to your organization. You may even create it a nice name to entice people to visit. Send out a couple of emails soliciting donations on the day of the blitz. The emails should have an emotive tale, relevant imagery, and an urgent statement of intent.

If your target demographic responds well to social media, you might want to consider a social media sharing campaign. As we all know, social media is an excellent area to generate funds, so take use of the strength of these platforms by hosting a one-day social sharing event. Pick a day and actively promote donations and sharing on all of your social media networks, including Snapchat, Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Remember to select a monetary target and to make updates during the day to let your followers know how much money you’ve earned. Consider combining your giving day with your end-of-year donating. This is a terrific method to instill a sense of urgency in the day and remind them that now is the ideal time to contribute. Faith in Action had a lot of success with their year-end campaign thanks to internet donating.

Peer-to-peer fundraising

Peer-to-peer funding accounts for one-third of all online contributions, making it one of the top online fundraising ideas available. Encourage your network to create personal fundraising pages and generate funds for your organization. When your supporters’ campaign for you, they increase the legitimacy of your cause. Indeed, one in every four solicitation mails from peer-to-peer fundraisers results in a gift, compared to one in every 1,250 emails from a charity.

Climb Out of the Darkness is a Postpartum Support International campaign that encouraged people to create their own individual fundraising webpages to generate money for the cause. Each fundraiser’s website includes a personal plea as well as social media share buttons, which are excellent tools for spreading the news about the cause.

Motivate your contacts to create personal fundraising sites for your organization and to fundraise for it. With our online fundraising platform, you can quickly set up a location for them to do so. Peer-to-peer fundraising works tremendously well for any type of fundraising event, whether it is entirely online, entirely in person, or a combination of the two.

Donation matching drives

Expand on your one-day email fundraising strategy by obtaining a match from a corporate or significant donor and publicizing the match in your internet crusade. Donors like knowing that their contribution was put to good use, and matching contributions allow them to provide two donations for the value of one. In fact, knowing that their donation would be matched is one of the key reasons Millennials give.

Matched gifts are also an excellent strategy to increase donations in the middle of a campaign. If you see that contributions are starting to dwindle in the middle of the day, consider introducing a duplicate gift to keep the enthusiasm and momentum going. You may advertise a match using all of your regular methods of communication, such as social networks, email, or a brochure.

Begin with your most ardent supporters: your board of directors. Persuade them whether they’d be willing to contribute to a corresponding gift, or use their connections with companies to ask prospective collaborators to contribute to the match.

Live streaming

A live-stream campaign is a wonderful approach to recruit, educate, and engage your viewers in a single day. With the use of live streaming software, you can stream your videos live on any platform. Instagram and Facebook Live may be used to host livestream events. Summit Dogs is an excellent illustration of how impactful live broadcasting can be when it is shared across several platforms, includes human tales, and includes both delayed and live footage.

They kept the page updated with brief films and material throughout the campaign to keep people interested, then launched their major show live. Their event was successful because of their effort to generate buzz around it. 

When organizing a live-stream, there’s a few things to consider. Perhaps the most crucial is the platform you’ll utilize. Use Zoom for the best interaction and broadcast to Facebook Live and YouTube Live allow people to connect with you. You may also record your live stream ahead of time. Feel free to include features from both.

A live-stream should ideally be quite brief and contain several opportunities for involvement. Allow others to ask any questions, discuss their views, and participate.

Paint and sip night

These events are excellent since they can be tailored to any group or event. For such a fundraising event, you’ll need to collaborate with a nearby paint and sip shop, such as Painting with a Twist or Pinot’s Palette, that is willing to contribute a portion of the night’s earnings to your charity.

Of course, you may be asking how you can conduct an event like this online. Zoom in to save the day! Solicit a glass of wine from your fans and invite them to join you in a Zoom, Facetime, or Hangouts session. Allow your lead artist to join and teach the online. After painting, you may check in on your donors, inform them on your plans for events and fundraising throughout this period, and provide a lovely area for them to decompress.

Running a fundraising campaign with

With, you can streamline processes to help you raise enough funds to make an impact. With your nonprofit campaign planned and managed, you can use your free time to think of more creative ways to promote your organization and get the donations rolling in. Running a nonprofit is an honorable but difficult job. With fundraising software, you can meet your fundraising goals faster. allows you to easily plan, track and launch various donation campaigns, collect insights and targeted communications and engage with your supporters and donors.

What’s more, our project management system for nonprofits helps you run everyday operations, as well as event planning, marketing campaigns, and more. With the help of a nonprofit management system, you can ensure that everyone is aligned to the same goals, collaborate effectively, and create successful fundraising campaigns.

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