December 7, 2022 | Categories DonorPerfect Fundraising Software, Featured, Fundraising Strategies, Social Fundraising

Market Your Goal-Based Campaign With These Four Details

When new and returning donors hear about an upcoming fundraising effort, what are the messages that matter most to them, and how do you reinforce them? While no two campaigns (or even donors) are identical, there are some critical components to your goal-based fundraising that, when messaged to your audience, can make a significant difference.

In a recent webinar, we chatted with Darryl Moser​, (DonorPerfect Business Development Manager​), and Lydia Messinger (RSVP Development Manager), to get some tips and best practices around marketing a goal-based fundraising campaign. (See the full webinar here.)  Moser revealed three common gaps in the communication donors receive around goal-based fundraising: 

“I feel like my gift did not matter.”

“No one told me how they used my money.”

“The organization didn’t share the impact.”

These gaps create obvious challenges– donors can become frustrated and disconnected from your organization’s core purpose, potentially spreading that dissatisfaction and poor experience with other potential donors in your organization’s target audience. The organization risks fewer donors returning, as well as reduced new donors. But by communicating the key components of your fundraising plan (we’ll cover those in a minute), you can ensure your donors feel included and informed.

The key components (and some inspiration on how to communicate them)

So how can you combat these critical disconnects with donors? In a goal-based campaign, there are four critical things to communicate to your audience:

  • A specific target amount. This is a clearly defined amount of resources or money that donors’ contributions build toward. In your marketing outreach, communicate both the target amount and the current progress to that amount clearly. Tip: Progress bars and thermometers are great visual tools for email and social media outreach.  
  • A specific purpose. Set clear expectations for the money and resources you’re asking for – what will these funds be used to purchase or service? The more specific and prescriptive you can be about how the money will be spent, the more your audience can clearly understand your need. Tip: While you may only have a sentence or two to describe the purpose in an outreach email, pictures and stories about your goal can be great content for a social media campaign.
  • A specific time frame. Evergreen donations provide a critical strong foundation for non-profits, but a goal-based campaign requires limits and a hard date that donors can rally behind. This can encourage timely responses and combat indecision from prospective donors, as well as give those who have already donated a deadline to keep an eye on and look forward to. Tip: Timely communication methods like SMS text messaging can be a good way to remind people that the deadline is swiftly approaching.
  • A sense of urgency. Always be able to answer “Why now?” for your donors, and describe what’s at stake if the funding goal isn’t achieved. This helps donors to fully understand the importance of their contribution and their support of your organization. Tip: Stories from people who benefit from the goal being funded can help bring this sense of urgency to life.

Real-life success

The non-profit industry in particular was hit extremely hard by the pandemic. Increased demand and decreased funding created sweeping challenges nationwide, including for Boyertown Area Multi-Service in Pennsylvania. The organization experienced wide-reaching impacts, including the closure of their senior center, limited staff and volunteers, and an increased demand of 300% at their community food pantry.

Boyertown Area Multi-Service embarked on a goal-based fundraising campaign to address one of the impacted programs: Preston’s Food Pantry. Their campaign included four emails and a number of social posts and kicked off with an email that clearly communicated the key components: 

The first email set the amount, the purpose, the urgency and the time frame. “We need $276,000 to continue serving our community through April and May.”

Over the remainder of the email campaign, Boyertown Area Multi-Service continued to share the history of Preston’s Pantry, its mission and its needs, clearly communicating to donors wo was impacted, why it mattered, and what their contributions could achieve.

By the campaign’s conclusion, the organization outpaced their donation goal, attracted more than 800 new donors, grew food donations by 66%, and even exceeded their funding shortfall. By marketing with their donors’ questions in mind and utilizing multiple digital marketing tools,  Boyertown Area Multi-Service met their challenges head-on and received extraordinary response from their supporters.

In conclusion…

No matter what marketing channels you’re using, from email newsletters and social media to special events and SMS text messaging, clearly and repeatedly reinforcing the key components of your goal-based campaigns can help you to grow trust and responsiveness among audiences who might not ordinarily respond, and the success you achieve through these campaigns provides amazing content for you to share and celebrate your supporters.

To learn more about how DonorPerfect and Boyertown Area Multi-Service created their campaign, segmented their donors for the most impact, and achieved their goals, watch our full webinar here

Constant Contact delivers for small businesses and nonprofits with powerful tools that simplify and amplify digital marketing. Whether it’s driving sales, growing a customer base or engaging an audience, we deliver the performance and guidance to build strong connections and generate powerful results. 

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Written by Sam Goldenberg
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