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Campaigns Published Date, 2023

How To Attract Support For Your Campaign: Make The Case

Created By: Caroline Moulton
March 23, 2023

Campaigns are an exciting time for nonprofit organizations. They can signify a turning point in the organization’s history, not only because of the impact on fundraising going forward, but also the reasons behind the need for increased philanthropic support. A campaign can coincide with launching a new and bold strategic plan, expanding your footprint to reach more of those who you serve, or celebrating a milestone in your organization’s history.

Because campaigns aim to attract new donors, re-engage lapsed donors, and encourage existing donors to stretch their giving, compelling messaging is a cornerstone of a successful campaign. From personalized proposals and campaign solicitation materials to a website shared with all your constituents, the case for support for a campaign must be aspirational and inspiring to appeal to a broad audience of supporters.

Here are our three recommendations to make the case for a campaign:

1. Tie your campaign to the organization’s bold vision for the future.

Campaigns are not about funding small ideas or incremental change. When organizations undertake a multi-million or billion-dollar campaign, they are looking to transform the world as we know it, and a strong strategic plan and vision is a necessity.

Your campaign case for support should clearly and explicitly lay out the actions and funding needed to achieve this transformational change. What is the common goal that will entice a new donor to learn more and dive deeper into your theory of change and programs? What is the big idea that existing donors will be excited about helping you expand, complete faster, or start anew?

In laying out your campaign goals, it is also important to lean into your organization’s differentiator and unique value proposition. With campaigns being reliant on donors stretching their giving, the campaign case for support must establish trust and confidence that an investment in your organization is the best place for their philanthropic support. Whether it’s your proven track record, external partnerships, grantmaking values and process, or local, national, or international reach, highlight your organization’s strengths and opportunities to achieve your campaign goals.

2. Focus on outcomes and impact.

When thinking through a significant investment, donors are looking to make a difference. Whether that be through data-driven, tangible outcomes or human impact, a campaign case for support is strongest when it includes both. Having specific metrics and goals for both fundraising and impact in a campaign allows donors to make a direct connection between their gift and real change. Consider breaking down your campaign into smaller initiatives, so that goals and impact are summarized and aligned within each initiative without restricting donations to specific projects.

Additionally, including both short- and long-term metrics and goals is imperative, especially when launching a multi-year campaign or including planned giving in your campaign outreach. With planned giving, donors can not only make an investment in your short-term goals but also support the long-term vision of the organization.

3. Create a document library to meet donors where they are in their relationship with the organization.

Not every prospect or donor is going to need the same information about your organization or the campaign. During the campaign readiness phase, identify the ways in which donors and prospects have historically best understood information and what materials have led to the most introductory meetings or closed gifts. These may take the form of pitch decks, proposals, a website, or campaign packets.

The suite of materials for each campaign will vary, but below are items to consider:

  • Organizational Overview – Provide background and context to new prospects.
  • Call to Action – Motivate prospects and donors to give a philanthropic gift.
  • Impact Overview – Articulate societal and individual benefits of work through graphics and visuals.
  • Strategic Plan Overview – A condensed version of your organization’s vision.
  • Case Studies/Testimonials – Provide a human connection to your work, from a variety of beneficiaries and donors (video and written).
  • Campaign Initiative Overviews – Provide additional details on needs, goals, and activities for specific areas of interest.

A bold, compelling, and outcomes-based case will not only bolster the argument to support your organization through a campaign gift, but will also ensure your fundraising staff, volunteers, board, and campaign committee are aligned on campaign needs, vision, and goals. Beyond that, using a well-crafted case to drive meaningful touchpoints with donors at various stages throughout the cycle will serve you well even after the campaign has reached the finish line.

Orr Group can help you custom build a fully-fledged campaign strategy that is as sound and actionable as it is inspired. Get in touch to learn more.

Caroline Moulton is a Senior Director and Head of Campaigns at Orr Group. Caroline works with our partners to plan and manage transformational fundraising campaigns to achieve their strategic goals.

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