Guide to Fundraising Campaigns for Nonprofit Organizations

Fundraising can be seemingly confusing, even frightening… but it doesn’t have to be. As you can see… no great fundraisers are born. They’re made. Anyone can grow into a great fundraiser by mastering the tenets behind fundraising, then practicing repeatedly. While some individuals are naturally gifted to raise funds, mostly everyone in the fundraising industry started out feeling uncomfortable and confused.

When you are projecting a fundraising campaign for your non-profit organization, it may seem like there are a million things that need to be addressed. You need to send resources to peer-to-peer fundraisers, collect your graphic assets, segment email lists, and write a campaign page policy and much more.

Although most fundraising campaigns are different from the rest, however, there are many best practices you can apply to different types of campaigns to prepare for success. Use the ten tips below to make sure the next one runs smoothly, involves followers, and generates revenue.

Engage your Board of Directors

Non-profit organizations should include their board members in “making” and not just in donations. Board members can invite their colleagues to events, make phone calls to donors, and do other kinds of things to spark interest in your nonprofit. Once you state the expectations for the board members and have their roles clearly defined, they can play an important role in helping you decide what your charity should commit to. Board members are passionate about your organization, so their participation is crucial.

Develop a clear goal

A clear-cut goal gives you more to convey to your donors – clear and urgent objectives, communicate urgency and motivate people to act. You can also divide your objective into several campaigns. This helps you focus on landmarks and keeps donors informed about your organization’s progress.

Launching your campaign softly

A soft launch to a small group of devoted fundraisers or previous fundraising events can help build the campaign momentum prior to its official launch to the public and a broad base of supporters. People are more inclined to support your campaign when you already have some of the money raised, making it crucial to get traction from your audience to the early adopters. And not just that, the soft launch of your campaign means you can fix any bugs or errors, such as broken links or typos, before sending them to everyone.

Keep your nonprofit brand front and center

A strong nonprofit not only builds trust among its supporters but also serves the very simple aim of proving that your fundraising campaign is really your campaign. It can be misleading for potential donators if your nonprofit’s logo, colors, and brand are not unified with your newly launched fundraising campaign. This is even more significant when you market your campaign through various channels such as social media, email or direct mail requests.

Educate your fundraisers

With a specific peer fundraising campaign, much of your nonprofit’s success depends on the success of its fundraising activities. If 600 people build personal fundraising pages, but only about 12 of them raise money, you may not reach your ultimate goal. To ensure this doesn’t occur, send educational resources and toolkits to your fundraisers to guide their actions and lead them to success.

Encourage Monthly Recurring Gifts

Recurring donors are about five times more precious to your non-profit organization than a one-off donor. More than 75% of recurring donors maintain the same plan for six months and make an extra one-time gift in the space of a year, which is 75% more than one-time givers do. If you are not urging your donors to upgrade to a monthly gift with the request that they do so as soon as possible, you are probably leaving some money on the counter.

Setting a Matching Period

Matching gift periods can spark a stir among your supporters, especially if you make the match known during the mid-campaign break. Often, matching gifts imbue supporters with a sense of urgency to donate immediately rather than waiting to do so later. Alternatively, you can publicize your matching gift period at the beginning of the campaign so that the excitement comes out of the door.

Linking Donations to Impact

Apathy is your enemy: while donors may feel that their support will not make a difference, they probably will not donate. You can break this barrier by pointing out how their gift moves into the real world. It is important to remind them that every donation, no matter how small or big, can help you move forward in your mission and work.

Create a campaign video

A Google study showed that 57% of people who watch a nonprofit organization’s video donate. Undoubtedly, video is an unbelievably powerful tool you can use to catch the interest of your audience, enliven your cause, and make a compelling request to donate, raise funds, or enroll as a monthly recurring donor.

Also, the videos are flexible and can be used nearly on all marketing platforms, direct gift requests or on the campaign page itself. For inspiration on your next big video, shoot video footage of your field team, tell stories on the impact it has on your beneficiaries, and talk to your supporters. Educate people on how they can, support, get in touch and the impact this will have on the world.

Use donor data management

Your system is just as great as the information you place on it, and we couldn’t agree on this more. Just take the time to look for a good donor management system that is well suited to your nonprofit. A good management system will enable you to keep track of more in-depth data, not only Contact information and names.


It is important to embrace and celebrate landmarks, fundraising success or creative ideas to keep your community on track and motivated to achieve the next grand goal.


Author: Chakraborty

Dr Chakrabarty is the Chief Innovation Officer of IntuiComp TeraScience. Earlier she was Assistant Professor of Delhi University, a QS ranked university in India. Before that she has held research positions in IIT Mumbai, IIT Chennai and IISc Bangalore. She holds 2 patents and over 20 research publications in her name which are highly cited. Her area of research is in smart technologies, integrated devices and communications. She also has a penchant for blogging and is an editor of Business Fundas.