3 campaign-planning tips for nonprofits

May 29, 2014

3 campaign-planning tips for nonprofits

There are a variety of ways that nonprofits bring in funds to support their missions and maintain operating budgets. One of the most common methods is fundraising campaigns.

While some donors contribute multiple times throughout the year, targeted campaigns draw in casual contributors, along with more dedicated patrons and those new to the cause. By highlighting a specific issue or area that a nonprofit wants to develop, it can be easier to bring in charitable gifts. Therefore, it's very important that organizations plan their campaigns and structure them for the highest level of possible success.

Here are three tips to help nonprofits have a successful fundraising effort:

  1. Balance instincts with information and analysis: Experienced nonprofit staff shouldn't be afraid to follow a gut feeling about organizing a campaign, as long as data and metrics can support the decision. According to KnowHowNonProfit, understanding the results of previous efforts is vital to making a new campaign a success, so planning needs to be thorough. Understanding the availability of resources used for outreach and the demographics of the areas or contributors being targeted are two places where data can easily be used to support taking a campaign in a particular direction.
  2. Use the "cost per impact" model: The Chronicle of Philanthropy advocates a system for measuring effectiveness called "cost per impact." This system measures how much input – be it money, efforts of volunteers and staff, goods or services – is required to create a positive outcome. Understanding the metrics of what is required to achieve a unit of success in a campaign can help guide fundraising efforts and better target new and returning donors. Although this approach requires an upfront financial obligation, it can improve long-term performance of a program and significantly reduce extraneous commitments of resources.
  3. View campaigns as a cycle: No single nonprofit plan exists in a vacuum. Previous campaigns will have some impact on the current process, which will then impact future efforts. KnowHowNonProfit notes that the results of the last set of actions centered around a specific issue will provide important intelligence regarding the current campaign. Viewing the process as a cycle, where data gathered can positively influence future actions, can increase effectiveness across the board.

Content presented by First Nonprofit Group, the leading provider of state unemployment insurance solutions for 501(c)(3) nonprofit employers.


Ready to chat?
Get in touch today to request a no-obligation savings evaluation.


First Nonprofit has saved us so much money over the state’s program. We had one little glitch with the state recently and we contacted FNP immediately. FNP staff called us back immediately and moved to remedy the problem.

WI Council of Religious & Independent Schools (WCRIS), Madison, WI

First Nonprofit has been a great partner. They have helped us saved hundreds of thousands of dollars! They have awesome resources for our nonprofit organization. Thanks for the partnership.

Community Care Inc., Milwaukee, WI

Life is certainly busy these days but having business partners like First Nonprofit has made some of the process hassle free. We have worked with this team for years. When we changed payroll systems, they outlined every step. I think this team is terrific and I know they get the job done! Thank you, Cruz, to all the team at FNP.

Gulfside Healthcare Services, New Port Richey, FL

FNP has helped our agency to save thousands of dollars every year on our unemployment coverage. The service is phenomenal, and we are thankful to their team as our partner. My experience working with Marshall on the advocacy around UE for nonprofits was also a highlight as someone who teaches advocacy and lobbying for nonprofits. Really, your whole team is top shelf, so thank YOU!

Advancing Academics, Turtle Creek, PA

Chicago Children’s Theatre has greatly benefited from our partnership with First Nonprofit, and I have always enjoyed working with the staff on our filings and any complicated questions. I would not hesitate to recommend First Nonprofit to fellow nonprofits. We’re very happy customers.

Chicago Children’s Theatre, Chicago, IL

FNP is a great resource for Daniel Kids. To have a TPA that we can count on to take point on not only managing our unemployment claims, but to support and guide any protest hearing, is invaluable. All the professional support staff we have worked with have been excellent, very knowledgeable and responsive. We are grateful for the help and support, thank you.

Daniel Kids, Jacksonville, FL

When I first began in my position at my organization, I hadn’t had experience working with a company like FNP. The staff was so patient and helpful in helping to explain the benefits of First Nonprofit. Anytime I reach out with a question I receive a quick, clear, and thorough response. I’m so thankful that we decided to partner with FNP. Their excellence in customer service, coupled with their variety of packages frees us up to truly serve our staff and community with a peace of mind knowing that our organization is protected against unanticipated unemployment insurance expenses.

Homes of Hope, Chicago, IL

First Nonprofit gets an A+ in my book. You are so easy to work with & very knowledgeable! Whether it is my quarterly correspondence with Kim or my random interactions with Dawn about a bond … I am so pleased that I get to work with such a helpful company. Thank you!

Women's Choice Network, Pittsburgh, PA