August 11, 2014
The campaign is the most versatile tool available to nonprofits. In broad terms, these efforts all follow the same basic path: a cause or desired end result is selected, action is taken to motivate awareness or raise contributions, and positive influence on the current situation is exerted. However, one specific campaign can vary greatly from another, even inside of a single organization, making special consideration of each campaign necessary. This adaptability is one of the biggest strengths of campaigns, but it needs to be balanced with careful planning and attention to both broad goals and smaller details. Nonprofit groups that can successfully plan a campaign and understand the unique components that it requires will be generally more successful in their efforts to raise both funds and awareness.
According to the Nonprofit Marketing Blog, having a specific goal in mind is one of the most important parts of an effective campaign. Starting with the desired result in mind can help to inform strategies that boost both the overall effort, and specific components such as initial promotion of the campaign and materials tied into fundraising and bolstering awareness. Understanding what steps need to be taken to reach the goal is also very important. If a nonprofit can't determine how to achieve its desired end result, despite the presentation of different scenarios and discussion amongst staff members, it's a prudent move to alter the goal to become more manageable. Putting metrics in place to measure progress and success, is also key to a successful campaign. Without measurements , it's hard to determine whether a campaign is paying off or not.
Using the right amount of resources, tools and experience
Network for Good highlighted the concept of "just enough" as a campaign planning concept in a recently released guide. The issue being addressed is the normalization of campaign creation and using too many or too few resources for the task. Those who are new to the field may use too many progress measurement tools, outreach methods and other concepts, dragging down results. The opposite is sometimes true for experienced campaigners. By taking the time to select the most necessary and useful components while setting aside less-needed ones, campaign planners can optimize results and get more out of their efforts.
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