Tips for planning a successful campaign

September 5, 2014

Tips for planning a successful campaign

A good campaign, whether based around fundraising or awareness, can drive the success of a nonprofit by providing needed funds or developing knowledge in the local community about an important issue. Conversely, a campaign that has poor results means the time and effort put in by staff members will have been squandered. Successful campaigns also help charitable organizations develop and maintain the forward momentum that motivates both employees and volunteers. Because raising funds and awareness are so important, here's a look at key considerations that can boost effectiveness and create success:

  • Determine the start and the end: It's easier to find the right path when the origin and desired destination are known. All that's left is to find a line that successfully connects both points. For nonprofits, it's important to understand when, how and where a campaign will start, This can include a quiet kickoff or an attention-grabbing opening. Defining exactly what a success will be is also important, according to the Nonprofit Technology Network. Creating an internal consensus about the goals of a campaign makes it easier to work backwards and determine the middle and beginning of such an effort.
  • Figure out who needs to be involved: Some campaigns can include a heavy volunteer component and prove successful because the number of people involved helps to raise funds and awareness. There are also efforts that benefit from having a small team of employees involved and could suffer from having too many individuals participating. Having a clear understanding of who needs to participate and who would be better used in a different role can help to craft the intended flow of a campaign as well.
  • Determine the electronic and physical tie-ins: Creating a plan for supporting documents and social media outreach allows for the messages presented to be carefully crafted and targeted ahead of time, instead of a last-minute rush to distribute hastily created content. Nonprofit Information pointed out that the presence of social media in campaigns, whether for fundraising or the development of awareness, is a ubiquitous concept and necessary to any campaign. This extends to the distribution and even the creation of direct mail items and handouts, which are especially effective when trying to increase awareness.

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


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CCSCT was approached by First NonProfit to discuss its Unemployment Savings Program and ways the program could significantly reduce the amount of unemployment taxes we were paying. At the time, our agency was paying approximately $80,000 per year. First NonProfit conducted an analysis to determine if making the switch would be in our best interest, and it clearly was based on our circumstances. The first year on the program, CCSCT saw a 70% reduction in its unemployment costs and each year, continues to experience further reductions as a result of having minimal claims. Some additional benefits of the program including having a fixed annual cost, an interest-baring reserve account, professional unemployment claims management and representation at all unemployment hearings. This has been one of the best decisions we have made.

Community Council of South Central Texas, Inc., Seguin, TX

We first started using First Nonprofit’s Unemployment Savings Program when we were a small startup nonprofit.  We didn’t have an HR department and needed expertise in the event that an unemployment claim was made.  We knew we were eligible to be a reimbursing employer, but weren’t sure how to navigate that process.  They made it easy to set things up, plan for, and then manage claims when they came at a very reasonable cost. The amount of time and stress they’ve saved us dealing with all this has been worth way more than the cost.  We’ve now grown to a large nonprofit and do have an HR department but have no plans to stop using their services.  I highly recommend them to every nonprofit I come into contact with!


Throughout our membership in the Unemployment Savings Program, First Nonprofit understood our demands, community dynamics, and the importance of seamless services; that allowed us to serve our constituents better.

Prevent Blindness America, Chicago, IL

Because INCS advocates for the operating conditions that allow charter public schools to provide high quality public education, partnering with First Nonprofit was an easy decision. First Nonprofit’s unemployment programs provide our member schools two operating elements crucial to their ability to provide high quality public education: savings and budget certainty. Capable, committed teachers are the key to student success. By participating in the unemployment insurance savings plan, charter public schools gain peace of mind and are able to invest more money in their teachers.

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