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Top tips to plan and implement a killer charity fundraising campaign

In recent years, planning and running a charity fundraising campaign has become harder than ever, with organizations trying to find new and engaging ways to encourage potential donors to part with their hard-earned cash.

While it’s true the web and tech have increased the number of possible ways to cajole money out of supporters, with such a high concentration of ventures already online vying for their own piece of a rather limited pie, non-profit organizations are having to find increasingly inventive ways to grab the attention of donors.

Whether you’re just starting out with a charitable campaign or are already established and are looking for new ways to persuade followers to donate, below are some tried and tested tips that could help you secure that all-important extra funding.

Have a clear goal and idea of how you’ll use the money

As with most aspects of life, you’ll have a considerably better chance of success if you start with a clear aim in mind—plus a target figure that you want to reach. You should also have a very defined reason for raising money: one that you can articulate clearly to potential backers. To put it in very simple terms—if you don’t have these aims outlined in your head, you’ll stand very little chance of persuading potential donors.

Think about your market and your route for reaching investors

All campaigns and charities are different, and almost without exception, each has its own target market and potential access points for gaining leverage with donors. Before starting down the route of planning how you’re going to reach out to backers, you should have a defined idea of your market demographic, including their age, their most utilized means of communication, and their preferred social media platforms.

To effectively communicate your message, you will need to have a clear understanding of who you’re trying to get on board—and how best to reach them. Your website and social media pages will likely form the backbone of your communications but don’t discount the considerable potential of using other channels such as non-profit SMS software to contact donors directly.

Consider your budget

Perhaps more than any other area of business, charities rely on attaining that often all-too-elusive balance between campaign cost and return—or, in other words, achieving an acceptable return on investment (ROI). In today’s hugely connected, largely digital commercial landscape, there are more routes than ever for grabbing the attention of donors, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get the same benefit from each. Indeed, some of the most commercially successful campaigns in recent years have drawn on the considerable potential for viral spread through social media platforms.

Remember, higher price options such as online advertising or paid placements need not necessarily transfer into a more successful campaign, so consider your options carefully and, as ever, bear in mind your demographics and what’s likely to work best for them.

Agree timescales—and stick to them

When you’re ready to launch your campaign, you should have a clear idea of timescales as well as a realistic schedule for deliverables and milestones. Having a defined agenda outlining what you want to achieve (and by when) will help you keep focus on your campaign and let you evaluate the comparable success of different marketing elements.

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