Create a Fundraising Campaign

Coordinate your fundraising efforts to maximize impact.

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What is a fundraising campaign?

A fundraising campaign is a set of activities organized to raise money. It can be short and specific, or long term with a series of phases and milestones. Here we will cover the elements of building a fundraising campaign.

  • Campaign Team – the people you will need to pull off a successful campaign.
  • Campaign Goals – what you’re setting out to achieve and in what timeframe.
  • Campaign Theme – giving the campaign an identity that adds relevance and interest.
  • Target Audience – who you will try to reach with your campaign content.
  • Build Content – the type of content you will make to engage your target audience.
  • Nurture Supporters – how you will steward your current supporters before during and after the campaign.

Build Your Team

Building an internal team to drive campaign execution can help you make your campaign successful. Identify the key people you will need to support your campaign. For example, consider:

  • Social Media Manager – Creates promotional assets, schedules posts and moderates comments.
  • Communications – Oversees website and marketing coordination with other team members.
  • PR – Coordinates opportunities to feature your campaign in media or with corporate partners.
  • Community Manager- Creates resources and manages volunteers to support donors and fundraisers.

Set a Campaign Goal

Determine what you need to achieve through this specific campaign to support your mission.

1. Set a monetary goal and outline what you plan to fund with that dollar amount and the impact that can be made from it. For example, if your goal is $5K, what will your organization do with the $5K and how will that create the desired impact and why is that important?

2. If possible, break down the main goal into smaller milestones or values that can be used to help a donor understand the value of their gift. For example, what does a $50, $100, $500 gift to your organization fund?

Establishing why a person should donate by defining tangible impacts is an important part of building your campaign, it will help you show people why you need their support rather than tell.

Create a Campaign Theme

Start by drafting a strong theory of change. Meaning – How will what you plan to do create the impact your community desires?

  • What positive change will donations enable?
  • How and why does it matter? And why now?
  • Come up with a theme that creates a connection between your audience and your theory of change.
  • Can you tie your campaign into a relevant holiday, season, or event?

Some organizations pick one month out of the year to push their supporters to fundraise if it is their birthday month. Giving their fundraising ask a relevant tie to an important day for many people.

Choose a Target Audience

List characteristics of people you aim to reach with this campaign. If you’re having trouble, look at you existing support base to understand who already is engaged by your cause. You can also survey your supporters to find out more about them. Examples of characteristics:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Gender
  • Hobbies
  • Values
  • Personality
  • Behaviors

This list will help you determine what types of stories and content you need to make to connect to this community and create compelling fundraising appeals.

Build Content

Referring back to your campaign theme and target audience, map out the stories and visuals you’ll use to engage people.

  • How can you SHOW the impact of what a dollar donated to your organization does?
  • How can you SHOW the need that you are fulfilling? How can you do this in a variety of formats like video, images, graphics and GIFs?

Create a promotional calendar for your campaign to figure out how much content you want to create. You want to publish regularly to create a drumbeat of promotion. How can you build in strong fundraising moments that leverage events or holidays?

You can manufacture a moment by hosting a live video fundraiser where you tour your programs and interview beneficiaries or staff about why they programs are important?

Nurture Your Supporters

Once you have a game plan, how you will steward supporters before during and after the campaign?


  • Tap into your existing supporters to help kickoff the campaign.
  • What materials and communication can you create to support your supporters in their fundraising efforts?
  • How can you activate your supporters to help you fundraise.
  • Come up with sub-goals that can be used to motivate your supporters. What does half way to your goal allow your org to do?


  • Like and comment on donations made.
  • Callout awesome supporters.
  • Callout and celebrate milestones.
  • Encourage sharing.
  • Offer matches.
  • Increase your goal if you reach it.
  • Encourage supporter fundraisers.
  • Schedule a live video


  • And once your campaign is over really celebrate the achievement of your community.
  • Say thank you.
  • No donation is too small to celebrate.
  • Communicate the impact the dollars raised will create.
  • Once you’ve had a chance to implement the funds, remember to report back.