Starting a successful annual fundraising campaign

Starting or continuing annual fundraising campaigns can be a great way to truly engage those who are loyal and supportive to the organization as well as gather new givers who may want the opportunity to dedicate their time and money to a worthy cause. There is a lot to be accomplished with an annual campaign and it's important to follow through on every plan made. The more prepared nonprofits are for their fundraising efforts, the more comfortable employees will be to discussing the cause or the organizational needs to different people throughout the year. Putting the time and effort into the campaign is really the only way to succeed. Make sure there is plenty of heart and drive to make a difference with this fundraising time, and the following tips will help start the organization off on the right foot:

Review past fundraising campaign success
Looking to the past can be a great way to learn more about donors and potential givers as well as improve upon the ask for this time around. If people were not receptive to the campaign last year, change quite a few details and make an effort to make the funding message more relevant and important.

Determine events to plan annually
Evaluate the next year of fundraising events and plan accordingly. If there are more galas than small events, adjust the budget accordingly and vice versa. There is a lot to consider when planning fundraisers, so the more organized and prepared a nonprofit is for the upcoming year, the better it will be able to perform and it will have more spend time raising awareness instead of worrying about internal issues.

Get board members involved
A board of trustees is a great asset to a nonprofit, and not just because it is great at making decisions. Most members are fairly knowledgeable about the nonprofit industry, fundraising trends and past successes at other organizations. Their history can help offer insight to the future and they can also be great volunteers if need be.

Target the fundraising
If nonprofits don't have targeted approaches to attracting new givers, they won't get anywhere fast, especially with the Internet. Online fundraising tools are only useful if organizations take the time to invest properly in the marketing process and make sure the right audience is receiving their messages.

Pump up the volunteers
Volunteers are an essential part of nonprofits, especially since they are also a great opportunity for organizations to spread the word and show how many people support a cause. To make people really engage in the nonprofit, though, volunteers have to be excited, energetic and informed. These three attributes help make a fleet of volunteers extremely beneficial and useful in the long run.

Determine successes and evaluate areas of improvement
After the fundraising campaign is over, it's time to start measuring and discussing. There are a lot of expenses, fundraising reports and overall success discussions to go over and it's important to know that the work isn't over until everything has been evaluated carefully and recorded for future purposes.

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