Fundraising campaigns follow a predictable pattern. Lots of donations, excitement and activity at the beginning and end of the campaign… with a lull in the middle. The longer the campaign, the harder it can be to avoid the mid-campaign doldrums. But the slump isn’t inevitable! Here’s how to power through the middle of your campaign on Mightycause and keep it as fresh and engaging at the beginning and the end.
1. Map Out Your Path with Mini-Goals
It seems natural to think of achieving your fundraising goal as one steady climb, but what if you did it in sprints instead? Setting smaller goals throughout your campaign can help keep it from getting stale while keeping you on the right track. And you can mix it up so your goals aren’t always financial to avoid wearing out your donors with asks.
Setting a goal centered around spreading awareness or sharing your campaign are easy, non-monetary asks. Focusing on peer-to-peer fundraising, hosting contests, and concentrating on engagement are excellent methods to keeping your campaign front-and-center during the times it’s typically less active.
2. Shake it Up
Since the beginning and end of your campaign are high-stakes times, it’s best to stick with tried-and-true fundraising techniques your nonprofit has seen work before. But in the middle of your campaign, you have some wiggle room to shake up the type of content you share with your supporters and try new, creative ways to get them engaged and keep the fundraising momentum going.
Try experimenting with new types of content on social media, changing up your email template and the type of asks you use, or even try something totally outside of the box!
3. Add Interest with a Matching Grant
A matching grant is a large donation that your nonprofit leverages to bring in additional donations. Matching grants are a way to engage major gift donors and sponsors, as well as incentivizing supporters to take action and contribute now. It works similarly to how a “buy one, get one” sale works: people flock to the opportunity to make their money for further. And it can be especially attractive to people who give in smaller amounts.
Using a matching grant strategically in the middle of your campaign can inject some excitement into a lull, driving donations during a time when they typically wane, and keeping your nonprofit trucking toward your overall goal.
4. Ask Again
In the world of nonprofit development, we can often mistakenly assume donors will only give once: Once per campaign, once per year. But that’s really not how people give! Many people give to charities they care about every month, or even donate multiple times to the same campaign. So, to help you get through the middle of your campaign, send follow-up asks!
Wrap acknowledgement into your follow-up asks by using language like “because we know we can count on you” and “as one of our most loyal supporters…” And give them a great reason to give again by hitting them with a compelling new story or piece of content, matching grant, or asking for their help in getting to your next goal!
Get Smart About Email Segmentation
If you use email marketing software, like Constant Contact, MailChimp, or countless others, you can start segmenting your emails. That means, either through tagging or another mechanism, breaking your main list into smaller groups. For instance, you could segment by people who have given to your nonprofit since your campaigns started, people who have not opened or click on emails, and so on.
Follow up with segments that haven’t yet engaged, and segment your email communications so you’re talking specifically to each group. People are much more likely to engage when an email reads like it was written for them, rather than being a blast sent to anyone and everyone. So, by segmenting your emails, you may be able to get people on your email list to give… especially if you ask them again!
5. Focus on Personal Outreach
While blast emails, social media promotion and other mass efforts are great, personal outreach can really motivate people to support your nonprofit. During the middle of your campaign, you can garner long-lasting support and meaningful engagement through personal outreach. Send personal emails or calling up donors who’ve already given to your campaign and supporters who have yet to contribute.
If you have a limited staff, no problem! This is a perfect task for volunteers, and as a bonus, can be done from home. You can help them out by providing scripts and talking points.
6. Leverage Partnerships
Partnerships and sponsorships can be a boon for your nonprofit in countless ways, but they can also help your nonprofit power through the middle of your campaign. If you have existing partners, meet with them to see how you can work together to keep your fundraising momentum going. Anything from providing a matching grant, fun prizes for peer-to-peer fundraisers, or a social media takeover of their business accounts can engage your partners and your donors.
Bonus Tips for Sustaining Fundraising Momentum
1. For Giving Event Participants: Utilize Prizes and Challenges
If your campaign is for a giving event, you may find that there are some useful tools to sustain momentum built into the event. Pay attention to any special prizes or challenges from the event host. Does the event have a special prize available for most pre-event donations? Are there any prizes that require you to hit fundraising benchmarks within a short window of time? Use these to you advantage!
Donors want to help nonprofits win cash prizes. After all, if they help you win extra money for your work, they’ve made their donor dollars go further! And these prizes are built to help nonprofits motivate supporters and build excitement.
2. For Annual Campaigns: Focus on Donor Retention
Is your campaign one you’ve run for more than one year? Then the middle of your campaign should be focused on retention!
Reach out to people who donated to your last campaign but haven’t yet donated to the one you’re in the middle of. Here, a personal touch can help — a personal email from a staff member or volunteer, or a phone call, goes a long way. Your Mightycause account is set up to help you: visit the Reports tab on your Dashboard and click on the Donor Retention report to filter and download a list of donors you need to prioritize follow up with!