Here are seven key components of a campaign plan:
- Objectives – What you typically want out of a campaign are objectives like the following: to raise a specific financial goal; to broaden awareness of your organization’s mission and impact; to develop the organization’s prospect base by attracting new donors and strengthening current donors’ support; and, ultimately, to complement and strengthen your annual operating/programmatic fundraising efforts.
- The Case for Support – Consider your audience, timing, content, and channels when communicating your organization’s urgent and compelling needs. You will use this messaging verbally and in written materials.
- Leadership Structure – Actively engaged staff and volunteers are essential! The plan should define structure and roles for everyone who will be directly involved, including administrators, development officers, board members and other campaign volunteers.
- Prospect Review – You must take a hard look at your donors and prospects at the start. Feasibility studies help you determine the campaign’s financial goal and the size and number of gifts needed to achieve the goal. Results from the study combined with wealth/philanthropy/peer screening will help you identify new prospects and enhance the picture of who is already supporting your organization.
- Timeline – Staff and volunteer leaders should all be in sync on the projected timeline. Defining when mini-objectives should be achieved and when each campaign stage should be completed will help everyone monitor progress and be ready to address challenges along the way.
- Budget – In addition to costs associated with the tangible outcomes of your campaign (e.g., new programs, updated building, increased staff capacity), you will also need a budget for actual campaign planning and implementation activities to make it a success. These are often rolled into the total goal you set. Be sure to include costs of campaign communication materials, pledge forms, campaign events, donor recognition, professional counsel and donor research services.
Policies for Accepting and Acknowledging Campaign Gifts – Everyone involved must be clear about what gifts will count and how the organization will manage donor stewardship and acknowledgement. There may be gift types that are new because of the campaign (e.g., planned gifts, stock or real estate gifts), and you should be ready to receive them.