A successful annual campaign for your nonprofit cannot be thrown together in a matter of days. Nor can the campaign be based on one appeal. An annual campaign is cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding your donors for the entire year, and this means you need a well thought out plan.
As development professionals, we plan our year by our organization’s fiscal year. Donors do not think about giving on the fiscal cycle. They give based on the calendar year, and that is how we must plan our campaigns.
Start the planning process at least three months ahead of your campaign implementation (the earlier you can start the planning, the better). Below are the steps for planning your successful annual campaign:
- Conduct a development audit of your development/fundraising endeavors
- Determine what endeavors were successful, what have the potential to be successful, and what should be scrapped
- Determine how you will cultivate donors
- Determine how you will solicit donors
- Determine how you will steward donors
- Segment your calendar into quarters
- Make sure you are cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding your donors in each quarter
Once you have a plan for your annual campaign, it is up to you and your team to implement, but now you are able to bring in the necessary funds for your organization without scrambling.