Annual Campaigns

Model Behavior
June 1, 2009

Put simply, modeling means finding like characteristics about people that, when combined, enable you to predict future behavior. There are several inexpensive ways to model your data yourself (and some more expensive ways to use external data sources to help you) that can yield more revenue at lower cost from your direct-response program.

Nine Steps to Successful Campaigns
April 28, 2009

In a Network for Good webinar last month, "Campaigns in Nine Steps: How to Succeed With 'Just Enough' Planning," presenter Kristen Grimm, founder and president of communications solutions firm Spitfire Strategies, discussed some of the key steps outlined in "The Just Enough Planning Guide," created by her firm and the Communication Leadership Institute.

AFP Conference Roundup: Best Practices for Annual-Giving Campaigns
April 14, 2009

Too often, annual-giving campaigns mean making the same request for the same amount to the same donors in the same way at the same time of year, year after year after year. But in her session, "Annual Giving — How to Do It Well … Over and Over and Over Again," at the 46th annual AFP International Conference on Fundraising held in New Orleans two weeks ago, Jill Pranger encouraged attendees to think about annual-giving campaigns as a series of small, focused campaigns that run throughout the year.

Annual Fund ‘Giving and Getting’ Guidelines for Your Board of Trustees
September 25, 2007

All of your organization’s fundraising campaigns must have the leadership and the financial support of your board of trustees. The most important of those development efforts should be the raising of funds necessary to maintain and enhance your organization’s programs and services year after year. This is accomplished through the annual fund campaign. The annual fund provides the “bedrock” of reasonably predictable renewed support and is the entry level for larger gifts possible for future endowment, capital, sponsorship and underwriting campaigns and planned-giving programs. Thus, the annual fund especially requires that your trustees be in the forefront as they contribute their own funds

Don’t Set It and Forget It
September 25, 2007

In his report “Developing an Annual Giving Program” at, fundraising consultant John Minges offers this very basic but probably oft-overlooked piece of advice about annual campaigns: “An annual plan should not be a document that you do one time and forget about it or never consider revising. Let me say that again: An annual plan should not be a document that you do one time and forget about it or never consider revising. Why? * Things change and people get tired of the same type of events over and over. * People become numb reading the same boring letter asking for money. *

Above and Beyond
July 1, 2006

Getting people to write checks to support your organization can be tough. But what of those folks who already are writing you a check every year? What of your members?

Membership-based organizations offer a variety of benefits to members, but the support can’t — or shouldn’t — stop there. Loyal-member lists often offer the best leads for potentially larger gifts, but the question is how to get members to see the “added benefit” of giving above and beyond their membership dues.

A Three-Step Conversion Strategy
March 21, 2006

A Three-Step Conversion Strategy FS Advisor: March 21, 2006 By Abny Santicola, editor, FundRaising Success Advisor In a presentation at the DMANF 2006 Washington Nonprofit Conference last month, representatives from the American Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity shared the multi-channel fundraising strategies that helped them raise massive amounts of money to respond to 2005’s various natural disasters. For both organizations, the multi-channel effort began with contacting donors via the method with which they seemed most comfortable. According to Tim Daugherty, Habitat’s senior director of direct marketing, the organization’s “Integrated Agency Campaign” was comprised of three parts: Step One: Reach out to donors via

Breathe Some Life Into Your Annual Campaign
January 1, 2005

When it comes to the question of which list strategies work to build and develop a base of annual giving donors, the obvious answer is to look for more names that are similar to your regular annual donors. Common industry wisdom says to analyze what your best donors are like and then go find more like them.

While that statement certainly is true, the problem with a simplistic approach is that it neglects important discussions of gift size, lifetime value, future giving potential and other key ingredients of a successful annual-giving program.