Nonprofit Ally

Giving Tuesday is December 2. It is a nationwide fundraiser for all nonprofits. For many nonprofits this is the start of a larger fundraising campaign that extends throughout the holidays. But whether you are doing a one day event or a month long fundraiser, there are ways to set yourself up for success.

Here are five ways to help you prepare for a successful fundraising campaign:

Start Early

The good news is you are already preparing for your fundraiser just by reading this article. It may seem early, since there are still six weeks before December 2, but you are actually right on time.

It takes time to develop the content (videos, images and verbiage), find volunteers, set your goals and plan your campaign. The earlier you start the more successful you will be. (And, the less stressful it will be.) Start preparing now.

Gather your Team

Start thinking about who can help you with your fundraiser. What roles need to be filled? Do you need someone to make phone calls, send emails or post flyers? There are hundreds of jobs (big and small) that people can help with.

As you plan all the elements of your campaign make a quick note of the people you think can help you each step of the way. Learn more about the roles needed in a fundraising campaign.

Set your Goals

How much do you want to raise? What will you spend it on? When will the fundraiser end? These may seem like no-brainer questions, but they are vitally important. Fundraising campaigns that identify how much they need, what they will use the money for and set deadlines are more successful than those that don’t state any goals.

Also, setting time and monetary goals will help you track how well your fundraiser is doing.


Communication put another way is called “marketing”. If you want to raise money you have to get the word out. Let people know when the fundraiser will start. Then, on the day it starts, let people know it started. Then, a week later, let them know how you are doing. Then… and so on, and so on.

There are many ways to get the word out: use or create an email list, call donors on the phone (yes, the phone), post updates on social media, send out a mailer, post flyers or use radio and TV PSA’s. For more on getting the word out, listen to my podcast interview with fundraising manager Brock Warner.

Be Different, Be Creative

Fundraisers can and should be fun. Just look at what the Ice Bucket Challenge did for ALS. It raised a ton of awareness and a ton of money.

So, instead of just having people donate online, have them become a part of the campaign. This can be done by having donors sharing a video, posting a photo or simply sharing your social media page. You can randomly select donors for prizes. Or call them with a personal thanks. There are hundreds of ways to be different.

Here is a quick list of ideas from the Giving Tuesday website.

Final Thoughts

Starting a fundraiser is exciting and nerve racking. But if you have your ducks in a row, then you are setting yourself up for success.

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