Campaigns and Funds Best Practices
While campaigns and funds are similar, we recommend you use them appropriately to help drive your fundraising efforts and accurately gauge their effectiveness.
Campaigns are your overall fundraising efforts or initiatives, such as operating expenses, a new building, or an endowment. For detailed information, see Campaigns.
Funds — which represent the donor's intent for how you should use a gift — can help direct gifts toward specific campaigns. For example, a capital campaign for a new building may use separate funds for its furniture, structure, and landscaping. For detailed information, see Funds.
Tip: Confused? Think of your fundraising effort as a freeway that your gifts travel along. The campaign is the end destination, and funds segregate the traffic to manage its flow like carpool and truck lanes.
To help your campaigns and funds succeed, consider these best practices.
To raise money toward a campaign or fund, we recommend you have fundraisers solicit gifts on its behalf. For added motivation, your organization may also set personal goals for each fundraiser to raise toward the campaign or fund.
Tip: If a fundraising effort struggles to succeed, encourage your best supporters and donors to reach out to others on your behalf to solicit giving toward the campaign or fund. For more information, see Peer-to-Peer Fundraising.
To help track the effectiveness of a campaign or fund and motivate fundraisers, your organization may set goal amounts to raise toward specific fundraising efforts. We recommend you set realistic, achievable goal amounts for your campaigns and funds. If a campaign or fund struggles to meet its goal, make sure the target amount is realistic and adjust it as necessary.
Tip: To help determine the number and size of gifts you need to achieve your fundraising goal, use the Gift Range Calculator for Nonprofits. With this information, you can adjust your resources or goals as necessary.
If your current campaigns and initiatives don't resonate with donors, research which other issues and causes motivate them to give. With this insight, you can tailor campaigns and their solicitations to better engage donors. With Prospect Research Management, you can track a constituent's philanthropic interests and contributions to other organizations and efforts. For more information, see Prospect Management.
Appeals — the solicitations used to ask donors for gifts — can help raise money toward specific campaigns and funds. To track an solicitation's effectiveness, your organization may set goals to raise through an appeal toward a linked campaign or fund. If a campaign or fund struggles to succeed, analyze its appeals and review their content for areas to improve. For recommendations on how to craft effective appeals, see Appeals Best Practices.