March 30, 2017 \ Emma Freter
Campaign Models: Ways to Avoid the Post-Campaign Lull

Recently, I attended a webinar hosted by CCS Fundraising about campaigns and how to avoid the dreaded lull period. According to CCS, organizations typically see a 65% increase in fundraising during campaigns. However, the post-campaign period can fall into a lull, which can lead to a bit of a tough time to get through. Through this webinar, CCS identified 4 campaign models that could possibly help mitigate that lull.

1. The “Always” Campaign

With the “Always” Campaign approach, (it’s relatively self-explanatory) you are continuously campaigning. You do have specific themes of tasks you want to accomplish with fundraising. And it can be fun because your organization is in a perpetual “celebration phase.” The down side to this approach (which I am sure you have already guessed) is increasing the risk of donor fatigue.

2. The “Modified/Hybrid” Campaign

This popular model is a blend of traditional and non-traditional campaigns. There is a timeframe as well as a financial goal that you want to achieve, which are a part of a traditional campaign model. However, you have non-specific funding priorities- your fundraising goal is flexible. You don’t necessarily ask the board members to donate first or last, which makes this approach a non-sequential fundraising method. It’s more of a donor-centric model, so you ask them for a donation when they are ready to be asked and depending on their interests. This allows you to be more strategic in fulfilling your philanthropic goals.

3. The “Mini” Campaign

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Example of a “Mini” Campaign timeline provided by CCS Fundraising

This particular model appears to be similar to the “Always” Campaign, however these “Mini” Campaigns have tangible deadlines. You are able to do as many “Mini” Campaigns as needed and even do them simultaneously, which helps create more marketing opportunities and keeps donor interest.

4. The “Never” Campaign

This one is literal- you are never running a specific campaign. In a sense, raising money is institutionalized; it’s part of the everyday workflow of the organization. The benefits of this approach allow you to use fewer resources and minimize the volunteer role because you are using the people who already work for your organization. This approach can also lessen the possibility of campaign fatigue mindset. An example of an organization that implements this model effectively is St. Jude’s. Every year, they have their Thanksgiving fundraiser but the donations don’t stop once the event is over- the fundraiser continues all year round.

Key Takeaways

  • Campaigns are not one size fits all
  • Be mindful of campaign pillars (Leadership, Case, Prospects, Plan, and Management) to keep you true to your mission and show the value of your organization
  • Be flexible and adapt to whatever comes your way
  • Address the post-campaign lull so you have ways to avoid it
  • Use the institutional assets you already have to work with to make the campaign process financially efficient and promote growth, show commitment and motivation within your organization

Have you tried any of these campaign techniques? What was your experience trying something outside the traditional model?