Measuring Campaign Effectiveness: Using Successes to Propel Your Mission Forward

measuring fundraising effectiveness

You Have Many Campaigns — Are They All Working Out?

The nonprofit industry can never remain still. More and more, outside influencers (and certainly some internal) are changing the way donors engage with and give to your organization. Each day and each campaign is an uphill battle.

And yet, your mission remains. Your fundraising goals remain. The recipients of your cause — from people to animals to other organizations — remain. The expectations placed upon you and your team There is work to be done, yet it’s getting harder to do.

So, what are you supposed to do? Funnel more resources into a specific campaign? Run more campaigns? Hire more personnel? Sure, those are appropriate responses and are occasionally required to keep your organization moving forward. But they’re not the only solutions. Sometimes, all it takes is a bit of introspection.

One of the best ways to go about that is through measuring the fundraising effectiveness of your existing campaigns. There are two prongs to this. Let’s dive in.

1. Improve the Campaigns You’re Already Running

Pause — not your reading, but your urge to press forward blindly with changes and additions to your campaigns. Step back and look at all of your campaigns, then prioritize them by those that have been working and those that aren’t. Evaluate the marketing activities associated with each. Compare what you’re doing in your successful campaigns with what you’re doing in those that aren’t performing.

Even if you’re doing more in one campaign, that doesn’t mean you have to do just as much in another. You simply may not even be able to do more! And that’s OK. The goal is to test, evaluate, and test again. Look at the pages on your site that drive the most traffic. If your fundraising platform provides landing pages and tracking, evaluate their performance against other pages that might be more successful. Change messaging based on what you know works. Use emotional, impactful images as appropriate.

And above all, consider the donor experience. If you’re not making it easy for people to give, you won’t be making much progress. Make it easy for people to engage with your campaigns how people are used to consuming information now: on mobile, on the go. It’s surprising how many nonprofits are still utilizing desktop-only websites, landing pages, email templates, and so on. They’re simply not going to work. Donors (especially those that aren’t familiar with you or are giving for the first time) are not going to stick around trying to pinch and zoom their way around your non-mobile-friendly site or giving page. Remove the roadblocks.

2. Use Your Successful Campaigns to Advance Others

In eCommerce, one of the best strategies for increasing and maintaining revenue growth is by focusing on the customers you’ve already won and who buy frequently. It’s called the 80/20 rule, and while it has applications to countless industries outside eCommerce, the principle’s effectiveness crosses all boundaries.

For nonprofits, one of the best ways to leverage the 80/20 rule is by making the campaigns that are already working well work even better and harder for you elsewhere. To do this, leverage your whales (another eCommerce term for your best customers). In nonprofit, whales would equate to your most engaged and consistently giving donors. They don’t necessarily have to be donors, either. They can be volunteers and even employees.

You can leverage these advocate audiences by providing them with peer-to-peer giving tools. These features of an online giving system like Big River provide campaigning functionality for those individuals to raise money on your behalf. They can create emails, write their own messages, share stories and impact on social media, and monitor their progress for your cause. And of course, you get the data and knowledge to identify your best advocates. They become an outsourced marketing engine for you.

Another way is to put one of those powerful communications available to even greater use: the transactional email. If you have an online giving platform, you likely generate an email receipt for donation or purchase. That email has power. Why? Because emails that show the details of a transaction have tremendously high open rates. So why not use it to maintain your momentum?

That email should be much, much more than just a simple text-based email. The best eCommerce companies leverage those emails with offers for repeat purchases, offers for spreading the word, and even for triggering additional automated emails that keep those customers coming back for more. For example, if a customer buys a product and receives their email receipt, a great way to get the customer to come back is to offer a discount for a second order.

While you can’t really offer a discount on a donation, you can encourage additional donations to campaigns that match or are related to their initial gift. Again, make it easy to give. Take the donor as far through the process as possible. Generate a link that preselects a certain donation amount for a specific campaign and adds it to their cart, or encourage them to get involved with peer-to-peer giving (e.g.: “You got involved once. Will you go one step further? Start your own fundraising campaign today.”)

And just as with your other campaigns, measure your fundraising effectiveness. Identify what’s working and what’s not. Take steps to improve what isn’t and leverage what is for even greater success. It’s all a matter of maintaining momentum yet knowing when to pause and evaluate. If you’re unsure where to start, we’re here to help. Reach out to us today.