Getting a Head Start on Year-End Campaigns

It’s August! Summer is coming to a close, schools are preparing for their students, and stores are setting up autumn decorations. You know what that means… It’s time to start planning year-end campaigns!

Here at Five Q, we believe in planning ahead. Our digital experts know how important year-end campaigns are for nonprofits like yours, so we start thinking about Christmas in July. As the famous saying goes, “failing to plan is planning to fail.”

In this blog post, you’ll get an overview of things to think about before kicking of your year-end campaigns, so keep reading for key strategies to help your team prepare.

Want more in-depth tips from our digital strategist? Of course you do! Check out our latest webinar, “Year-End Planning for Nonprofits.”

To begin planning for the end of the year, recognize your most valuable audience: your teammates.

Your organization has an amazing team full of people who identify with your cause and join together to bring that vision to life.

What drew you to work for this specific organization?

Your answer to that question points directly to why donors are similarly drawn to your organization. They believe in your vision and work to make it a reality!

Specifically for year-end campaigns, think about these questions:
How can you demonstrate the impact different team members are having?
And how does this campaign move your organization toward greater impact?

The next topic to consider when planning is that you’re probably asking the “incorrect questions.”

Sorry, it sounds a bit insulting, but the phrase “incorrect questions” is actually based on a book titled The Question Behind the Question by John G. Miller. Asking incorrect questions can lead your campaign astray, preventing it from representing your true mission. The book outlines the three rules for asking the right questions when it comes to campaign planning.
Begin with “what” or “how,” and keep it mission-specific. For example, what is the next step to reaching our mission impact? How do we achieve that step?
Focus on your impact, not limitations.
Aim for action.

Here are some examples of incorrect questions that you might be asking:
• What can we get for a budget of x dollars?
• We have x dollars, what should our goal be?

Let your mission and organizational goals be the driver of specific year-end goals, not how big or small your budget is.

Once you have momentum, it’s time to set your goals.

Often times, when we help nonprofits plan their year-end campaigns, we see that they are stuck on the same goals every year. For example, an organization might say, “Last year our goal was to raise $25,000. That means this year, our goal will be $30,000”.

Of course, growth is a good thing, and growing your goals each year isn’t necessarily bad. But think about this: does that goal get you excited about your mission? Probably not. The same goes for your donors.

The key is to pick goals that get people excited to multiply your impact and join your cause, building on your internal momentum. We recommend planning SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely).

Now you have your most valuable audience ready, correct questions in place, and goals planned out…

You’re ready to map out your plan of action! Even though it’s still August, we hope that you begin thinking about the many people you impact with year-end campaigns.

If you feel overwhelmed with the planning, please reach out to us. Our experts are always ready to plan another year-end campaign, and we’re pretty good at it, too!