The following is a guest post written by Frank Mumford, CFRE, who works with Gravyty, a leading donor engagement software company.
Capital campaigns are a major initiative for fundraising organizations that require long-term, strategic planning. It’s critical to the campaign’s success to consider how to engage donors, not just during the campaign itself, but before and after as well.
Why is Donor Engagement Important Before, During, and After a Capital Campaign?
Engaging donors before, during, and after a capital campaign is more than just solicitation for contributing funds. It’s about building donor relationships and advocacy for your cause through personal, authentic communication.
Consistent and personal donor engagement during every stage of the campaign leads to more passionate donors that are not only excited to contribute to your cause but also want to stay connected to your organization well beyond the campaign.
Here, we break down six fool-proof ways to engage donors before, during and after a capital campaign.
Before a Capital Campaign
1. Do your research
One of the most important steps as you plan for engaging with your donors for a capital campaign is by digging deep into your donor data.
Donor data can tell you things like affinity and interests, past giving history, and giving preferences. Use a tool that analyzes the data for you and can even prioritize those donors most likely to give to your campaign.
2. Tap donors as campaign ambassadors
A great way to inspire engagement in your campaign is by activating a campaign ambassador program. Ask donors to get involved and be a face for your cause. Tap into your donor data to find those most enthusiastic and passionate about your cause. These are the donors most likely to raise their hands to be passionate ambassadors for your capital campaign.
Use scalable communication tools to reach out to donors and get them excited for the campaign, inviting them to play a role in the initiative and share in your success.
During a Capital Campaign
3. Communicate regularly and personally
Once your campaign has begun, don’t just resort to sending the occasional email. Instead, show your donors how much their support and interest in your cause means to you. A strong and personal two-way communication strategy will build a long-lasting and fruitful donor relationship. Communicate regularly, including:
- campaign updates and progress reports;
- milestone celebrations;
- and personal messages of gratitude
Scalable AI-powered donor outreach tools and video messaging can be powerful ways to reach a large donor base in a personal, meaningful way that drives engagement.
4. Celebrate milestones through video messages
In a digital world, it’s important to cut through the clutter to engage with donors during a capital campaign. Keep the conversation going with donors throughout each stage of the campaign.
Use personalized video messages to update your donors on recently achieved milestones and campaign updates. The right tool makes this type of personalized and creative communication easy to scale.
After a Capital Campaign
5. Express gratitude (authentically)
Showing donors how much you appreciate their contributions to the campaign is key to keeping the relationship going well beyond the end of the current campaign. But a generic “thank you” won’t cut it in an era where donors are bombarded with confirmation emails and spam.
Show your gratitude by connecting with them on a personal level, tapping into information about their interests and affinities, milestones, and even their birthdays to send personalized and authentic thank-yous that make an impact. An AI fundraising enablement solution can make this easy and scalable, so you can focus on the personal element of connecting with donors.
6. Impact storytelling through video
What are the best parts of engaging with your donors after a campaign? You get to show the fruits of your labor! Video messaging can be a great way to catch your donors’ attention while updating them on the progress that’s been made as a result of their support. A personalized video tool can be a great addition to your donor communication toolbelt.
In essence, donor engagement before, during, and after a capital campaign isn’t just about raising money — it’s about creating lasting donor relationships, fostering a sense of belonging, and ensuring that donors feel valued and appreciated.
Remember — engaging donors in modern and creative ways can significantly impact the success of the campaign and the organization’s ability to achieve its goals in the long run.
About the Author
Frank Mumford, CFRE, is a fundraiser at heart who found his way into supporting nonprofits through creative software solutions. Frank got his start as a student telethon fundraiser and joined Gratavid (now Gravyty) after serving as Senior Donor Advisor at The Greater Twin Cities United Way. He serves on the AFP MN Board of Directors and NMU Alumni Association Board, and obtained his CFRE in 2019 after eight years in the nonprofit sector as a fundraiser and has been in the space for more than 14 years.
Gravyty makes it easier to engage, solicit, and steward donors at scale through AI and digital giving technology.