I know you have a sense that once you reach your campaign goal, your campaign will be over… done… and you’ll be able to breath a welcome sigh of relief and settle back into your old (less stressful) job.
4 Types of Campaign Work to Complete Upon Reaching Goal
Getting to or over your goal is a huge, exciting milestone, but it’s not the end of your campaign. And it will be a while before you can settle back into your old job.
Spoiler Alert: While you may think that the more relaxing pace of your pre-campaign work will be a wonderful relief, in fact, after the heady experience of the campaign, your old job may seem boring!
But whatever you are hankering for, you’ve got some important work to do after you reach your campaign goal to draw your campaign to a close.
The work falls into four areas:
Reaching your campaign goal is a huge accomplishment made possible by many people over several years. You should bring the campaign to a close by communicating and celebrating your success with all the people who helped get the campaign over the top.
Begin by letting the people who were closely involved know that you’ve gone over the goal. Those will include your campaign leaders, board members, and staff. Add the people who have served on committees that have worked on your campaign. Of course, you will also want to share the amazing news early with the top donors.
To make sure you do this well, as you near your campaign goal, make a list of the groups of people you will want to share the news with early. Look back through your campaign notes to jog your memory about all the people who have helped. Don’t forget, for example, the people on the feasibility study committee and those who were interviewed in the study.
Letting people know before the announcement is made publicly is a great way to remind people that they have been insiders in a very successful campaign.
Then, you should plan more public communications to the community. You will do this through mailings, press releases and social media. The broader, the better.
In addition to communicating the campaigns financial success, be sure to communicate about progress on the project as well as its impact on the community you serve.
Stewarding and Celebrating
As the campaign draws to a close, you should shift your energy to stewarding and celebrating all the donors who made the campaign a success. Depending on the culture of your organization, you might be simple or elaborate about this. But however you do it, you should make sure that every donor feels appreciated for their part in the campaign.
Your stewardship process may include small donor appreciation events, personalized letters or notes, phone calls and perhaps even meaningful items commemorating the campaign’s success.
You may celebrate and thank donors and volunteers at a ribbon cutting or special event. You might unveil a donor wall. Plan these events to fit the culture of your organization and the nature of your community. For some, punch and cookies will be the right touch. For others, you’ll want champagne and gourmet food.
Finally, to draw the campaign to a close, you should create two reports — one for your external audience and the other for your internal audience.
The external report might look something like an annual report but based on the campaign. Or, you might add some special campaign pages in your regular annual report rather than creating a separate piece. Regardless of the format, you will cover how much you raised, the impact of the funds raised, a listing of the campaign leadership, and a complete list of donors who gave to the campaign.
The internal report will be more detailed, comparing the plan to what happened, assessing the processes, and making recommendations about how to embed the successful practices in your ongoing development work.
Getting to Goal is Just the Beginning
Remember, getting to your goal is simply the beginning of the end of your campaign. In addition to communicating, stewarding, celebrating, and reporting, you will need to collect pledges and follow up with donors for months (and even years) to come.
Don’t think of campaign gifts as the ultimate gifts from donors. They can and should be the beginning of a new and deeper relationship between donors and your organization.
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