If you have questions about using the Looking Forward engagement plan built into your Donor Management System, check out our FAQs article for more details.
Before you start tackling those email tasks in your donor management system, it can be helpful to set goals, gather the stories and assets you will use in this campaign, and set up your donation page.
Deciding on a goal for your campaign can be accomplished a few different ways:
Review your fundraising goal for 2023 and use your left-to-raise amount, or a percentage of this amount, as your year-end goal.
Run a filter in your donor management system to discover what you raised in the first quarter last year and decide to increase by 10-20%.
If you'd like to work towards a number that is outside of dollars raised you can always focus on number of new donors, engaged donors, and renewed donors.
Having a goal makes it obvious how you will measure success and communicating it to your internal stakeholders helps get others excited about the campaign and encourages them to help reach that goal.
Gather Assets and Stories
When you open the Looking Forward templates in your donor management system you'll notice that the templates suggest using some language that you might not have on hand immediately.
Here are the details and assets you will need to fill out the templates when you're ready:
your mission statement
number of individuals your programs reach each year
at least three "impact" statements (these can be pulled from your annual report)
a powerful client story + image of that client or a stock photo to represent that client (this story will be used in more than one email)
Also recommended: branding for your campaign. This means using imagery, calls to action, tone of voice, graphics, and messaging that wraps every piece of communication together and presents it as one cohesive campaign. Read this blog post about a Bonterra customer who did a great job of keeping their branding consistent throughout one of their campaigns.
Set Up Your Donation Page
To help track donations that come in from this campaign, you should create a donation page that is specific for this campaign. Remember: you can add offline donations in Donor Management and attach them to this page's campaign and those gifts will be reflected in the donor scroll and appear towards your goal's total!
In addition to being able to easily monitor success of your campaign, having a dedicated donation page creates a cohesive experience for your donors.
The headline, image, call to action and other language featured on this donation page should match the message in your emails.