Campaign planning for charities: from theory to practice
A successful digital campaign can help you reach a new audience, engage your existing supporters or even raise more funds for your cause. However, you need to be organised to create a successful campaign. We’ve recently run a webinar sharing tips and tricks on campaign planning for charities and how to be more successful. If you’ve missed it, here’s what you need to know.
Before we begin, we want to clarify what we mean by ‘campaign’.
A campaign is a series of posts around one theme, which aims to bring your audience together. This could be to highlight your work, to show how you’re making an impact or how you can inspire and encourage donations.
Now that we’ve got that out the way, let’s dive right in!
What are the benefits of running a campaign?
There are many benefits to running a campaign online, including:
- An improved presence on social media
- A more engaged audience
- Reaching a new audience
- Collaborating with colleagues
- More money/sign-ups/video views etc
Before you can run a campaign, you need to plan it and that means understanding the theory behind running a successful campaign.
Simple steps to running a successful campaign
Decide on your objectives (what you want to achieve) and then turn those into SMART goals. SMART stands for: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. So a SMART goal would be: Get 1,000 views of our video on Giving Tuesday.
Once you’ve got your objectives and set SMART goals, decide on the theme of your campaign and who your target audience is – who specifically are you trying to reach?
2. Content and Channels
Now that you know the audience you’re trying to reach, what messaging would work for them and where is the best place to reach them? Decide which channels you’re going to use as well as the frequency of your posts. For eg, is your campaign one day (like on Giving Tuesday) or is it a week, month or even longer? Would this campaign work on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or just on LinkedIn?
Think about what story you can tell – don’t just make an ask! How can you bring people on a journey so that they’ll want to support you when you do make the ask? Our platform has a handy feature just for this, called Story Builder. It’s a template of suggested posts that you can edit with your own copy and images.
Once you’ve decided on your target audience, your key messages and the channels you’ll reach them on, you can start scheduling your content.
You can use the Lightful platform to start scheduling your content, through our calendar. You can choose which platforms to post to, upload your own images, videos or GIFs or simply use our inbuilt image and GIF library. By scheduling and planning your content in advance, it will help you to be more organised and save you time too.
3. Support and engagement
Try to involve your colleagues in the campaign – where appropriate. Within Lightful, you can invite colleagues or volunteers to create posts, however you retain control by approving the posts before they go live. This helps you ensure that they are on brand and in the right tone of voice.
Even if you’ve scheduled posts in advance, you must monitor your campaign in real-time. This is so that you can respond to any activity and engage with your supporters, as well as keep the momentum going.
It’s important to be flexible too and to create real-time posts if needed – particularly if there is a trending hashtag that you can take advantage of.
Don’t forget to thank your supporters – especially if you’ve asked them to take an action (such as make a donation or volunteer). This will help strengthen your relationship with them and help in future campaigns.
4. Measure your success
If you want to know if your campaign has been successful, you’ll need to measure it. This goes back to the SMART goals that you set. Some of the metrics you might want to measure are: reach, engagement, traffic and donations.
Within Lightful, you can add tags to group the content together. Using our analytics, you can then compare how different groups or topics of content has performed. For example, has content about volunteering had a higher engagement than posts around fundraising? Or did content where you told a story, perform better than content about upcoming events? Use the insights gained to help shape your next campaign.
You can also find our webinar’s slides below. If you want to stay up-to-date about our next webinars, make sure you subscribe to our newsletter!
The COVID pandemic has created an urgent need for nonprofits to rapidly scale up digital advocacy and digital fundraising. Organisations need to be reaching their supporters where they are, and in 2021… they are online. A rapidly changing world post-pandemic demands new approaches to engaging the public and winning their support.
Last year the COVID-19 pandemic created challenges across many sectors, but especially for nonprofits, many of which were previously reliant upon in-person events and more traditional means of fundraising. At Lightful, we’ve been working with charities to understand how the pandemic has affected the sector and what’s become evident is that digital fundraising skills are vital in adapting to the ‘new normal’ that has emerged following the pandemic.
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