Campaign planning for charities: from theory to practice

Tereza Litsa
Digital Engagement Manager
04 Mar 2019

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

1. Strategy

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!

Campaign planning from start to finish from Lightful

Latest articles

Community Foundation of Greater Flint - Learning more about their BRIDGE journey

We talked to Chakara Wheeler from the Community Foundation of Greater Flint to find out more about her work and her experience being part of the BRIDGE programme.

Tereza Litsa
Digital Engagement Manager
16 Sep 2022
Spotlight - Hope and Dreams Initiative

We talked to the Hope and Dreams Initiative, an organisation with a mission to educate, empower and enable young people from under-served communities in Nigeria to find out more about their work and how they benefit from our BRIDGE programme.

Roisin McGovern
Relationship Manager
26 Jul 2022

Related posts

15 tips to boost your online fundraising

One of the primary goals of Lightful's BRIDGE programme is to help small and grassroots nonprofits raise more funds through digital channels. Thanks to the tools and support we provide, participants' confidence in their digital skills grows dramatically. We also help them practice their new-found skills by running campaigns around key milestones, like Giving Tuesday, which provide real-world opportunities to test, learn and improve further.

Jonathan Waddingham
Managing Director, Lightful Learning
30 Jan 2022
Recommendations and practical advice for funders and nonprofits

Nonprofits had to adjust during COVID-19 in the way they deliver services, communicate with their stakeholders and their own teams.

Tereza Litsa
Digital Engagement Manager
16 Dec 2021

See other ways Lightful can help

What we do
Who we help

Contact us

Want to learn more?

Email Pumulo and start a conversation

Pumulo Banda
Relationship Manager

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.