You might be familiar with the phrase: “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” This is true in fundraising just like it is in school, business and life. Creating marketing strategies for a fundraiser is not difficult, but it’s not a “snap” either.
If you want your fundraiser to be a success, your marketing efforts need to be well-conceived and carried out according to plan. Here are some tips on using a strategic plan to market a fundraiser.
You will probably have a few impatient committee members who won’t understand the point of “wasting time” creating a plan that will only be used once. This is far from correct.
- The plan becomes a checklist for each task from today until the end of the fundraiser.
- After the fundraiser is over, a committee can use the plan to assess the pros and cons and make suggestions for future fundraisers.
- If this becomes an annual event, a strategic plan will be used over and over, with only slight adjustments (and improvements!) each year.
- The plan easily converts to a template for other fundraisers for the organization.
A big part of the marketing strategic plan is deciding which communication pieces need to be sent to whom, and when. Start by making a list of the types of pieces that you think are important for marketing a fundraiser, but are also within your budget. Remember to include both traditional and digital communication methods, such as:
- Press releases
- Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages
- Sponsorship letters
- Online ordering capabilities
- Save-the-date postcards
- Invitations and RSVP cards
- Acknowledgement/tax letters (post event)
Once your committee has decided on the types of marketing collateral to utilize, the next step is to decide when you want it to be in the public’s hands – when you want the public to see it. Put that date on the master calendar. Afterward, you’ll need to back-time each item of marketing collateral and list it on the calendar.
For example, if you want the Save-the-Date postcard in the hands of your invitees by June 1, you should mark that date on your master calendar, as well as the proceeding important dates. These would include:
- May 15: Save-the-date postcard mailing date – third class mail.
- May 10: Save-the-date postcard printing deadline.
- May 1: Artwork final approval deadline (fundraising committee).
- April 1: Design submission deadline (graphic artist).
- March 1: Sign contract with graphic artist.
If you have questions about creating a strategic plan for your fundraising effort, Bricks R Us can help. Our staff has plenty of experience marketing a fundraiser like a brick campaign and helping smooth out fundraising details. Contact us today!
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