This blog was written and produced by Rebecca Calidonna, CPA, Manager at The Bonadio Group. Looking to get in touch with Rebecca? Reach out today: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many non-profit organizations contemplate whether they should conduct an annual campaign. The obvious purpose of an annual campaign is to allow organizations to solicit and raise funds that can be used toward various operating expenses. However, annual campaigns also provide other benefits. These campaigns give organizations the opportunity to tell their story, promote their mission, show their commitment to their community, gain valuable resources, and much more. If your organization is weighing the pros and cons of an annual campaign, here are 5 of the top benefits:
1. Raises Money Consistently
This seems obvious, but an annual campaign allows you to have a greater reach in your community, especially with individual donors. Often organizations focus mainly on contributions from corporations and/or foundations. These are excellent resources and provide a great deal of support, but what about the individuals that live right in our community? Annual campaigns give you the opportunity to reach out to these individuals on a consistent basis allowing for an increase in the number of donors and a higher potential for repeat donors. Annual campaigns provide individuals with the sense of being a part of something larger, and even a small donation can help. These campaigns are personal to individuals because it directly affects the community they live in.
2. Creates Awareness of the Organization
Annual campaigns give organizations the opportunity to get your name out there and tell your story. When a donor knows your story, they are more likely to feel connected to the organization. The annual campaign allows you to demonstrate the positive impact the organization has on the community, including recent events and accomplishments. When people donate, they want to know how their money will be spent and that it will be put to good use. Showing potential donors what the organization has accomplished and what they wish to accomplish through an annual campaign is a great way to achieve this. Engaging and informing individuals about your organization through an annual campaign allows for members of the community to be more aware of your organization overall. This increase in awareness leads to greater participation in other fundraisers and events throughout the year, in addition to the annual campaign.
3. Enhances the Organization’s Mission
Annual campaigns directly support and enhance the organization’s mission. Not only does this give you the platform to state your mission, but you can highlight how donations impact and help achieve the mission of the organization. Allowing the members of the community to clearly see your mission and encouraging them to be a part of that mission leads to the growth and success of the organization. Employees and board members have a responsibility to see that the organization’s mission is being accomplished and an annual campaign is a great way to be part of this.
4. Gains a Database of Community Members
Not only does an annual campaign provide you with a database of donors, it provides you with a database of community members that may want to assist in other, non-financial, ways. Promoting the organization and its purpose will allow others to see the positive impact the organization has on the surrounding community. Many individuals will want to be a part of this, whether it is volunteering on a routine basis, helping with events held by the organization, or even by becoming a board member. People in the community are invaluable resources that can benefit organizations in so many ways.
5. Forces Organizations to Analyze Marketing Efforts and Dollars
Yes, the benefits do need to outweigh the costs of conducting an annual campaign. Many times, organizations get in a groove of marketing the organization the same way year over year and this can be costly depending on the outlets used. An annual campaign will motivate your organization to analyze your resources and come up with a game plan to have an efficient and effective annual campaign. This will also provide employees with a sense of satisfaction allowing them to get creative in ways to market not only the campaign, but the organization as a whole. There are so many resources at our fingertips with social media and the internet. These are effective tools to reach a diverse group of people on a large scale quickly and at minimal cost. Looking for ways to make donating easy will also increase the results of the campaign. Convenience is a huge factor in someone deciding whether to donate or not. Make donating easy – provide self-addressed envelopes, provide for online giving, and include options for recurring gifts.
The items mentioned above are just a handful of benefits that come with conducting an annual campaign. As you can see, the non-financial benefits are just as important as the financial benefits. Annual campaigns give employees and board members the opportunity to show off the pride they have in the organization and promote the positive effects that the organization has on the entire community.
This material has been prepared for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Should you require any such advice, please contact us directly. The information contained herein does not create, and your review or use of the information does not constitute, an accountant-client relationship.