[Strategies for Success - Smart fundraising ideas from Kinetic]

The Art of Administrating a Nationwide Campaign

imageCreating and sustaining a philanthropic culture takes a lot of time and hard work. It takes even more deliberation and intentionality when a nonprofit’s prospective donors and campaign volunteers live in different states.

Here are some tips on how to navigate this challenge successfully:

Divide and conquer

There will likely be more prospects, living all over the United States and abroad, than a campaign manager and executive director could possibly cultivate and solicit on their own. You will need to recruit an engaged, trained campaign cabinet to be an extension of the development team. With the prospects spread across the United States, it will be necessary to have geographically diverse volunteers as well.

Choose wisely

Not everyone who cares deeply about the organization and is eager to help should be accepted to volunteer for cultivation and solicitation tasks. One of the greatest needs is to keep long-distance volunteers motivated and focused on fundraising goals. You will need to provide crystal-clear communication about expectations before inviting them to be part of the campaign cabinet. Make sure they know what they are signing up to do.

Stick to the script

Running monthly, long-distance campaign cabinet meetings is imperative. Between meetings, the campaign manager will need to communicate with each campaign cabinet member on the status of their assigned priority prospects. This will ensure that the campaign remains in front of them and meetings can be held to the time constraints while allowing for thoughtful group discussion and next-step assignments.

In addition to holding monthly group calls with the campaign cabinet, the campaign manager needs to develop quarterly benchmarks to guide the success of the campaign. These should be mutually agreed upon by the executive director and the campaign cabinet, which gives volunteers a sense of ownership over the process. With everyone pulling in the same direction – albeit from all parts of the country – you can not only meet your campaign goals, but grow volunteer leadership and expand the organization’s donor base geographically.

Janell Johnson, Senior Vice President, jjohnson@kineticfundraising.com

logoJoin Us on the Growing Philanthropy Tour

Next stops on the road to achieving Kinetic’s mission of growing philanthropy by 25 percent in the next 20 years:

September 19-20, 2018
Science of Philanthropy Initiative Conference 2018
John List

Kansas City
September 26-29, 2018
American Association for State and Local History Annual Meeting
Donor-Focused Fundraising: Letting Research Guide Your Organization’s Philanthropy
Matthew J. Beem
Debbie Bass, National WWI Museum and Memorial

Boston, Mass.
October 5-6, 2018
Boston University
Advances with Field Experiments
John List

Basel, Switzerland
October 16-18, 2018
University of Basel
8th Bernoulli Lecture for the Behavioral Sciences
John List

Kansas City
November 14, 2018

2018 KC National Philanthropy Day
Starlight Theatre
Lead Sponsor: Hartsook

Grapevine, Tex.
February 1, 2019

IGNITE 2019: Conference
Sustainable Fundraising
Karin Cox

February 7-8, 2019

LSE Annual Behavioural Public Policy Lecture
Grantham Centre
John List

Past Stops on the Tour

Resources for Smart Fundraising Available on Kindle

Keep up to date on the latest fundraising trends with the Kindle ASR Media collection:

  • Fundraising Leadership – The definitive source for empowering board members to become pro-active fundraising leaders by Karin L. Cox
  • Performance-Driven Fundraising – Handy, yet entertaining reference tool for new and seasoned fundraisers by Matthew J. Beem


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Strategies for Success explores smart ideas, connecting with thousands of fundraising professionals. We welcome your best practices contributions or comments. Send to Strategies for Success editor Karin Cox, kcox@kineticfundraising.com. If you’d like a free subscription to Strategies for Success or its monthly companion, Philanthropy Success, contact info@kineticfundraising.com.