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In the fall of 2017, our team members Aggie Sweeney and Kate Roosevelt co-authored a list of 10 campaign best practices. These time-tested recommendations represent the wisdom of four decades of service to the Northwest region.

Since then, we’ve recorded a series of six podcasts with leaders from Northwest organizations that exemplified these best practices in their current or recent breakthrough campaigns. Each conversation reveals successes, pain points, and practical advice.

Our first podcast in the series features Aggie Sweeney speaking with Michelle McDaniel, Chief Development Officer of FareStart. Look out for a new episode each Tuesday at 7am CT.

Fundraising Tips, Fundraising, Campaigns, Podcast, Northwest

While each fundraising campaign is unique, there are common threads that tie all initiatives together. These similarities—the challenges, the pitfalls, the triumphs—reveal campaign best practices that can help every nonprofit elevate its fundraising.

To unpack the intricacies of campaign success, we posed a few of the most critical questions to Craig Hightower, Campbell & Company’s Vice President and Director, Western Region. A campaign expert, Craig is based in California and leads our Western Region team. Read on for his insights and recommendations for carrying out an effective campaign.

Fundraising Tips, Fundraising, Campaigns, West Region

For nonprofit organizations, the decision to embark on a comprehensive campaign can be one of the most significant they will ever make. The magnitude of a campaign raises important questions, such as “who will lead the campaign?” or “are we using our database wisely?”

A campaign also calls forth well-founded worries, such as the perception that the annual fund will suffer. Since the most common early donors to a campaign are those who already make annual gifts, Campbell & Company decided to explore the conventional wisdom that campaigns cannibalize annual giving.

Fundraising Tips, Campbell & Company Research Findings, Fundraising, Campaigns

Co-authored by Executive Vice President Kate Roosevelt

Our Northwest team recently celebrated four decades of service to the region and retired the Collins Group name. In the midst of these milestones, we met with our colleagues to discuss what sets wildly successful organizations apart. From these discussions, we distilled our time-tested best practices to help you create and sustain meaningful impact—during your next campaign and beyond.

Fundraising Tips, Campaigns, Northwest

Until recently, I was not a fan of crowdsourced fundraising. Just the words “crowdsourced” and “crowdfunding” conjured up a mental image of the mindless masses, which is so contrary to what we fundraising professionals preach as ultimate truth: relationship-based fundraising. People won’t give unless they have a relationship with the organization and its people, and unless they are connected to the mission. How can they make that connection in a crowd of people patched together from all over the Internet?

What I didn’t take into account is that, in the age of social media, people relate to each other, often and effectively, online. Social media is being used more and more to organize and mobilize local movements, and the Northwest—a global hub for technology and innovation—is no exception. Two recent successes of clients right here in the Puget Sound region—Intiman Theatre and Friends of 88.5 FM—helped me think differently about crowdsourced fundraising. Done correctly, it is a natural extension of tried and true best fundraising practices.

Fundraising, Campaigns, Northwest