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The state of the world has made us want to connect with more of you, more often. For the rest of 2020, the Campbell & Company Communications team is sharing a new article every week that explores a topic in case development and fundraising communications, drawn from our work.

Whether it’s thinking about how to approach fundraising communications against the backdrop of current events or tackling an evergreen challenge we see time and time again in nonprofits across the sector, these articles focus on practical tips to empower fundraising leaders in their day-to-day work. Subscribe to the series here.


Well folks, the end of 2020 is in sight. 

We’ve made our way through all 100 months of the year, wave after wave of Covid-19and one massive election counted and recounted a dozen times

Working from our homes and closets, we’ve moved our whole fundraising, communications, and event strategies online with a combination of brilliant strategic maneuvering and absolute freestyling. 

Over here on the Campbell Communications team, we’ve worked with our colleagues to navigate as many different client quandaries and creative challenges as there are stars in the nonprofit skythrown together this article series on an educated whim, and put out 25 or so articles and a half dozen webinars. 

So, what have we learned? Apart from the fact that we all need a nap. 

Fundraising Communications, Communications Strategies, Fundraising, Blog, Fundraising Communications Weekly Series

The state of the world has made us want to connect with more of you, more often. For the rest of 2020, the Campbell & Company Communications team is sharing a new article every week that explores a topic in case development and fundraising communications, drawn from our work.

Whether it’s thinking about how to approach fundraising communications against the backdrop of current events or tackling an evergreen challenge we see time and time again in nonprofits across the sector, these articles focus on practical tips to empower fundraising leaders in their day-to-day work. Subscribe to the series here.


Say it with me: I’m a writer.

Sure, fundraising requires much more than putting pen to paper: the charisma to build relationships, the knack for deftly navigating a database, and the courage to ask for money.

But perhaps the most unsung skill of a fundraiser-in-the-trenches is the language we speak every day on the Communications team at Campbell & Company: writing.

Fundraising Communications, Communications Strategies, Fundraising, Blog, Fundraising Communications Weekly Series

The state of the world has made us want to connect with more of you, more often. For the rest of 2020, the Campbell & Company Communications team is sharing a new article every week that explores a topic in case development and fundraising communications, drawn from our work.

Whether it’s thinking about how to approach fundraising communications against the backdrop of current events or tackling an evergreen challenge we see time and time again in nonprofits across the sector, these articles focus on practical tips to empower fundraising leaders in their day-to-day work. Subscribe to the series here.


It’s morning in the Eastern time zone on November 4th, 2020. As I am writing this, I have no idea who the next president will be.

There was just some late—sorry, early-breaking news that sounds good for my guy, but all of this is closer and less clear than I’d like it to be. This feeling is familiar—the topsy-turvy sense of reality, the disappointment with friends and family who don’t see eye-to-eye.

By now, you’ve probably guessed my political leanings, but you almost certainly haven’t guessed something else: I’m feeling (slightly) cooler and calmer than I did in 2016. I know—I’m a little surprised myself.

Fundraising Communications, Communications Strategies, Fundraising, Blog, Fundraising Communications Weekly Series

The state of the world has made us want to connect with more of you, more often. For the rest of 2020, the Campbell & Company Communications team is sharing a new article every week that explores a topic in case development and fundraising communications, drawn from our work.

Whether it’s thinking about how to approach fundraising communications against the backdrop of current events or tackling an evergreen challenge we see time and time again in nonprofits across the sector, these articles focus on practical tips to empower fundraising leaders in their day-to-day work. Subscribe to the series here.


“I’m not sure if our campaign is sexy enough.”

I can hardly count how many times I’ve heard this worry from a client over the years—a potentially self-defeating apprehension that their campaign isn’t exciting, sparkly, or new-and-different enough to attract serious consideration from donors.

We can all picture the kind of campaign they’re imagining—the glitzy temple-building project where you get a name-brand architect, recruit all the biggest names in town to your committee, print a 30-page brochure with bold statements over gorgeous renderings, and build a landmark new building that you probably can’t afford to operate and might glimmer-glamour you to the brink of insolvency in the next recession.

Those campaigns sure can be fun. But they were never more than a highly visible fraction of successful campaigns to begin with, and their true heyday was probably all the way back before the Great Recession.

They certainly aren’t going to be the norm when we emerge from our bunkers and cautiously begin planning the first wave of post-pandemic campaigns.

Fundraising Communications, Communications Strategies, Fundraising, Blog, Fundraising Communications Weekly Series

The state of the world has made us want to connect with more of you, more often. For the rest of 2020, the Campbell & Company Communications team is sharing a new article every week that explores a topic in case development and fundraising communications, drawn from our work.

Whether it’s thinking about how to approach fundraising communications against the backdrop of current events or tackling an evergreen challenge we see time and time again in nonprofits across the sector, these articles focus on practical tips to empower fundraising leaders in their day-to-day work. Subscribe to the series here.


When it comes to philanthropy, the idea of “worthiness” is often an important factor in a donor’s decision to give. Causes are worthy of investment. Problems are worth solving. Committing to a nonprofit with a mission you believe in is a worthwhile undertaking.

But there is an insidious side to worthiness that sometimes plays out in our sector, too. When the assessment of “worthy” (and consequently: “not worthy”) is turned on the people our organizations serve, it becomes a weapon.

Fundraising Communications, Communications Strategies, Fundraising, Blog, Fundraising Communications Weekly Series

The state of the world has made us want to connect with more of you, more often. For the rest of 2020, the Campbell & Company Communications team is sharing a new article every week that explores a topic in case development and fundraising communications, drawn from our work.

Whether it’s thinking about how to approach fundraising communications against the backdrop of current events or tackling an evergreen challenge we see time and time again in nonprofits across the sector, these articles focus on practical tips to empower fundraising leaders in their day-to-day work. Subscribe to the series here.


Whatever your fundraising plans for 2020 were, they probably didn’t involve this much videoconferencing. Today, many nonprofits are struggling with how best to continue cultivating and developing their most valuable donor relationships without in-person contacts…yet the show must go on!

Fundraising Tips, Fundraising Communications, Communications Strategies, Fundraising, Blog, Fundraising Communications Weekly Series

The state of the world has made us want to connect with more of you, more often. For the rest of 2020, the Campbell & Company Communications team is sharing a new article every week that explores a topic in case development and fundraising communications, drawn from our work.

Whether it’s thinking about how to approach fundraising communications against the backdrop of current events or tackling an evergreen challenge we see time and time again in nonprofits across the sector, these articles focus on practical tips to empower fundraising leaders in their day-to-day work. Subscribe to the series here.


In addition to working with clients on case development, campaign branding, and all manner of fundraising communications projects, our Communications team also pitches in to help write the firm’s final reports for campaign planning studies and development assessments. That means that we get a front-row seat to all the strategic guidance our fundraising colleagues are giving to nonprofits every day.

Want to know what’s in all those reports? Alas, confidential. But I’ll tell you what’s in none of them.

Fundraising Communications, Communications Strategies, Blog, Fundraising Communications Weekly Series

The state of the world has made us want to connect with more of you, more often. For the rest of 2020, the Campbell & Company Communications team is sharing a new article every week that explores a topic in case development and fundraising communications, drawn from our work.

Whether it’s thinking about how to approach fundraising communications against the backdrop of current events or tackling an evergreen challenge we see time and time again in nonprofits across the sector, these articles focus on practical tips to empower fundraising leaders in their day-to-day work. Subscribe to the series here.


“Systems change” isn’t just for the wonks anymore. It’s the aquarium taking on the systems that threaten marine life. It’s the food bank that’s not just feeding people, but taking on the broken food system behind pervasive hunger. And it’s every organization, staff member, and donor learning the difference between a racist uncle and the broader structures, policies, and institutions that harm Black people en masse.

Fundraising Communications, Communications Strategies, Blog, Fundraising Communications Weekly Series

The state of the world has made us want to connect with more of you, more often. For the rest of 2020, the Campbell & Company Communications team is sharing a new article every week that explores a topic in case development and fundraising communications, drawn from our work.

Whether it’s thinking about how to approach fundraising communications against the backdrop of current events or tackling an evergreen challenge we see time and time again in nonprofits across the sector, these articles focus on practical tips to empower fundraising leaders in their day-to-day work. Subscribe to the series here.


About this time four years ago, I was wringing my hands over what to say in a pair of what-if year-end appeal templates.

The “what if” giving me pause was imagining a Trump victory in the upcoming election, an outcome that many thought improbable at the time. But I was in the midst of a fascinating research project on fundraising within the LGBTQ movement, and we needed to be prepared for either possibility so that the appeals for four LGBTQ community centers could drop quickly after election night.

Fundraising Communications, Communications Strategies, Blog, Fundraising Communications Weekly Series

The state of the world has made us want to connect with more of you, more often. For the rest of 2020, the Campbell & Company Communications team is sharing a new article every week that explores a topic in case development and fundraising communications, drawn from our work.

Whether it’s thinking about how to approach fundraising communications against the backdrop of current events or tackling an evergreen challenge we see time and time again in nonprofits across the sector, these articles focus on practical tips to empower fundraising leaders in their day-to-day work. Subscribe to the series here.


Language is admittedly subjective.

And perhaps you’re ready to defend the maxim that any writing decision is best when it's informed by the particular audience, medium, or context at hand. (I get it—my college English professor's pleas to "Consider your audience!" are ringing in my ears to this day.)

But in the nonprofit sector, some verbs really are better than others.

Fundraising Communications, Communications Strategies, Blog, Fundraising Communications Weekly Series