Lesson 2: Crafting your Ultimate Communication Blueprint

Any fundraising campaign plan should start by reading reports from previous cycles and taking advice from them. The same applies to a communications plan.
Ensure your audits include a study of:

  • Communication methods– Check for response rates and ROI on each method (email engagement, social media engagement, SMS etc.)
  • Staff satisfaction: How easy/difficult did they find communicating and following up with donors? Do they have ideas to improve communication?
  • Donor satisfaction: Undertake text surveys to get feedback on previous fundraising communication methods.
  • SWOT analysis: Study the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats you encountered in your previous fundraising communications plan.


While auditing previous reports simultaneously set the goals and objectives for the current cycle. Understanding the objectives for this cycle at this point will allow you to

  • Compare strategies and successes of past fundraisers
  • Make more informed decisions about what to carry forward and what to abandon.

No two donors are the same– they may differ in gift size, frequency of giving, or reasons for giving. Similarly, to tailor communications for each of them, you need different approaches. This is why your fundraising communications plan must have segmented lists of donors– so you can target each list independently with personalized messaging.

This is the stage where you pencil in what you want to communicate with potential donors and supporters. The messaging of your fundraising communication plan must resonate with your goals and target audience.

For instance, if your goal is to increase donor retention, your messaging must not talk about why one must give; instead, how their contributions helped and why they must continue giving.

Next, you decide on how you communicate your fundraiser to potential donors and supporters.
What you need to consider while finalizing your communications methods:

  • Do they enable easy personalization?Have they worked well for you in the past?
  • What resources are needed for your preferred communication methods? Do you currently have them? (e.g., finances, software for texting or calling, hardware, etc.)
  • Do donors currently appreciate these methods? (Research on your success rates and current giving trends)

Establish teams and give them goals for completing each stage of your fundraising communications campaign.

Assign the teams with the following steps:

  • Determine the skill set needed for each stage and each communication technique.
  • Determine how many people are needed for each stage and to handle each form of communication. The fu) Conduct training for all participating volunteers and staff members, especially first-timers (for instance, your team reviewing previous campaigns may need more volunteers than the one responsible for formulating goals and objectives). 
  • Declare goals and due dates.
  • Consider including progress charts, glitch reporting, and regular updates.


The degree of preparation is the key distinction between a soft launch and a hard launch.

A soft launch is the brief pre-campaign phase during which you get in touch with your greatest supporters and funders and solicit their financial support. This launch normally takes place one to two weeks prior to the implementation of your communication strategy for fundraising.

A hard launch, on the other hand, means that everything is set up and ready to go.

These early contributions help your campaign get traction and motivate new or modest donors to make more contributions.

The fundraising communications can then enter a hard launch, during which you invite all of your supporters to participate in the campaign.

Having measurable objectives at the beginning of your campaign enables you to track progress throughout the tenure. Depending on the results, you can continue with current strategies or update them.

Here are some metrics to track while the campaign is in progress:

  1. The number of new website visitors: Google analytics is an excellent tool to map how many people visited your website, where they came from and how many were new etc.
  2. Website traffic drivers: Where the visitors are coming from (email links, text links, Google searches, social media mentions, etc.)
  3. Email responses: Use your email marketing tool to track these metrics.
  4. Social media engagement: Track social media mentions, likes, shares, and comments to examine this campaign’s social media engagement levels.
  5. SMS opt-ins: Once you share your keyword and shortcode/long code, track the number of people who opt in.
  6. Text message responses: A text messaging tool like CallHub enables you to track the responses you receive.
  7. Phone call bad numbers/ no answers: If you have bad numbers, you need to find alternate ways to contact donors


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