Recipes For A Successful Fundraising Moment | npENGAGE

Recipes For A Successful Fundraising Moment

By on Jun 19, 2018


It’s officially summer – ah the lazy days of summer! It’s a time for summer vacations and longer days with more sunshine…that usually means shorter days in the office. But, things continue to seem crazy, right? The endless news cycle with one outrageous headline after another and organizations continuing having to engage in rapid response work in this political climate.. A major midterm election is looming and with that will come 10-15 emails a day hitting our inboxes from political campaigns – and that number is not an exaggeration. It’s feeling like the lazy days of summer will not be so slow for advocacy organizations this year.  

Organizations need continue to engage their supporters with action-oriented communication to help cut through the clutter and ultimately, raise money to support their missions. In a previous blog posts from my friend, colleague and all around wonderful human Adva Priso, she laid out three steps to creating a fundraising moment for your organization.  

  • Prime for your moment using action-oriented communication 
  • Optimize your moment by testing and be flexible enough to change course while in a campaign  
  • Create your fundraising moment. 

Adva also explained why the use of digital advocacy tactics like online petitions are the perfect priming tactic. When an organization successfully connects to an issue that is top of mind for the public or to a trending hashtag, it can not only garner support for that issue but ultimately raise money to support its mission.  

I have a mantra that I repeat over and over: “Advocacy + Fundraising = A perfect match.” However, there are also other very effective priming tactics that can be paired with digital advocacy work – after all, variety is the spice of life and it’s important to mix things up and use multiple priming tactics to prepare for your organization’s fundraising moment. Ultimately nonprofits that can successfully pair multiple priming tactics together and connect their work to issues that are important to supporters are the ones that will have a recipe for success.  

More Priming Tactics to Pair with Advocacy 

  • Surveys – Here I mean a survey more of as engagement tool rather than as a way of gathering feedback from your supporters. Take them through a journey and have a conversation with them, a back and forth. Use simple and straightforward questions that connect supporters directly to the organization’s mission. And don’t forget to include a donation ask on the final question! That’s what we call in the biz an “upsell.”  
  • Sign the Card – Gratitude is a powerful thing. Most organizations have folks on the ground who are involved in the organization’s work, and those are people who can be thanked for their hard work! (for example: Thank a park ranger! Thank a volunteer! Thank a healthcare worker!)  People respond very well when you present an opportunity to thank the people doing the hard work.  

Want to learn more about how to create a fundraising moment using advocacy? Check out Blackbaud’s newly released white paper Creating Your Advocacy Fundraising Moment which includes more information about the idea of priming, optimizing and creating a moment. The white paper is chock full of examples from awesome organizations! 



Caroline Stuart-Freas has devoted her career to working with and for nonprofits about causes she cares about. Caroline worked for Blackbaud for a decade, helping countless organizations with online fundraising and advocacy. Most recently she was a senior member of the account team leading up the efforts to support Blackbaud’s advocacy-focused clients. Before Blackbaud, Caroline worked for progressive advocacy organizations as a field organizer and as a digital strategist. Caroline is currently working as a consultant, helping organizations develop their digital strategy. She serves on the board of Planned Parenthood of Metro Washington and Metro DC PFLAG. 

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