The public launch of a capital campaign in your congregation is a milestone moment. Make the most of it with a thorough and strategic communications plan. Getting to your launch takes months of prep, research and planning, as we’ve outlined in prior blogs here. That planning work and your engagement with donors shapes how you celebrate and unveil the campaign itself.
In this series, we’re providing a roadmap for your campaign communications planning. Too often, we see nonprofit and churches launch a campaign without a thorough plan. Don’t sit in your launch event realizing at that moment it needed a video or artist renderings of your campaign project!
Today, we’ll outline a pre-launch checklist to help you look for gaps and opportunities in your communications planning. Your campaign’s case for support will be critical to informing your overall communications, and we’ll spend an entire blog just on that. We’ll also do a deep dive in the coming week into how churches can approach branding their campaigns alongside their existing logos and communications.
So in addition to branding and your case statement, these are other key components of a campaign communications pre-launch checklist:
Communications Inventory: audiences, vehicles and platforms
This is an inventory of your existing platforms and communication vehicles. It may be that your annual marketing plans for your church already have these outlined. If not, use a grid or chart to map out your web, email, print, social media and onsite marketing venues and vehicles. You’ll want to identify and list your key audiences alongside each of those platforms in the grid or plan, and that will drive your strategy to reach all of your segments at various points during the life of your campaign.
For example, for print communications, list each time you mail your members or a subset of your members and who’s receiving that piece. This information will help you develop a campaign communications plan that lives with, leverages and supports your church’s primary marketing and communications year-round.
Campaign Communications Calendar
Taking your inventory of vehicles and audiences and laying it out alongside or in a calendar will be important in ensuring your members continue to receive what they expect from your church and that the campaign communications are well-embedded in those pieces.
Sending your church’s monthly e-newsletter with no mention of the campaign or any campaign update after the launch would send the wrong message – and misses a key opportunity to inspire and encourage donors. At the same time, sending a campaign email that has a very different look and feel from your normal communications within a day or so of your church’s regular email also creates donor confusion and could lead to members seeing the campaign as a “special project” not embraced by the entire congregation. Planning your calendar intentionally – integrating with your ongoing communications – will avoid those optics and make the most of your tried and trusted existing media platforms your members expect.
As you develop your project plans, remember that you will need visuals across multiple platforms for your campaign. While we advise against investing in the cost of artist renderings too early in the life of your project. You will eventually need plans and renderings for your case statement and for your campaign launch materials. Once the plans are solidified, ensure you have visuals from various angles, resolutions and dimensions. These will be used onscreen, video, social media, web or print.
Don’t wait until launch week to gather quotes and testimonials. Reach out to those impacted by the project or those lead donors willing to share their passion. You’ll want those for your case statement but also throughout the life of the campaign. Donors will be inspired to give when they see a wide range of advocates for the project sharing its impact. Consider your platforms like quick videos and social media as you identify and secure those willing to share their stories.
We hope that checklist will be helpful as you move through your campaign’s planning phase. In the next two parts of this series, we’ll outline the steps to developing your campaign’s case statement. And the campaign materials and branding.
Capital Campaign Communications: A Roadmap
One of the most critical – but most overlooked – part of planning a campaign is your communications plan.
Launching a campaign without a strategy in place for communications can create confusion at best and often leads to poor results.
This guide outlines key steps to developing your campaign case for support, your campaign branding, and theme and provides a pre-launch campaign communications checklist for churches. Don’t kick off a campaign without this roadmap.
Considering a Capital Campaign?
ACS Technologies® teamed up with Non-Profit DNA to offer an extensive and comprehensive consulting service to help make your upcoming capital campaign a success. Through this partnership, you’ll have access to highly skilled, knowledgeable fundraising experts who will help with your campaign — every step of the way.
Capital campaigns are a daunting task, even under the best circumstances. If you’ve been considering — or putting off — a capital campaign to raise funds to grow your church or expand your ministry, the solution is here.
Visit Capital Campaigns on our website to request your consultation today!
Tim has over 30 years of experience in Church, Non-Profit Administration, Management, and Fund Development. Serving as an Executive Pastor and Chief Development Officer in growing Churches and Non-Profit Organizations. He has provided a wide range of expertise and resources. Tim serves as the Founder and CEO of Non-Profit DNA. A boutique firm committed to helping nonprofits and churches. By building their capacity through fundraising, leadership, team building, staff recruiting, and coaching.