Setting large campaign goals can be exciting and can inspire your supporters to add extra fuel to your nonprofit’s mission.

However, if not realistically achievable, lofty goals can foster expectations that ultimately lead to disappointment.

To help prevent you from feeling defeated, we’ve compiled the following three tips for setting realistic monetary goals.

1. Start Small

If this is your first online fundraising campaign, you should focus on a goal that’s attainable for your organization. Ideally, you want to choose a number that you and your fellow staff are comfortable with.

Keep in mind, if you set yourself up for success and start small, the next time you run a campaign you’ll know exactly what to expect and you’ll have some experience under your belt. Plus, you’ll probably feel more comfortable setting a higher goal in the future.

Here are some recommendations for goal-setting based on nonprofit size:

Small Nonprofit with < 10 employees  |    $2.5K

Mid-Size 10-50 employees  |  $10K

Large Nonprofit > 50 employees   |   $25K

Remember, you can always increase your target by adding stretch goals once you’ve reached your initial goal, but you can’t necessarily lower your goal once your campaign starts.

If you have already fundraised online in the past, read on:

2. Learn From Past Performance

Evaluating how you did in past online campaigns will help you set a baseline goal. If you did reach your goal, it’s a no-brainer to up the ante and set a larger one. Start by increasing it by 20-30% and see if that number sits comfortably with your team.

If you didn’t meet your goal – where do you begin?

If you’re using an online fundraising platform, like GiveGab, it’s easy to look at your past campaign’s performance and identify where there were lulls and spikes in your campaign’s donation activity. 

Online Fundraising Campaign

You should be asking the following questions:
  1. What can we attribute to this uptick in donations on these specific days?
  2. Was there an email message or social post that drove traffic?
  3. What can we do next time to drive more people to the campaign during periods where we saw lulls in our last campaign?

Answering all of these questions can help you strategize for your next campaign’s marketing approach – so you can hit that goal!

If you didn’t reach your goal, but you didn’t see any lulls either (meaning your campaign steadily received donations throughout the duration of the campaign) perhaps the goal you set was too high OR you’ll need to invest more resources into outreach and marketing your campaign.

3. Use an Integrated Approach

If you have a larger project you need to fund, you might want to explore the idea of how you could use online fundraising to fund parts of that larger project.

Say, for instance, you have a huge renovation project that is going to require raising a lot of money (maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars) over the span of a year or longer.  Creating a few mini online fundraising campaigns throughout the year that fund specific parts of the renovation project could be a great way to keep the momentum of your larger campaign going strong. 

Online Fundraising Campaign

In Summary

Remember that setting realistic and attainable goals is a continual learning process. Just because you didn’t reach your goal once, even twice before, doesn’t mean you won’t reach any in the future. 

Online fundraising should be an integral part of your overall fundraising strategy, so learning from past efforts can be critical to your survival. Over time, you’ll figure out what works and what doesn’t work – because the more fundraising campaigns you run online, the easier they’ll become!  

Best wishes for your next fundraising campaign! 🙂

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