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3 Steps to Getting Stakeholder Approval for Your Upcoming Fundraising Campaign

WRITTEN BY LEAH LIBOLT

When your organization considers launching a new fundraising campaign, you may have to get approval from different groups of stakeholders—perhaps it’s your organization’s leadership team or perhaps its a volunteer board. In many cases the approval process may be quick, but sometimes a lengthy approval process can cause you to miss deadlines and can create extra work and expenses for all involved. 

This blog post will provide a way to streamline the approval process for your new fundraising campaign from senior stakeholders in three steps.

Step 1: Identify your key stakeholders

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Think about the key people whose input is critical to getting your fundraising campaign launched. Who are they? Is it your Treasurer or CFO who will approve the campaign budget and expenses? Is it your marketing team who signs off on all communications to external groups? Is it your fundraising volunteer committee that will be promoting the campaign in the community?

You will want to limit the group of people who can provide input on the campaign to only those who are absolutely necessary. Because, as this Harvard Business Review Article states, “if you don’t focus on the relationships that matter most, management and staff will be running in all directions, not meeting anyone’s needs very well.”

[BONUS WHITE PAPER] How Digital Fundraising Can Advance Your Nonprofit (A Board Approval Guide)→

Step 2: Engage Stakeholders Early in the Planning Process

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While the detailed planning for a campaign may only start a month or two before its launch date, your stakeholders should learn about the campaign much earlier in the planning process. Ideally, when you plan your fundraising efforts for the next calendar year, you should make sure that you seek approval for the plan by those who you have identified as stakeholders.

For example, say that you think Peer-to-Peer Fundraising could really amplify the reach of your Year-End fundraising campaign, make sure that you include Peer-to-Peer in any fundraising planning and budgeting exercises you complete at the beginning of your fiscal year, so that every one of your identified stakeholders understands the fundraising strategy for the upcoming year includes Peer-to-Peer fundraising. This may mean that you get approval for a new software solution, like MobileCause, to facilitate your efforts. 

If you can effectively articulate how the software will lead to increased fundraising revenues, you will be able to get approval for the purchase at the beginning of your fiscal year and well ahead of the launch date of your campaign. So, in the weeks leading up to your campaign, instead of worrying about getting approval and funding for a new software solution, you can focus on what is really important— engaging your donors in your campaign. 

Your ultimate goal is to get your stakeholders to sign-off on the high-level strategic direction of your fundraising campaign before you embark on the nitty-gritty planning.

Would you like to learn more about how MobileCause can help you set up an online fundraising campaign for your nonprofit?

Step 3: Keep Stakeholders Focused on the Big-Picture

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With the big-picture strategy for your campaign approved by your stakeholders, you and a small team at your non-profit can focus on the details and execution of your fundraising campaign. By the time that you and your team start setting up the campaign, barring any unforeseen circumstances, there should be no reason to return to your stakeholders for approval.

For example, if a Gala is part of your annual fundraising plan, you should present your event committee with a few well-developed ideas for your gala that they can approve well-ahead of the Gala. They can review the 2-3 Gala plans and provide their feedback and approval for the plan. So, by the time you go to set up the ticketing and sponsorship forms for your website, you won’t have to worry about committee requesting significant changes—because they approved everything and offered their feedback months ago! 

 It will save you so much time and money because you won’t have to go through rounds of revisions on your Gala materials. When a micromanaging committee  member calls you to change a detail the ticket mailer a week before the mailer is set to drop, you can say, “I am sorry we sat down as a group four months ago and approved these ticket prices, right now we could really use your help spreading the word about the ticket sales amongst your influential circles.”

Essentially, your stakeholders, especially those who are not paid staff (like Board and Committee Members) should be providing strategic direction and advice so you can focus on what you do best—managing your nonprofit organization’s fundraising efforts!

If you identify your stakeholders early and get their approval on the strategic direction of your fundraising campaign, so you can focus on implementation, you will save your organization time, money and headaches!

Leah Libolt
Senior Digital Fundraising Strategist
MobileCause  

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Our goal at MobileCause is to help nonprofit organizations create and manage successful digital fundraising campaigns, raise more money and retain donors longer. Request a free demo with one of our fundraising experts to learn, step by step, how MobileCause can simply help set up your campaigns while transforming your results.

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