Getting Ahead: Plan For Campaign Resource Gathering

Resources like photo libraries, the latest research stories, new people to feature, exciting videos, and access to other internally created collateral are the treasure chest that allow your agency to create, on your behalf, the most relevant and exciting marketing materials with the most potential to raise more money for your mission! But this critical piece of campaign development can sometimes be a daunting task for nonprofits, with limited budgets and already robust to-do lists. And as a compliment to strong foundational messaging, the absence of fresh information can leave your appeals a little dry.

Donlon Agency has found that going ahead and dedicating a resource gathering day twice a year is the best way to keep a full collection of potential stories to choose from as campaigns are coming through the pipeline month after month. Work together with your agency to map out campaign themes and specific resource requests for half of the year and get a jump-start on piecing together the particulars early.

There are so many benefits to planning ahead of time. The cost for a photographer for one day is much more manageable than needing the service sporadically throughout the year, and the quality of the material is so much better than a photo of a patient taken from a development officer’s cell phone. Having a collection of possible features also gives the flexibility to shift stories around if needed and not be in a situation where copywriters are taking a fresh look at a campaign after Round 2 of review because the selected feature is no longer available, as an example.

Also consider partnering with your marketing/communications department and see what they may already have on file. Did the last gala feature a video? Can you edit a piece of that for a cultivation appeal? Is there a particular researcher or physician getting any press lately? That’s a great way to get scientific copy that’s already written in layman’s terms and there may be a great photo available as well. What are your friends over in the web development wing working on? Can you enhance their efforts by including the same patients in your current email or direct mail messaging?

Use the very simple chart below as an example and schedule a strategic call with key stakeholders to go ahead and map out your 2019 expectations and elevate your upcoming campaigns and revenue streams!

CampaignDirect Mail ChannelDigital Channel
January• Small photos for the remit: Researcher, adult patient, child patient (a tentative test).

• Be sure to get campus landmarks in the background of photos.
• Empowered patient -
story and caption.

• Can use one of the photos mentioned in the direct mail campaign.
February• Generational imagery - parent and child, or even older + younger person, to convey the longevity of giving and speak to the "partnership for the future" theme of the campaign.

• A quote about "Through my partnership, I’m trying to set up success and build the strength of the organization for my children who are vulnerable to the genetic ties of my disease."

• Updated researcher photo. In lab setting. Wearing white coat with organization logo visible.
• Need a new research breakthrough. Check with communications for latest press release.

Written by:

Picture of Melanie Lynch

Melanie Lynch