The phrase “Annual Campaign” can feel empty and uninspiring. If you want to encourage giving, you should instead talk about how donations given now will go to work right away to make this summer awesome.
Here’s some examples of how to frame a conversation: “Your donation this year will help with scholarships, allowing a child to attend camp whose family is struggling to make ends meet. Your gift given now will allow construction to start on a humongous climbing wall with a zip line. With your help we can invite six young Jewish campers from Israel, France, and even China to join your child for the best summer ever.”
Annual fundraising follows a cycle that you can plan for each year. The goal is to raise more each year from a growing number of people and to retain your donors from year to year.
The process for doing so follows the same path every time: Ask, thank, report, and then repeat.
Each year you should plan out your asks in the following categories:
Notice what’s missing?
- Personal Major Donor Asks: A small set of personal asks, face-to-face for major gifts identified in advance
- Appeal Letters: Spring, fall and end-of-year annual appeal letter with return envelope
- Quick Thank-Yous: Quick and correct personalized thank you letters from the camp within a week of donating
- Personal Thank-Yous: A personal handwritten card from a board member or senior staff member for donations over $400
- Impact Report: An end of summer impact report (Note that it’s not an “Annual Report”.)that defines how the donations where used and the impact they had
- Visits to Camp: Invitations to current and possible future donors to come visit camp during the summer while camp is in session
- On-Line Giving: Improve your on-line giving processes
There are no events, galas, dinner/dances, raffles, golf outings, or silent auctions on the list. ARRGG! Event fundraising is costly, sucks up staff and volunteer time, and doesn’t lead to repeat donations or loyal donors. Your time is best focused on building relationships with major donors and asking, thanking, and reporting.
JCamp 180 is committed to helping your organization apply best practices to your camp’s governance. We’ve hand-picked the resources below to get you started. For our full set of resources on this topic, click the “More Fundraising Resources” button at the bottom of the page to go to the main Knowledge Center page
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