The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

Campaigns to emulate: Tips from Ploughshares

Katya’s note: Blog reader Michael Stein wrote me recently to ask me my thoughts on his online fundraising campaign for Ploughshares Fund: I liked it, and so I asked him to tell us what he learned in running the campaign that would help us. Happily, he obliged. Here is a very helpful guest post from Michael.

By Michael Stein

Ploughshares Fund in San Francisco is conducting an innovative online fundraising campaign in conjunction with its 25th anniversary with a project called Twelve nonprofit organizations working on peace and human security issues were selected by Ploughshares to be in the running to win a $100,000 grant to amplify their message during the 2008 elections. Each selected organization has to campaign online and offline for votes, one dollar equals one vote and the organization with the most votes by Oct 31 wins the grant. Each organization also gets to keep the money they’ve raised throughout the two month campaign.

A few things we’ve learned so far running this campaign:

1) The biggest factor in driving donations and votes for has been the email campaigns conducted by the twelve selected organizations. On average, the organizations are emailing their constituents every two weeks during the two month campaign. Email fundraising is alive and well.

2) “Matching gift” fundraising campaigns are excellent for motivating donors to make online gifts in a short period of time.

3) Collaborative fundraising campaigns (where several nonprofits band together to raise money) offer a fresh approach to reaching out to an online and offline constituency, which could apply to any type of advocacy coalition.

4) Facebook has helped us reach out to colleagues and friends online, and our Google Analytics show a strong ability for this to drive traffic to The personal nature of Facebook communications is useful to draw attention to a cause.

The twelve nominees are: American Friends Service Committee, The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, Citizens for Global Solutions, Faithful Security, Genocide Intervention Network, Global Green USA, National Religious Campaign Against Torture, Peace Demands Action, Refugees International, True Majority, Union of Concerned Scientists, Women’s Action for New Directions.

Please vote.

Michael Stein is an Internet strategist based in Berkeley, California. Read his blog here.

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Carrie Saracini
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