After doing all the pre-campaign homework from setting a target date and amount to designing marketing material, devising a storytelling plan, preparing your online and offline premises, forming an ambassador team, and coordinating collections from large gatherings, what’s left is planning exactly you’ll be doing during the campaign.
A good duration for a fundraising campaign is about a month, which gives you enough time to generate interest and build momentum before making the final push
It is typical to find many Muslim organizations dedicate the whole month of Ramadan for fundraising, but nothing says you can’t choose another month during the year (as well). For example, December usually sees a spike in donations, given that many people tend to delay their annual giving till the end of the year.
There are many fundraising initiatives that you can do to fill your month-long campaign. People keep coming up with creative ways every day. But there are fundamentals you must cover in your marketing plan, particularly as a Masjid organization raising funds for a Masjid project.
- Fundraising dinner – As described in detail previously, having a large crowd under one roof and softening their hearts before asking for donations is one of the best fundraising techniques. When planning a fundraising dinner (or Iftar in Ramadan), we recommend having it at the beginning of a campaign. This is because ahead of the dinner, you’d want to focus all your marketing efforts on convincing people to attend the dinner. You can expect people to be more generous in person than remotely.
- Jumuah mini-fundraiser – In a month-long campaign, you’ll have four or five Jumuah prayers. Plan to have a mini-fundraiser (i.e. a quick 5-minute fundraiser) at one or two of them, perhaps at the first Jumuah close to when the campaign starts and again in the final week.
- Past donors – Whether in person or by email, connect with people who have donated before to your organization. Inform them of your campaign. Share some of the stories that you developed ahead of the campaign to show the great work your organization has been doing. It is far easier to convince a past donor to donate again than a potential donor to donate for the first time.
- Newsletter – Ahead of a campaign, you can start preparing recipients in your organization’s newsletter (email list) of your upcoming campaign. Make sure to clearly describe its purpose and target. On the first day of the campaign, send a special email ‘launching’ the campaign and inviting people to be one of the first to donate to reap the reward of all who follow. Then keep your email list engaged throughout the campaign with the marketing content you had developed ahead of time. Also, keep them updated with the progress of the campaign. It is okay to increase the frequency of emails sent to your organization’s mailing list during the campaign. It is only for a temporary period of time and people will understand.
- After-prayer announcements – Just like with the newsletter, you can utilize the daily prayers and Jumuah to make announcements about your campaign. Always keep people engaged and updated on the progress of the campaign, informing them of the options to donate in person through the designated donation stations inside the Masjid (or musallah) and online on your organization’s website.
- Social Media – Your organization’s social media pages are just as important as its website. If people use the website to learn more about your services, they use social media to check how active you are. Make sure that shows during a fundraising campaign. Have multiple volunteers from your organizations responsible for posting messages on your social media pages and responding to peoples’ comments. Posts can contain the marketing material you developed ahead of the campaign, updates on the campaign progress, and gentle reminders to donate.
- Peer-to-peer fundraising – This is where the ambassador team comes in. Divide the month-long campaign into two or three periods during which volunteers in your Masjid’s ambassador team reach out to their contacts in a coordinated fashion. At a basic minimum, coordinate their efforts in the first week of the campaign and again in its final week.