Best practices for successful Guided Fundraising campaigns


  1. The person-to-person messaging for each of your Guided Fundraising channels should sound different than your other direct marketing appeals. It is meant to run in parallel with those other efforts, not compete with them. This is a way to connect with your constituents on a more meaningful level to deepen their engagement with your institution.

  2. Creating a game plan at the beginning of a campaign to determine logistics for executing each play. When will agents be calling and texting? Who will be writing your messages for email and direct mail? Determining when and how direct mail gets sent out on a regular basis.

  3. The Guided Fundraising algorithm takes the time and effort off your plate of having to determine who should be solicited and when. Using factors like past behavior and giving anniversaries, prospects are prioritized based on their value to your program, considering when it works best for their schedule. The tool works best when prospect pools are as broad as possible so the algorithm can do your segmentation for you. The following campaigns are recommended:

    1. One Main Campaign

      1. Year Long

      2. All Solicitable Prospects with Phone Numbers

    2. Other Concurrent Campaigns

      1. Current Parents

      2. Young Alums

        1. Acquisition Target (Optional)

    3. Additional short campaigns

      1. 2nd ask

      2. Thank you/Stewardship

  4. A valid phone number is required for prospects to be solicited through Guided Fundraising. Prospects who are not solicitable via phone due to contact restrictions or lack of contact information should be solicited separately.

  5. While Guided Fundraising generally replaces phone room software, it is much more than just a phonathon tool. Our research has shown that a coordinated multi-channel strategy has a much higher ROI than any single channel effort. Guided Fundraising has the best results when phone, text, email and mail are able to synergize in coordination with each other. That said, it is often valuable to continue additional mail and email solicitations outside of Guided Fundraising, especially for messaging that depends on specific timing.

  6. It's important to be thoughtful about creating the right play sequence before launching the campaign, as it is not editable after the campaign has started. The default sequence is our recommended best practice, and we encourage you to tweak and test the sequence in test campaigns.

  7. Before launching your campaigns, explore the features of the tool by creating test campaigns using a test phone number in place of real prospect numbers.

  8. When setting up your campaign, you will be prompted to decide how long to wait before handing off a prospect. Consider your agent pool and their shift schedules. If agents typically having two calling shifts each week, it might make sense to set this rule to 7 days, to keep prospects in play. On the other hand, if agents only have one shift a week, setting the rule to 14 days might make more sense for your program. For holiday breaks when everyone is out, you can pause a campaign.

  9. Use the Annual Giving Ask Amount field to populate the first ask an agent should make. Train agents to go down a specific amount for each rebuttal ask ($50, $100, etc) from that starting amount. Include a reminder in each talking point to make an ask.