Use Campaign Principles to Raise Money Today

Right now with all that’s going on in the world, it’s not the time to launch a big capital campaign. 

But it’s also not the time to stop fundraising. 

1. Outline a very specific need

Create a “mini” case for support that outlines your very specific need. And get this, it’s probably something already in your budget – don’t create something you need money for. Outline something you already have budgeted for. Be sure to pick something you can easily and simply describe to donors — art supplies for 33 kids, medical kits for 85 folks on the street, a new van to deliver your 1,657 meals each week.

2. Put a price tag on it

Figure out how much you need for your very specific need project. Be sure to include all direct and indirect costs, and make it a simple, round number. It doesn’t have to be to the cent.

3. Create a sense of urgency

In addition to being very clear about what you need the money for and how much you need, it’s also important to create a sense of urgency by naming a date by which you need to raise the money. Give people a reason to act now.

4. Describe why it matters

In simple terms be able to state why your mini-project matters. And here’s where understanding motivation psychology matters — people respond more to what might be lost than by what may be gained. It’s a phenomenon called loss aversion and knowing this, you can craft your message about what will happen if you don’t raise the money by the date you mentioned and tell a compelling story about the impact of it not happening.

5. Double the Impact

You’ll sweeten the pot and get more people to donate if you can work with a donor or two before you launch your special mini campaign to match all gifts, or some portion of them. Everyone responds to a good deal, and turning your $25 donation into a $50 one feels like a very good deal.

6. Make a plan to get the word out

There’s an old saying I learned when I first started fundraising: Plan, plan and work the plan. You’ll want to make a plan for how you will roll out your special mini campaign across all of your communications channels. And how you can leverage some of your most passionate donors and supporters to extend the campaign into their networks and how they can easily spread the word.

These six fundraising principles are the fundamentals for great fundraising in any context, to raise any amount of money, for any cause.

Amy Varga

Amy Varga


Amy Varga and her team at The Varga Group have guided over a hundred nonprofit clients in raising more than $90 Million dollars through their comprehensive consulting services in capital campaign counsel, fundraising training, retreat facilitation, board development and leadership coaching. The Varga Group is located in the Pacific Northwest with clients nationwide.

Amy Varga

Amy Varga


Amy Varga is a beloved fundraising trainer, coach and consultant. She and her team at The Varga Group have guided over a hundred nonprofit clients to raise millions of dollars through their services in capital campaign counsel, major gifts training, leadership coaching, and board development projects.