In today’s economy, does a major comprehensive campaign make the most sense or is a series of smaller project based campaigns a better approach?
Two commonly used campaign strategies are the comprehensive campaign strategy and the individual project based strategy. Each offers their own advantages and disadvantages.
Comprehensive campaigns offer several advantages:
While successfully run comprehensive campaigns can be truly transformational for an organization, they also have drawbacks to consider:
Individual project campaigns, on the other hand, are effective in:
But consider where the individual project campaign falls short:
So which is the “better” of the two options?
In times of transition or uncertainty, a project campaign may represent a good short-term way of staying engaged with your donor population. Project campaigns can be a good warm up to a larger comprehensive campaign, testing staff and volunteer leadership and building capacity.
If a compelling strategic plan, proven capacity and strong staff and volunteer initiative is in place, a comprehensive campaign is likely the best use of institutional resources and a successful campaign can truly be transformational for the organization.
The best answer for you may not be one or the other, but rather a grouping of components that provide donor choice but at a smaller total goal that better aligns with capacity.
This approach may offer most of the advantages of a comprehensive campaign while offering the shorter time frame and more focused approach of the project campaign.