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Event Planning – 5 C’s for a Successful Giving Campaign

You’ve just volunteered as champion for your agency’s annual giving campaign. Coordinating such an event and galvanizing support can be a challenge. As champion, you need all the support you can get! Here are the five C’s to help engage your colleagues in a successful giving campaign. 


As campaign champion, you needn’t go it alone. If this is a reoccurring campaign, reach out again to volunteers from the previous year. Consider recruiting volunteers by division. This way, in addition to agencywide promotion, there will be inter-divisional engagement as well. Plan to meet with volunteers (in person or virtually) regularly; at least twice a month to sustain momentum, provide updates and keep everyone engaged. Get the word out early, and make sure that each volunteer has an assigned role, and that you specify an end date. People are more inclined to agree to a short-term commitment with clearly defined roles, and an end-date.


Use statistics to demonstrate impact. For instance, did you know that during FY15, the Capital Area Food Bank distributed 44 million pounds of food across the DMV region? Good info to consider for your next Feds Feed Families campaign! If your agency participated in a campaign in previous years, revisit the statistics for comparison. You could even set a goal to exceed previous donation years. In addition to statistics, stories matter. They add meaning to your cause. In the case of the food bank, you could ask for testimonials from those who were direct beneficiaries (you wouldn’t use names or pictures, of course.) Not only do stories give a “face” to the campaign, they also stress the importance of collective efforts, and can lead to more participation.


Make the donation process as simple as possible. Perhaps the majority of your colleagues use public transportation. If soliciting for in-kind donations, transporting items between work and drop off points may be a bit cumbersome. By narrowing down the options (i.e. depending upon the time of year, food banks may only want certain donations) people can choose what is manageable for them to transport. If soliciting monetary donations, use an online payment method to make it easy and trackable for donors. Offer quick instructions on this process as well.


Everyone loves contests. Consider having a divisional contest (be sure to coordinate with leadership). Perhaps you could encourage leadership to offer a small appreciation breakfast for the winning division.

Provide weekly updates to show progress. As mentioned in the first “C” (Call on Statistics) revisit the statistics from the previous year’s campaign, and set a goal to exceed that. Have stickers, banners, or other identifiers for those who have donated, so that their colleagues can see; perhaps they’ll feel compelled to do so as well.


Congratulations! You’ve successfully championed your campaign! Photos can be a great way to tell the story; consider coordinating with your agency’s communication division to capture volunteers, those who’ve donated, and (if applicable) some of the items donated. Offer those involved a token of appreciation – perhaps a small gift card to a local coffee shop, or an appreciation luncheon.

For additional information on running a giving campaign visit:

8 Best Practices for Running a Successful Annual Giving Campaign

Campaign Planning

Hope Marshall is part of the GovLoop Featured Contributor program, where we feature articles by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Contributor posts, click here.

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Catherine Andrews

The comment about simplicity is so important and yet so overlooked in many campaigns of all sorts. Thanks for the reminder!