Don't know where you are? It's time to find out.
I've met too many small organisations who create campaigns and budgets but don't spend the time figuring out how they're going to reach them. Sometimes it seems a little backwards in charities and small businesses that when they set a goal of where they need to be financially or in terms of acquisition, often they can fail to set the tactics for reaching that ultimate goal.
This is a really important aspect of planning a campaign or program because if you don't know where you are today, how do you know if you're going to get where you need to be in the future?
Setting tracking targets ensures that you are in control throughout the whole program to support you reaching your targets. And when the situation occurs that you are not tracking towards your targets you'll be able to do something about it while you have still got time.
So how do we go about setting targets? I'll go through a campaign with historical data first and a campaign without historical data second.
What to do if you're running your program or campaign before you've got some historical data
If this is the first time you are running your campaign it does feel like a bit of guesswork but there are some lessons you can apply from other campaigns to help you take control of your overall targets and act sooner rather than later if you think you're not going to reach them. Of course, building a contingency plan into your campaign means you need to understand the tactics you can use to stimulate fundraising or stimulate acquisition. So an important part of the campaign first of all is laying out how you are going to reach your final campaign goals. Which ultimately is what we are here to do. I don't shy away from talking about money because the more money we make for our cause, the more impact we have for the people that we serve.
So first of all, understand how many people you need to fundraise at what level to reach the target that you or your leadership team or your board have set.
Once you have a goal for acquisition and fundraising, create a table that tracks the weeks and month of your campaign, with $0 at the start and your target at the end.
Then plot along the table in even amounts your milestones.
Now, fundraising tracking is never linear. There are peaks and troughs so you can now move your targets up or down a bit based on your marketing campaign.
Once complete, you can set your table into a graph if you're a visual person, then go back to it regularly throughout your campaign and track in the actual figures to target.
Over time, you will start to get a feel for your campaign so you know what has worked and what has not.
Setting tracking targets with historical data.
If you've run your campaign previously, find your previous data plot into a table in regular time increments.
Include each year you've run the campaign on a separate line in the table. Then on the bottom line, put in your current year targets. This time, you'll fill in the numbers between 0 and your target based on the trends of your previous campaign. An easy was to do this is to work out the percentage of the target each week and use this percentage to plot your current year.
Don't forget to factor in your various key dates in your campaign. For example are you doing a major recruitment drive at a different time then last year? Have you got a new campaign or are you advertising earlier or later. These activation will definitely iinfluence your regular targets so adjust how you see fit.
After you've done these steps, you've got a weekly or monthly guide on where you need to be in the lead up to the end of your campaign. This will give you confidence to go back to your plan and create some contingency activities to help bolster that result if your target is falling further behind.
Sound way too confusing? Let's chat and I'll get your campaign reporting setup quickly for you so you can ride those peaks and troughs with confidence.