Follow-up thought on using the term “campaign”

Here’s another reason why we need to be cautious when using the term “campaign.”  (See the blog post from September 24th.)

I was having lunch with a colleague last week.  She works for a large, national organization that structures most of its fundraising around “campaigns.”  She said that over the years, donors have actually begun to identify more with those campaigns than with the organization itself.  Their association with the cause has become so linked with the “Campaign for This” or the “Campaign for That” that it’s now challenging to raise these donors’ sights, broaden their perspective or enhance their relationships with regard to the institution at large.

The more I thought about it, I was reminded of organizations that have a program that’s better known or more broadly branded than its parent organization.  Donors, sponsors, patrons, etc. start building relationships and connections with these programs and not with the organization as a whole.

So again, be careful.  Campaigns can take on a life of their own.  Don’t accidently lose your organization in the process.  Remind your donors, partners, sponsors, clients, patrons and others what they are part of; keep them connected to your organization and its mission.

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Filed under From the Field & In the Trenches, Philanthropy and Fundraising

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