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3 Things To Do When Your Campaign Stalls


It’s never easy, or fun, when a campaign stalls. Running out of momentum halfway through a five-year campaign, for example, may leave you with what seems like an insurmountable mountain to climb to get going again. And there’s the impact to your organization, especially if you’re fundraising for a major project.

There are usually four reasons why campaigns stall. The first is a lack of prospects. Not having very many major donors, or a lack of donor cultivation (Did you know it can take 18 to 24 months to fully cultivate a major donor?) may leave your organization with a small amount of people from which to initially draw. The second main reason is a lack of infrastructure, such as a donor database, volunteer training, and methods of cultivating your donors. Good news! If you’re reading this blog, there’s a good chance you’re using FundRaiser Software, which puts you one step ahead and can help you with the first two reasons. The third reason is a lack of planning, including a campaign feasibility study. And finally, the last reason may be timing, which often is outside of our control such as an economic downturn happening in the middle of a long-term campaign.

Generally campaigns stall due to a combination of factors. So what can you do when that happens?

  1. Recognize that you’re not alone.

Stalled campaigns happen to every organization from time to time. They’re nothing to feel ashamed or badly about. It’s important to realize this face and remember it. I think it’s very human for us to feel as if we’ve done something wrong or somehow failed our organizations when campaigns stall. And yet, sometimes it’s as simple as a time and a season for everything. Now that you’re aware of the stalled campaign, let’s take some steps to turn it around.

  1. Objectively assess what happened and what you need.

If you haven’t done a campaign feasibility study, this is the perfect place to get that information. Sit down with your board and with other principal members of your organization. Don’t forget to reach out to volunteers or others, as well to get a fuller picture of the situation. Can you determine which one of the four reasons mentioned earlier was the cause of your campaign’s loss of momentum? If so, then you know exactly how to fix and where to go from here.

  1. Make a Plan

Once you realize that your campaign has stalled, it can seem overwhelming to get things started again. This becomes especially true when you begin to assess and perhaps realize that many factors led to the campaign’s slowing and that you’ll need a concerted, sustained effort to get it going again.

Start your plan by making a list of the things you’ll need to do. Then, break that down into manageable chunks. From there, you can start, which is a bonus fourth thing to do when your campaign stalls. Start it up again! Look at the plan you’ve made, pick the best thing to do, and start again. You can always revive a stalled campaign.

It can be disappointing when a campaign stalls. However these three steps will help you get it started again.

To learn more about how FundRaiser reports can help you track your campaign, register for a tour or if you are already a FundRaiser user, contact FundRaiser Technical Support at or 800-543-4131.

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