What’s the best way to organize your campaigns, funds, and appeals?

Posted February 17, 2017 by Hunter Williams

Organizing campaigns, funds and appeals

What’s the best way to organize your Campaigns, Funds, Appeals and Events in Little Green Light?  This is a common question, and we frequently see data stored in a way that makes is more confusing than helpful. This graphic and article should help you think clearly about how to approach this.

Handy graphic illustrating how to organize Campaigns Appeals and Funds

Organize campaigns and funds in LGL

Campaigns should be broad, overarching fundraising efforts. If you have, or even if you just imagine having, a large fundraising team with several Directors, how would you organize the staff? This is a good way to think about Campaigns as well – each campaign represents a coordinated set of activities with a specific objective.

As you name your campaigns, you should also consider separating activities related to a single operating year from those that are about longer term fundraising. That way you can quickly see how much money you’ve raised for your immediate needs (a very useful data point!)

Appeals and Events both answer the question, ‘How did we raise this money?’ Surely you did something (or, if not, you could assign it to an Appeal called ‘Unsolicited’). Each gift should be assigned to either an Appeal or an Event, not both.

Funds answer the question, ‘Where is this money headed?’ Your Funds should map to your Classes in your accounting software.

Gift Categories are a good way to classify the type of contribution you’re receiving, such as a Donation vs an Event Fee. Your Gift Categories should map to your Chart of Accounts in your accounting software.

Together, these fundraising attributes will give you greater ability to measure your progress against your goals and to measure your year-over-year improvements.

Note: You do not need to create a new Campaign for every fiscal year. Each gift you receive will already be tied to a specific Gift Date and Deposit Date, so whenever you want to run date-specific queries, use those date fields. That way you won’t end up with dozens of Campaigns.

On the other hand, you will likely create new Appeals for every year, because you’ll have a new solicitation list each time.

If you wish to learn more about how to implement these practices in LGL please review our help documentation on Campaigns and Funds and on Appeals and Events.

You’re also welcome to download a PDF of this article.

10 thoughts on “What’s the best way to organize your campaigns, funds, and appeals?

  1. If I am soliciting donations using multiple types of fundraising (say for emergency COVID funds), like a direct mailer, and a email, would i create two separate appeals? Or would I just create one appeal and segment it. Also lets say I have a GoFundMe connected. Can I enter those gifts under the appeal?

    1. Hi Adam,

      You can absolutely track all of those different solicitations under one Appeal using Segments. And, yes you can upload your GoFundMe donations to that Appeal as well. Feel free to reach out to our support team if you have further questions at support@littlegreenlight.com.


  2. Within my organization, we often have donors supporting multiple programs (funds, by LGL terminology) but writing singular sum checks with designations that $5K of a $25K gift support one initiative while the remaining $20K support another. How would you advise I record the receipts of these funds in LGL? If I record each sum check as one payment received, it appears I can only assign one fund to the money. If I were to break down the $25K, for example, into two smaller portions, however, the donor’s profile then indicates a different number of gifts received than checks/gifts I have in the organization’s bank account to match. All recommendations and ideas are welcome—and I’d love to see LGL add a multiple-fund feature to the platform!

  3. If you have a recurring monthly gift, the initial money came in from an old direct mail appeal (2017DMS), would you still use the same appeal going forward for the monthly gift or should the 2017DMS appeal be closed off once in 2018?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Margaret,

      Great question! I’d suggest sending this question to our support team or connect with fellow users in our Facebook community for their insights on best practices.


  4. I am still a teeny bit confused. If I wanted to have multiple people running individual campaigns for the umbrella campaign, I would create individual appeals for each person to use?

    1. Hi Eileen,

      Sorry about that broken link. I’ve corrected it and you should be able to download the pdf now.

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