AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

FundraisingPublic Relations in Fundraising Campaigns

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Public Relations in Fundraising Campaigns

Recorded InterviewPublic Relations can play a large role in fundraising and should be considered in each step of your campaign planning process. Combining PR counsel with your fundraising consulting is a terrific way to add value.

As part of a full-service marketing and fundraising firm, AMPERAGE has an experienced public relations and crisis communication team that assists fundraising counsel in campaigns. This includes support for campaign kick-offs, groundbreakings and celebration events, as well as crisis communication and campaign messaging that is consistent across all campaign collateral and marketing material.

In one, seven-day period last month, the AMPERAGE PR team helped generate at least 10 stories or news shows featuring three different client campaigns at various stages.

During a campaign, public relations can reinforce your organization’s messaging and fundraising needs. The more people who know you, the more people who will give and volunteer. A public relations plan can determine how to communicate to targeted audiences on the correct media platforms at different stages of the campaign. Is it a multi-media release announcing your campaign kick-off? A client testimonial in a social media post or as a guest column in the local newspaper? A public affairs TV and radio program to showcase your organization’s mission and needs?

PR CollageAt the end of the campaign, public relations efforts should continue to keep your organization top-of-mind in the community. Include public relations strategies in your annual fund calendar. This may include a timeline of when to update client success stories on your website, provide special edition features to e-newsletters or pitching milestone successes.

No one expects a crisis to occur, but emergencies happen. The previous year has proven a crisis can occur beyond an organizations’ control, whether it’s a pandemic, natural disasters, economic despair or a leadership change. Having a crisis communication plan will help you be more prepared to communicate the right messages quickly to the correct audiences using the most effective channels — all while keeping your fundraising efforts at the forefront of the message.

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When Justin and AMPERAGE first met, Justin was one of the agency’s clients. Now, as a fundraising consultant on the other side of the table, Justin helps AMPERAGE’s nonprofit clients get results.

Renowned for not being too pushy because he’s worked in the fundraising trenches himself, Justin relates to, listens to and understands clients’ unique needs. A Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), Justin has long-established relationships with foundations and corporate funders and knows the ins and outs of running a successful fundraising campaign.

A journalism graduate of the University of Iowa, Justin began his career in Germany as an intern with Stars and Stripes newspaper for the armed forces. Upon his return stateside, he worked as sports editor for the Ottumwa Courier.

He charted a new career course with a communications position at Lutheran Mutual/Century Life of America (now CUNA Mutual) insurance company and then a public relations and fundraising position with Lutheran Services in Iowa/Bremwood — before ultimately joining AMPERAGE.

Justin has been a writer throughout his career and is a contributing author to two books: “Successful Capital Campaigns: From Start to Finish” and “Nonprofit Consulting Playbook: Winning Strategies from 25 Leaders in the Field.”

He is a member and past president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals-Eastern Iowa Chapter, which honored Justin as 2015 Outstanding Fundraising Professional. He is also a member of the Eastern Iowa Planned Giving Council.

Justin is also active in the community through organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Junior Achievement and Waverly-Shell Rock United Way.

As an avid Chicago Cubs fan, Justin’s favorite holiday is opening day of the Major League Baseball season. That may explain his collection of old baseball cards and why he can name the entire 1965 team roster of the Minnesota Twins.

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