Your Digital Nonprofit: The Social Profit Stack

Idea Validation Can Make or Break Your Next Fundraising Campaign ⏰

Published 4 months ago • 3 min read

Hi Reader,

Imagine this...

Your former work colleague, Jenna, now a senior fundraising professional at a well-known charity, is calling you in a panic.

She immediately starts, “Remember how we pulled through that campaign we did ten years ago?" hinting at your old shared struggles and victories.

"The board wants us to run a capital campaign right away," she reveals, her voice tinged with worry.

Recently, they let go of two fundraisers, leaving her overwhelmed.

"What's the goal? And do we even have the resources?" she questions, her confidence wavering.

You could sense her dilemma, potential failure looming.

She feared the campaign's demands and the readiness of their donors.

"How can I quickly test their readiness?" she asked. I need your advice!

In today’s edition of the Social Profit Stack, we’ll take a few pointers from the lean start-up world and explore how you can validate your fundraising ideas.

I’ll share five simple ways to validate your fundraising idea, save time, and increase productivity.

What is Idea Validation?

Idea validation is the process of testing and proving that your concept or hypothesis has value and potential. It often involves gathering feedback, data, and insights from your audience or market to confirm demand or interest for your idea, product, or service.

The purpose of idea validation is to ensure that the idea is feasible, viable, and desired by potential donors or users before investing significant time, resources, and effort into full-scale development or launch.

It is possible to validate your ideas without launching a full-scale feasibility study. You can even test the amount you want to raise.

Use these five ways to test your campaign idea and gauge your community's readiness to support it.

Market research involves understanding the landscape in which your nonprofit operates, including the needs of your community, similar organizations and services, and the latest trends in philanthropy and social issues.

It also includes analyzing demographic/psychographic data, reviewing case studies of similar organizations, and staying informed about global and local issues that affect your prospective donors. Research ensures your ideas are relevant and needed in the community.

Listen & Ask Your Online Community: Leverage your social media platforms, email lists, and online forums to directly engage with their followers and supporters. By asking for feedback on new initiatives, programs, or services, you’ll gauge the interest and enthusiasm of your online community.

Engaging provides immediate, often candid feedback and can help shape your idea to meet the expectations and needs of those you aim to serve.

Survey Your Audience: Surveys provide a more structured way to gather feedback from your audience. For your nonprofit, send a survey link to your mailing list, post it on your website, or share it on social media. Record the data.

Surveys include questions about specific ideas, general areas of interest, potential improvements, or the types of programs and services they find most valuable. Be specific and ask whether your donors will help you fund the project. Surveys provide quantitative and qualitative data for validating and refining your ideas.

Tools to consider when surveying your audience include Typeform, Google Forms, Tally, and Survey Monkey.

Meet with Top Donors: Personal meetings with your major donors can offer in-depth insights into your donors' thoughts about your new ideas. Your donors are often deeply committed to your organization's success and can provide feedback, advice, potential pitfalls, and new opportunities.

Their perspective can be invaluable in ensuring your idea aligns with the expectations and goals of those who financially support your organization.

Set Up Google Alerts: Online listening tools allow you to monitor mentions of your nonprofit, relevant topics, competitors, or industry trends across the web. You can track public sentiment, emerging issues, and conversations in real-time by setting up alerts for specific keywords related to your new idea or your organization’s focus areas.

This ongoing stream of information can help validate your ideas by confirming they are timely, relevant, and addressing a genuine need or gap in the community.


There are many ways to validate your fundraising ideas, but gathering feedback from potential donors is the best part. Once you have gathered feedback, you can decide whether your idea is worth pursuing.

If you find people interested in your idea, you can start working on making it a reality. Your productivity improves when you quickly determine whether it’s a great idea or one to abandon.

I have some new ideas to share very soon! I'll take my advice and validate my idea with you first!

Do you want to brainstorm your fundraising ideas with me? Let's hang out and chat. Book right here.

Link 💜

Take a look at this new form builder! Tally might be the simplest way to create forms—no need to code. Just add the questions you want to send to your audience.

I bet you love creating lists. Superlist gives you a list-building machine that is intuitive, private, and integrated with everything you already use; it’s built to work the way you do. Create to-do lists, capture thoughts or detailed notes, assign tasks to teammates, and everything in between.

Ready for more reach, engagement, and followers in 10 minutes daily? Taplio offers many features that help you grow, nurture and convert your LinkedIn network. ‍ From turning likes and comments into actual ...LinkedIn is one of the best tools for meeting your next donor.

You're the best for reading this far ✌🏼

Your Digital Nonprofit: The Social Profit Stack

by Kelly Morris

Every other Sunday, I'll spark ⚡️your nonprofit's online fundraising strategy and deliver the tools you need to succeed. You'll receive an actionable tip and three links to drive donor engagement, deliver the best online experience for your donors, and raise more revenue. Join us!

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