5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting a Campaign
Making a difference in the world is no small feat. It takes time, dedication, and a well thought out strategy. At Causes, our core mission is to empower anyone, anywhere to change the world. These people can be split into two groups: 1) leaders and 2) supporters. Leaders create campaigns and rely on supporters to help them achieve their goal. You most likely fall into one of these two groups (although you can definitely be a part of both). To figure out which group that is, you can ask yourself the following questions.
1. “Are there any existing campaigns on Causes that I could support instead?”
Historically, change happens when a group of like-minded people work together to solve a problem. It’s incredibly inspiring to see this belief constantly being validated on our platform. On the other hand, we also see several new campaigns launch and never pick up any momentum. These campaigns quickly fall stagnant and are abandoned by their leaders. However, a campaign’s demise isn’t the result of a leader’s cause being unjust. Rather, it’s because the leader was acting alone. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of active campaigns running on Causes at any given time, some of which probably align with your mission. The people and organizations behind these campaigns are usually well-versed in the nonprofit and activism sector. Therefore, it might make more sense for you to join an existing campaign instead of starting a new one. To find an existing campaign, type a few keywords into the search bar that describe your cause or browse popular issues by clicking the “Issues” link in your navigation menu. Once you find a campaign that aligns with your goal, you can take action (sign a petition, take a pledge, or make a donation), and invite others to join. We also encourage passionate people, like yourself, to start a personal campaign — a way to own a piece of the larger campaign and make a personal commitment to help achieve its goal. If you can’t find any campaigns that are working towards the same end goal, you’ll probably want to start a new campaign. But before doing so, ask yourself the next question.
2. “Is my goal realistic?”
This might be a hard pill to swallow, but some goals — such as inhabiting Mars by 2015 — are impossible, even with the best campaigning tools an organizer can ask for. That being said, if your goal is outside the realm of possibility, don’t be discouraged (we want to live on Mars too). There are probably ways to reframe it in a more realistic way, such as inhabiting Mars by 2050. If you’ve decided that your goal is realistic, you should also know what success looks like. Which brings us to the next question…
3. “When will my campaign achieve victory?”
With a realistic goal in mind, you should have a clear picture of what you’re trying to accomplish. However, you also need to know what the tipping point looks like. When does your campaign actually achieve success? Is victory defined by 50,000 people signing a petition or getting a new law enacted? If you can come up with a definitive answer, the next step is to assess whether or not anyone is willing to support your campaign.
4. “Are others ready, willing, and able to support my campaign?”
In order for your campaign to make an impact, there must be others who are willing to support it. If the issue you’re addressing is actively discussed on the news, online, or in person, you’re off to a good start. If the issue isn’t a hot topic, try asking your friends if they’d support your campaign. It’s possible that you could be the first person to shine a light on an unknown issue. If there is a group of people who are willing to help, there’s just one more question you need to ask yourself.
5. “Do I have the time and resources required to drive my campaign to victory?”
Resources for a campaign can take on many forms, such as people, materials, services, or meeting spaces. For example, news articles could be used to educate others about a related subject. Your campaign will also require what you may consider to be your most valuable resource — time. If you’re serious about starting a campaign on Causes, you’ll most likely need to spend a decent amount of time strategizing and coordinating your campaign’s tactics. A campaign doesn’t usually achieve success overnight. It takes time and energy (blood, sweat, and tears are optional). Before starting a campaign, decide how much time you are willing to contribute.
Pro TipWhen gathering your resources, try to focus on the ones that are easily obtainable. Don’t waste time wishing for more money or volunteers. A campaign strategy will help you achieve those goals. For now, focus on what you already have and utilize those resources to help launch your campaign.