Apply the SMART method to define your digital fundraising goals

Defining objectives is one of the most important aspects when designing a digital marketing strategy. The dedication of resources, budget, channels, and many other aspects of our digital fundraising plan are subject to the objectives that we have set. But, beyond the commitment that they represent as a bet for the future, the objectives can also be a tool that helps us understand how our digital fundraising project is evolving and whether or not we are on the right track. Being rigorous in the establishment of objectives and subsequent monitoring will allow us to have a history of results that we can analyze and contrast to try to anticipate future trends.

The SMART technique has been designed precisely to solve this question: to help us define objectives that are useful to increase our knowledge and accurately assess the health of our digital fundraising. According to this methodology, any objective that is established in an organization must be specific (S), measurable (M), achievable (A), relevant (R) and temporary (T). Let’s see what each of these points means.



The objectives must be precise and clearly describe a specific aspect, task or action of our organization’s digital fundraising. For example, it is not enough to state the objective: “Increase the number of partners in the organization”. The expression of the objective should be of the type: “Quarterly increase the number of partners in our organization by 10%.” With this more precise expression of the objective we will know exactly what we hope to achieve.



It is essential to define in advance how the success or failure of each aspect of the project will be measured. In order to do this we can use both quantitative techniques and qualitative techniques that allow us to evaluate the result of our performance and act to improve what does not work. For example, if we do not reach the number of visits to our website that we have set as a goal, we can make decisions about it and correct the strategy.

In our digital marketing strategy, it is worth highlighting the importance of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) when analyzing the result of our actions and comparing them, or putting them in perspective, over time.

The number of visits to the web, its duration, the number of followers of our social networks are just some of the many indicators that we can use to begin to understand which communication and fundraising actions offer us a better return on the digital channel, and how to reproduce trends that lead us to sustained growth.



The objectives we set must be realistic and consistent with the dynamics and situation of our organization. In addition, we must take into account contingencies that may condition the final result. The most reliable source we have is our historical results. On this basis and, taking into account variables such as the volume of investment, resources, campaigns … we must set reasonable and achievable objectives.



There is the possibility that we achieve some of the established objectives, but that this is not usable or useful for the entity.

Therefore, before setting each of our objectives we should not ask whether it contributes to the central strategy of our organization. And do not allocate efforts to goals that are marginal and will not help us improve our ability to raise funds.



The objectives must be accompanied by a calendar that defines when we will execute each of the actions related to them. In the same way, we have to set a deadline for the achievement of each objective.

When we define objectives we are based on hypotheses such as: “I think that 0.2% of the people who visit my organization’s website next year will end up making a donation.” Applying this simple SMART methodology, we will be able to check to what extent our hypotheses are fulfilled and what margin of error our results give compared to what was expected. In this way, we will be able to establish increasingly correct hypotheses, set objectives and meet them, and extract extremely valuable knowledge about what works better and worse in our digital fundraising.