Working with campaigns

Track ongoing and historic outreach, fundraising, and event based campaigns - managing, creating and customising campaign records

Updated over a week ago

Campaigns are a core part of most charities' work. Beacon lets you track both your ongoing and historic outreach, fundraising, and event based campaigns to give you the insights you need to be successful. Campaigns can be as narrow as a single email, or as wide as a whole Christmas appeal.


How campaigns work in Beacon

The Campaign record is where you'd store the information of the campaign itself: Start and end dates, the type of campaign it is, goals for fundraising or contacts, contact channels, etc.

Linked to each Campaign are Campaign members. These are the linked records of people who are targeted in the campaign. They might be people you are going to send marketing to, or that you'd like to invite to an event, or that you will ask to volunteer for your organisation.

Managing campaigns in a pipeline view

The pipeline view is a kanban-style layout for your records, particularly useful for an overview of staging or status.

Campaign pipeline

To create a pipeline view, you will need a dropdown field to sort by. In this example we've created the 'Status' field, and moving the records to a new column automatically updates the status field, as well as showing a live total of the donations or goal amounts at the top of each column.

Check out our guide on working with views for full details.

Creating a campaign

Creating a campaign works like creating any other record in Beacon. Simply go to the Campaigns record type in the sidebar and click Add campaign.

Enter some details of the campaign like name, start and end dates, and the type of campaign, then click Create. Done!

Tip: If you run recurring campaigns, add each 'instance' of the campaign as a separate record so that you can track statuses and results for each time you run it. For example, instead of 1 record for the "Christmas Appeal" programme that you change every year, have "Christmas Appeal 2024", "Christmas appeal 2025", etc.

Customising campaign records

Note: This is just for the admins of your Beacon database I'm afraid.

You don't need to stick to the campaign fields and layout that Beacon sets up for you. You can change any of it to suit what information you need, in the way you want to see.

Warning: Remember that it changes for all campaign records!

Click the cog icon in the top right of a campaign record to enter customisation mode.

Click on any field to edit the name or options for that field. Click on a card to choose the fields on that card, or to create a new field.

Some examples you might add:

  • A 'Status' dropdown field - 'Active', 'Completed', or 'Upcoming' campaigns.

  • Extra 'Channels' of communication - 'Events', 'Door-to-door', or 'Flyering'

  • A 'Length' smart field - that calculates the difference between your start and end dates. Tip: Use the =DATEDIF excel function!

See our guide on customising record types for more details.

Adding people to a campaign

You could add your entire database of people to a campaign, but usually there is a subset of your database that you would like included in a campaign. To add them, you create a Campaign member that is linked to both the Person, and the Campaign. There's a few different ways to do this.

Add individuals from their Person record:

  1. On the Person record, find the campaign card and click the '+'. You'll see that the person is pre-filled.

  2. Start typing the name of the campaign to add them to, and click the relevant campaign.

  3. Click the Create button.

Add individuals from the Campaign record:

  1. On the Campaign record, find the campaign members card and click the '+'. You'll see that the campaign is pre-filled.

  2. Start typing the name of the person to link to, and click the relevant person.

  3. Click the Create button.

Add multiple people with bulk actions:

  1. On the Person record, filter for the people you would like to add to the campaign. For example, people that have donated over £100 previously.

  2. Tick the 'Select all' checkbox.

  3. Click the bulk actions menu (the three little dots!), and click Create related records.

  4. Choose Campaign members from the create record type dropdown.

  5. Click + Add field, select Campaign, and choose the campaign you would like to link your campaign members to. You can add any other info you want all the new records to have also.

    Create related campaign members

  6. Click Create and you'll get some shiny new campaign members!

    New campaign members successful

Check out more about bulk creation of related records.

Sending campaign mailouts

Communication is king for your campaigns, and Beacon makes it easy to send personalised mailouts both electronically and physically.

Mailouts via Mailchimp

Mailchimp is an amazing email marketing platform, and it's the easiest way to send your newsletters and campaign mailouts electronically, using the integration via Beacon's Mailchimp app.

To send a Mailchimp mailout to your campaign, it's only a couple of steps:

  1. Filter your People records by campaign members of the relevant campaign.

a. Filter for campaign member records greater than 0. This will give you everyone who has a campaign membership record, so they are part of at least one campaign.

b. Filter those campaign members by the relevant campaign.

2. Select them all, and click the bulk actions menu at the top of the screen and select Export to Mailchimp.

3. Select the list you wish to export to, and (optionally) add a tag, which can be useful for segmenting a list in Mailchimp once the export is finished.

Campaoign export to mailchimp

4. Click Export - and Beacon will do the magic for you!

Mailouts via Document merge

Beacon has built-in functionality to create personalised letters from the information stored within Beacon. We call this Document merge, but you might be more familiar with the term 'mail merge'.

  1. Select the people that are campaign members using step 1 in the Mailchimp example above.

  2. Click the bulk actions menu, and select Document merge.

  3. Choose the template you created, and click Merge & Download. You'll receive a document for each person, personalised with their details.

    Campaign document merge

    Document merge file list

Assign payments to a campaign

It can be super useful to see the amount of money that a particular campaign has generated. Some payments can be automatically linked to a campaign via forms, and others you might want to set up in an import template.

Many charities will set up a campaign-specific donation form to have a tailored donation experience, and to automatically assign those donations to the relevant campaign.

Once you've set up your form, use the fixed data section to choose the appropriate campaign to link to.

When adding payments to Beacon via an import, you can use fixed data to set the campaign that those payments are related to.

Assign payments manually


On the payment record, type in the campaign it's associated with. Done!

Bulk update:

In the payments list view, filter or search for the payments you'd like to relate to your campaign. Select all, or select individual payments, then click the bulk actions menu (those three dots).

Choose Update payments, choose Campaign as the field to update, and type in the relevant campaign.

Bulk update campaign

Click Update, and all selected payments will now point at your campaign.

You can easily view all payments associated with a campaign by checking the Payments card on the Campaign record itself.

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