What does it mean to have a successful campaign? Clearly, reaching or exceeding the dollar goal is a significant and meaningful measure. Winning campaigns, however, create, multiple and diverse ripples of activity throughout an organization which help it become stronger and better able to fulfill its mission.
Topics: Campaign Feasibility and Planning Studies, Campaign Organization, capital campaign consulting, capital campaign fundraising, capital campaign planning, Capital Campaigns, Fundraising Principles
They are known by lots of names, but every successful capital campaign requires an effective, committed leadership team. For purposes of this article, I will refer to this ‘core group’ of leaders as the Campaign Executive Committee (CEC). Building this team is one of the very first priorities of a campaign. The team is responsible for the success of the campaign: implementation of the campaign plan, advocating the campaign to the public, soliciting the board of directors and top-level prospects. The success of any campaign is directly related to the commitment of each CEC member and their determination to implement an effective fundraising plan.
When you get into the thick of things within a fundraising campaign, do you want to base your strategy on fundamental campaign principles which have been proven over time—or do you want to be improvising and ‘winging your way’ through?
During my thirty-six years in the fundraising profession, I have had the privilege of planning and directing capital campaigns for hospitals, schools, colleges, libraries, museums, symphony orchestras, various arts and cultural organizations, retirement communities, social service organizations, churches, synods, dioceses, denominations and other church related organizations. In each case, I was fortunate. We worked hard together and we raised or exceeded our goal.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed when contemplating the enormity of undertaking a capital campaign. How to get it established? What to do first? Where to begin? Who to ask for what and when? Do I work on the case or find a leader? Don't worry, this is normal. Take it one step at a time. It is best to remember the age-old axiom; "you can't do everything at once". But rest assured there is hope, because: we can do something at once! A campaign is much like any other project in that it has a beginning, middle and end (hopefully, a very successful one!). This article is offered to help you manage the beginning.
Topics: Campaign Feasibility and Planning Studies, Campaign Organization, capital campaign fundraising, capital campaign planning, Capital Campaigns, Communications and Networking, Fundraising Principles, strategic planning