Fundraising can become such a mechanical process, in which we focus on rating prospects, writing proposals and scheduling logistics. This is never truer than in the midst of a capital campaign, when the pace of activity must be very high and everyone is focused on the bottom line of the campaign’s financial goal. In these instances, we can lose sight of the fact that we are meeting with real people and challenging them to think about their charitable priorities. Often, those donors take our requests very seriously and make decisions that broaden their philanthropy and demonstrate the impact of successful fundraising.
In his article "Who Asks Whom, and for How Much?," CDS President David G. Phillips discussed the importance of starting a capital campaign with the largest gifts first. David stressed the importance of not only asking for major gifts, but also recruiting top givers as leaders in the campaign: ergo, the Leadership Gift Phase. The Leadership Gift Phase is the single most important activity of the campaign as its success (or failure) will determine the ultimate success (or failure) of the campaign as a whole.
Success is relative, but perfection is precise! What for one organization or person would be an extraordinary performance, for another is disappointing. It is all relative to ‘the yardstick’ with which something is to be compared—the standard.
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
There are an infinite variety of not-for-profit organizations in the world. Every cause imaginable has seen a charity or foundation created by its advocates. As I talk to representatives from a wide slice of these groups, I am struck by the fact that their needs and goals are far more similar than dissimilar. Successful fund raising efforts have the same characteristics regardless.