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Just imagine: what if you had a new way to increase visibility and make new friends for your cause?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you had an authentic and impactful way to help donors get to know your work, build trust and establish meaningful connections with your leadership?

Then consider the power of a no-ask friendmaking event like a Porch Party.

Don’t miss our free webinar on June 7th,

“Unleash the Power of Porch Parties to Gain New Friends, Supporters, and Donors!”

You’ll discover how to stage the ultimate summer Porch Party friendraising event!

Count me in!

Even more, social gatherings for your cause can foster a wonderful sense of community.

Let’s explore how a Porch Party can help you build trust and ignite interest in your cause:

1. Getting to Know Your Organization:

Count me in!

A Porch Party provides a welcoming and intimate environment for donors to engage with your leaders on a personal level.

By hosting a relaxed social gathering, you create a space where conversations among people can flow naturally, allowing attendees to get to know you. They can also gain firsthand insights into the mission, impact, and values of your organization.

As they learn more about your cause and understand your work, typically, people’s interest will begin to grow. Before you know it, you’ve just made a new “friend” for your organization.

In this webinar, we’ll share our tips to engage your attendees in discussions about your mission.

2. Establishing Authentic Connections:

There’s another reason we like Porch Parties: a casual social gathering can create the space to foster authentic connections between potential donors and your cause.

By inviting potential supporters to engage in conversations, share stories, and forge friendships, you help to create a sense of belonging and purpose. And that is surely a lovely thing.

This is what we mean when we talk about engaging donors – you are helping them forge personal connections with your work.

As attendees connect with others who share their interests, they’ll also connect more deeply with your cause. This fosters a bond based on shared values and common goals.

All this happens before you ever ask for a gift.

In our June 7th webinar, we’ll share why friendmaking is a powerful fundraising strategy.

3. Building Relationships that Inspire Support

Just remember: Successful fundraising is based on meaningful relationships with donors. And most importantly, these relationships are based on trust and understanding.

A Porch Party allows you to go beyond the transactional aspect of fundraising and move into cultivating genuine connections.

When you nurture donor relationships, and demonstrate your organization’s community-wide impact, you inspire donors to contribute willingly. They can move on to become long-term advocates for your cause.

Making Friends First.

The Porch Party motto is “Make friends first.”

First, you help donors get to know your cause and build their trust in your organization.

Then, later, you invite them to donate. First things first.

When you prioritize relationship-building and focus on genuine connections, you create a solid foundation for long-term donor engagement.

Just imagine: your donors and prospects are becoming more familiar with your cause. They’re beginning to witness the impact of your work. And above all, they are building trust in your organization.

At that point, they’ll be more inclined to contribute willingly and wholeheartedly. You are “attracting” donors rather than “pitching donors.”

Your Next Porch Party Is a Platform for Building Trust and Inspiring Support.

Remember, a Porch Party is not just a social gathering; it’s a platform for building trust, fostering connections, and inspiring support.

Make each Porch Party gathering a memorable experience. You can showcase your organization’s values, its mission, and, most of all, your dedication to creating positive change.

We want you to embrace the power of Porch Parties to make new friends for your organization. New friends who will become deeply engaged donors.

In the June 7th webinar, we’ll share the best format for the program at a Porch Party.

BOTTOM LINE: A small social gathering is a perfect way to create a welcoming atmosphere for new friends.

You can let the porch become a stage for meaningful conversations and relationships that will propel your cause forward. Hope to see you there!

How to Get Ready for a Capital Campaign

What does it take to really be ready to start a capital campaign?

Often we see board members and leaders chomping at the bit to move quickly. And we hear from some fundraisers that they feel pushed to get going and start asking for lead gifts as soon as possible.

Your smart plan sets up the dominoes so they will fall nicely in place.

Your smart plan sets up the dominoes so they will fall nicely in place.

However, caution ahead: your organization may not be ready for our advice: Slow down and get organized now so that you can move ahead quickly later. You do not want to be charging ahead without doing your research and due diligence!

There are many steps to take in order to be ready for a capital campaign. Planning now will create a successful campaign.

Here are key steps you need to work through BEFORE you launch into the silent phase of your campaign.

1.   Decide your scope.  What exactly will you be raising money for?

This sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But it’s not.

Does your organization need a new building? If so, then consider this:

  • Where will the building be, and how much will the land cost?
  • Do you have a simple schematic design?
  • Do you have an idea of what the actual construction (or renovation) will cost?
  • What about the cost of building permits, new furniture, etc.?

Also, will there be additional items that your leadership may want to include in your capital campaign financial objectives?

  • What about funding for endowment?
  • Or a special building maintenance fund or money for equipment?
  • What about including start-up costs for any new programs?

It’s important to identify all the different “funding objectives” or purposes that your campaign might include – well in advance. This is not a quick – or simple – process, to be sure.

2.  Get a rough idea of your possible capital campaign financial goal.

Once your team has a sense of the proposed capital campaign’s funding objectives, they can begin putting some numbers next to each funding objective.

Once that is accomplished, they can develop a “working” campaign goal. Go ahead and set a preliminary working goal as soon as you can.

This is a key starting place for your campaign planning.

Estimating the financial aspect of the campaign is an important step forward. Once you start talking numbers, you’ll find a sweet spot: a number that impresses people but doesn’t make them gasp at your foolishness.

Regarding your financial aspirations – remember that a little foolishness is not all that bad.  It’s much easier to come down later than it is to go up, so it’s a good idea to reach on the high side at the beginning.

3.  Break down the potential capital campaign goal by gift amounts.

It’s essential for you to lay out your potential gifts in a Gift Range Chart. This little chart will be a remarkable planning tool for you and help you prepare for a capital campaign when the right time comes.

Based on your preliminary working campaign goal, create a chart that will show how many gifts you’ll need in what sizes to reach that goal.

What’s more, who do you think will be the donors who will step up with lead gifts for the campaign? You’ll want to evaluate the size of your potential campaign prospect pool:

  • How many gifts of one million will you need? Where will they come from? Or, if you have a large campaign goal, how many ten-million-dollar gifts do you think you’ll need?
  • How many of $500,000? And $250,000?
  • How much in smaller amounts will you need to cover what your major donors don’t provide?

Know that a gift range chart for the same goal will vary from organization to organization. Why? Because it really depends on the size of your prospect list and the potential of your largest donors.

4.     Get your board on board.

To be ready for a capital campaign, you’ll want to be absolutely sure that your board is well-informed about campaign strategy, donor prospects, and potential for your campaign.

Your board needs to:

  • Understand how capital campaigns work.  Major gift and capital campaign strategy is not always intuitive. Your leaders need to understand that it takes time and a lot of nurturing to close huge gifts. That’s why we slow down now, to go fast later.
  • All must agree on the campaign objectives and scope.  You can’t go forward if there is dissent about whether to do a campaign and what it will require from the board and the organization.
  • Be willing to make the investment in infrastructure that will be required to support the campaign. This money won’t just walk in the door! It takes extra staff, extra events, extra PR, and a ton of work.

5.  Involve your most important donors in your capital campaign planning.

Many people ask us, “When can we approach our major donors about the campaign?”

We recommend that you engage major donors at the very beginning – when your campaign is just an idea.

It’s always a great strategy to involve your major supporters, while the campaign is simply an idea. As your ideas evolve, get their support early on, particularly in the planning process. You could even invite their input into your plan.

You get the idea.

Don’t keep your most important donors at arm’s length through the planning process – instead, use your planning phase to draw them in. The pre-planning phase is a wonderfully exciting time to involve your donor prospects.

Bottom Line: How to Start a Capital Campaign

Pre-planning now will help you save time and money and have your campaign on the early road to success!

As always, it is a pleasure to share our weekly insights with you as we cover important fundraising strategies. 

If your organization is planning a capital campaign or expanding your major gifts program – we can help. Send an email to coaching@gailperry.com if you’d like to schedule a free strategy call with us.

With the economic environment so murky these days, we usually ask these donors how they are feeling about giving in today’s economy. 

What Will Trigger Mega Donors to Unlock Early Capital Campaign Gifts?

What Will Trigger Mega Donors to Unlock Early Capital Campaign Gifts?

This is the question that many nonprofit leaders ask – over and over. For every capital campaign that we advise – this is often a huge question hanging in the air.  

If you want to dive down into this question more, we’ll be discussing early capital campaign gifts in our open webinar on How to Jumpstart Your Capital Campaign and Achieve Early Success Today. Be sure to join us! You can find out more and register here.

Do you know where the lead gifts for your next capital campaign will be coming from? That’s the first question that I often ask: How close are you to the 7 and 8-figure donors on your prospect list?

Why do we focus on these mega gifts and high-net-worth donors?

Because it’s the largest, early capital campaign gifts that are often the most important. These are the gifts that set the pace for other gifts that follow. They set a giving standard that can inspire other donors to step forward.

Even more, a very large gift from a well-known supporter helps to build confidence in an institution’s campaign. Another reason these lead gifts are important is that the gift can trigger interest from similar philanthropists, and even open doors to new donor relationships. 

So, focusing on these early, lead gifts is one of the most important, most strategic activities of early campaign planning. 

What does it really take to trigger early capital campaign gifts from high-net-worth donors?

There are several factors that come together to trigger an early, substantial capital campaign commitment. Among these, one of the most important causes is the magic ingredient of Influence.

What do we mean by Influence?

We want to know who can influence the donor. Who on our team or in our inside circle knows them?

Most importantly, who do we know or have access to, who CAN influence the donor?

What (or who) will incline and influence the donor to think kindly about our project – among all the other causes they like to support? What will help us rise to the top of the donor’s radar screen, so to speak?

We are trying to weave a web of influence to get the right people in the room at the right time. For example, if we can secure the support of one key influencer in a community, then that person can encourage several other people to support us. 

Why is Influence so important?

It often boils down to a matter of trust. For example, does the donor trust the people running the organization?

Many gurus in the past (check out “Asking” by Jerry Panas) have found that mega-donors will not give unless they know, trust and even like the organization’s leaders. 

That means that board members matter.

If you are planning a capital campaign, you want to build your board with people who have excellent networks in the philanthropic community.

In addition, you want them to be trusted by major donors in your community.

Best of all, if you have board members who are major donors themselves, they can help open doors to other philanthropists. 

Laying out an Influence Strategy to unlock early capital campaign gifts.

It’s like assembling the pieces of the puzzle. Who needs to be involved, and when, in order to influence a very special lead donor?

Here’s a case in point: For some of our capital campaigns around the country, we’ve been able to secure the help (and endorsement) of a former state governor. 

The plan to get in front of the governor was laborious and exacting. We had to have the right person call the former governor and ask them to make a key phone call. The retired governor understood how important influence can be to secure an important supporter.

An Influence Strategy is a step-by-step process.

Our clients often have many calls with other people before they ever approach a lead donor.

These were advice visits and calls, brainstorming the appropriate process – who, what, when and where? In what order? Who calls whom first?

Working through Board members.

Often, we will have advice visits with key board members, bringing them a specially curated short prospect list for review and discussion.

What I mean by a curated list, is that we select about 5-10 specific prospects whom we think the board member can help with.

So the short prospect list is customized specifically for each board member, usually with the names of donors who may be in the board member’s sphere of influence.

Bottom line: Unlock Early Capital Campaign Gifts

It takes a lot of strategy to close early capital campaign gifts. An Influence Strategy can help secure the support of your mega leadership donors.

As always, it is a pleasure to share our weekly insights with you as we cover important fundraising strategies.  If your organization is planning a capital campaign or expanding your major gifts program – we can help. Send an email to coaching@gailperry.com if you’d like to schedule a free strategy call with us.

Here’s a wonderful Major Gifts Intensive success story from one of our smart participants.

Chris Cook, Executive Director of the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, said he really enjoyed practicing his new advanced 21st-century fundraising skills.  He learned how to create magical conversations with his donors because he achieved some stellar results.  

Here’s a situation – from an amazing donor conversation – when the donor simply offered a capital campaign gift – without even being asked.  Here’s what Chris shared (with our commentary):  “I started the conversation by asking how our organization pulls on his heart.”

(Our note: You should always start every donor conversation with a question about why they give to your organization.)

“First, he told me he was very grateful that I asked.”

(Our note: Many donors are often dying to share their “donor story.” This is an easy, seamless, and polite way to establish a deeper connection with your donor.)

“Second, he revealed to me that he had never been asked this question before by anyone and that he deeply appreciated it.”

(Our note: Your donors have deep feelings in their hearts for your organization’s work. But people don’t ever ask them. It will open the floodgates and you’ll be surprised.)

“As my donor explained this, his eyes started to get teary.” 

“I could see that he was immediately thinking back about his history with the organization, and how it has impacted him, his kids’ lives, and his grandkids’ lives.”

“This is because of art he now has, in two different homes. And how that art inspires conversation and education and connection.”

Then he immediately jumped in and started explaining his big picture for philanthropy.”

“He surprised me when he shared that he has three key areas of giving that are important to him. And that our organization is one of his three priorities!”

“It was huge news to me!”

“This was not, by any stretch, a challenging conversation to have. My donor opened up in new ways that I had not seen before.”

“And then – you won’t believe this, but he made a pledge for the capital campaign that we plan in the future.”

Bottom Line from this Major Gifts Intensive Success Story

Ask your donor why they care, or why your cause resonates with them, and then watch out. Your donor will take you places you never knew, and just may offer a gift right then and there.

The 2023 Major Gifts Intensive will open up for registration in November 2022. Let us know if you want to be on the early bird list to be notified!

As always, it is a pleasure to share our weekly insights with you as we cover important fundraising strategies. 

If your organization is planning a capital campaign or expanding your major gifts program – we can help. Send an email to coaching@gailperry.com if you’d like to schedule a free strategy call with us.

Capital Campaign Pre-Planning: What to do Before Hiring a Consultant

How important is capital campaign pre-planning?

We see many organizations that want to move forward quickly to launch a capital campaign. They are excited about their vision and are ready to dive straight away into a feasibility study.

It’s great to be excited and enthusiastic because those qualities can generate momentum.

But you’ll also want to get as organized as you can, prior to your study. You can lay the groundwork for a successful study even before you start the search for a reputable campaign consulting firm.

Today, we’ll share a step-by-step readiness plan to help you get prepared for a successful feasibility study. This plan will help you get the most out of your study.

1.     Capital campaign pre-planning: Clarify your projects and what you want to raise money for.

This sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But it’s not.

Donors will have many questions about your proposed projects. They will ask detailed questions about the need for a new building, an expansion, or an endowment – whatever you are hoping to fund in the capital campaign.

You’ll need to think through all possible aspects of your project so you and your consulting team can answer these questions. It’s important to outline all possible costs – and implications – of a potential capital project.

For a new building: Donors will ask about operating and maintenance costs of new building. Donors will ask where the building will go, how large it will be, parking, costs of construction and land, and costs of upfitting the new facility. They will ask to see visuals of the proposed building.

Above all, they will want to know WHY the building is needed. Not only do you need to explain the project in detail, but you also need to lay out a clear justification for this investment.

For major programmatic expansions that you want to fund in the campaign, the most important question your donors will ask is WHY do you need it, including:

  • How will it expand your work?
  • What costs will be incurred?
  • Who will be served and why is your organization the one to do the work?
  • Why not some other organization?  Donors will ask about competition and other agencies that do similar work. They will ask about possible collaborations with similar organizations.

2.     Get a rough idea of your campaign dollar goal.

Once you have firmed up the projects to be funded in the capital campaign, then it’s time to cost everything out.

Each funding objective needs a cost number, or at least a financial range.

When your consulting team presents this information to your donors in the Feasibility Study, you’ll want to demonstrate that you’ve researched each aspect of your plan.

Thinking things through now will help you and your team show up as business-like, thoughtful and deliberate. And of course, these qualities will help to build donors’ trust in your potential campaign – and generate their investment.

Then it’s time to estimate a capital campaign goal. The simple approach is to put numbers next to each funding objective and add it all up.

We recommend that you and your team start with a tentative “working goal” for the campaign that you use as a preliminary figure. The working goal can go up or down, depending on the results of the feasibility study,

3.    Campaign pre-planning: Get your board on board.

Before you start interviewing potential consultants for a feasibility study, make sure your board is well-informed about the prospects and potential for your campaign.

That means that you will have to work with board members both independently and together during your planning process.

It’s important to get some opinion leaders behind your proposed projects and the potential campaign early in the game because they can be an indispensable asset.

We want to see the full board in agreement about what’s before them. Ideally, your board members will be:

  • Enthusiastic and optimistic about the potential for your campaign.
  • 100% behind the expansion or capital investment plan.
  • Educated about how capital campaigns work – the strategy and process that creates successful campaigns.
  • Educated about how much campaigns cost, because the money is not going to just walk in the door without a significant investment of time, energy, and resources.
  • Understanding what their role will be during the campaign.

4.    Involve your most important donors in your capital campaign pre-planning discussions.

During these beginning steps in your planning, it’s essential to engage your top donors in conversations about your proposed project.

Consider making a list of ten to twenty top donors – the ones who are most likely to make the top gifts to your capital . Then develop a plan to involve each of these donors in the planning process.

This can range from taking a donor to lunch to let her know what you’re working on, or asking the donors for their advice and input on your proposed plan.

You can also ask some donors to serve on a pre-campaign planning committee. If one of your top donors is involved in real estate, you might even ask their advice on aspects of purchasing or constructing the new new building.

You get the idea. Don’t keep your most important donors at arm’s length through the planning process. Instead, use your planning phase to draw them in.

The pre-planning phase is a wonderfully exciting time to involve these important donor prospects.

Feasibility Studies Can Be a Waste of Money, if . . .

Remember, a feasibility study interviews donors to determine their level of interest in supporting your new, bigger vision and proposed plan.

It’s best when you can give them something meaty and exciting that they can react to. If the consultant finds too many potential donors who are not engaged or informed, then these donors might respond,

“I don’t know enough about this organization or project give you an opinion.”

When that happens, then your feasibility study will not yield any helpful information.

It’s disappointing to us consultants, too, when we interview potential donors who are simply not familiar with the project and not close to the organization.  There is nothing to talk about!

Moral of the story: Engage your donors early and often!

Bottom Line: Capital Campaign Pre-Planning: What to do before you hire a consultant.

Start your work early on the campaign by taking these steps, and you’ll save time and money and have your campaign on the early road to success.

You are laying the groundwork so that the full campaign can roll out successfully with early lead gifts and key volunteers stepping up to help.

how to start & creating a capital campaign plan | Gail Perry Group

pen marking check box

Many organizations are either planning a capital campaign, or thinking about one in the future.

It’s what happens early on in the capital campaign planning process that really lays the groundwork for success. This Checklist Tool will help you and your team evaluate how prepared you are for a capital campaign in the future.

In our work with clients to set up winning campaigns, we begin by evaluating their readiness based on these seven strategic areas.

It’s what you do ahead of time that makes all the difference in capital campaign planning.

Laying the groundwork for a successful capital campaign is like stacking the dominoes.  You take the time to carefully and strategically get organized, and line everything up.

Then, once the campaign begins, everything comes together quickly. Like the dominos, they all drop one after the other in perfect sequence.

Please know that very few organizations can say 100% YES to all these questions below. It’s the questions that you answer “maybe” that will point out your focus for the next few months.

This is a handy tool for the board and CEO to understand just how much additional preparation they need to do before moving forward with a capital campaign.

YOUR BOARD

In laying the groundwork, you want to prepare your board carefully for the campaign. You’ll want everyone to be in full agreement on the proposed plan and strategy to move ahead.

Can your board set the financial pace for a campaign?

Are your board members considered to be leaders in the community?

Is your board in full agreement on the proposed plan for a campaign?

Does your board have good fundraising connections?

Do your board members operate with business minded board practices?

Does your board have a good relationship with staff?

VOLUNTEER LEADERSHIP

Influential campaign volunteers can help your campaign gain credibility and momentum. If the right people are standing behind your initiative, then you can move forward quickly.

Do you have a history of influential people involved with your cause?

Can you enlist top leaders in your community who are well-known to help lead the capital campaign?

Do you have volunteer campaign leaders or campaign chairs already enlisted?

Can your volunteer leaders make major gifts to the campaign?

PROSPECTS

For a campaign to be successful, you’ll need donor prospects with leadership giving capacity. Run the numbers and evaluate your campaign prospect pool Your first step will be to renew and refresh your relationships with key funders and leadership donors.

Do you currently have a vigorous major gift program in place?

Do you think you have the donor prospects to reach your campaign goal? 

Are your donors well cultivated and involved?

Can you identify your leadership gifts up front?

Can you identify 15-20 potential sources of major campaign gifts right now?

DEVELOPMENT OFFICE and INFRASTRUCTURE

Often the factor that can make or break a campaign is the staff itself. You’ll want a strong, bold and experienced fundraising team that is highly motivated and raring to go.

Do you have experienced, capable staff?

Is the development office fully staffed now?

Is your administrative back office functioning smoothly?

Do you have a system for tracking pledges and policies for accepting gifts of stock and real estate?

Have you allocated funds to staff up and pay for campaign expenses? (the campaign will cost 8-10% of your overall dollar goal.)

Have you determined if you need outside expert guidance as Campaign Counsel?

YOUR PLAN/CASE

Make sure you lay out the need and justification for your campaign in plain, simple, and emotional language. Follow it up with supportive data.

Is the need well established, urgent and understood?

Do you have an updated strategic plan?

Do you have an updated master facilities plan with completed capital projections and budgets?

Can you convey the impact of your project in vivid emotional terms?

Do you have data to back up the need you are addressing in your case for support? 

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It’s important that your organization is well-respected in the community. For donors to make significant gifts, they need to have confidence in your leadership.

Is your organization well respected in the community, with a track record of success? 

Is there confidence in your organization and its leadership?

Are you communicating your results and your good work to the rest of your community?

Are you visible in the community?

TIMING

Clearly, you would like a positive economic environment to bolster your campaign. But don’t forget, you can still be successful even in uncertain times.

Is the fundraising environment good right now?

Are the economic conditions in your community good right now?

Bottom Line on Capital Campaign Planning.

If you have these conditions all set, then you are ready to embark on a capital campaign. 

If not, it’s time to get to work enlisting volunteers, identifying prospects, cultivating your prospective donors and sharpening up your case for support.

Let us know if we can help. We’re happy to provide a free strategy call to guide your capital campaign preparation and planning, anytime. 

A Message To You

Yesterday was Thanksgiving in the U.S., a time to give thanks for what we have.

It felt a little different this year. 

2020 has thrown a lot of challenges our way. Maybe it feels like we’d rather wish away 2020 than be thankful for it. 

But as we all know – there is no light without darkness. There have been so many bright spots in 2020, amid the challenges. We have been brought together, even when apart. 

We realize now, more than ever, we cannot take our health for granted. We are thankful to have gotten to December – through a historic election and a pandemic; thankful to have our loved ones close (physically or virtually). 

And right now, we want to take a moment to give thanks to you.

The fundraisers, the development team, the major gift officers, directors and VP’s, the board members, the CEOs.

You are an army of justice and peace and kindness.  We know you are seldom acknowledged and thanked for your selfless and difficult work. 

So we want to take this special opportunity to appreciate you, day in and day out. Rain or shine. Recession, pandemic, or not. 

You are carrying the light. You are performing a crucial act in order to bring positive change to the world. 

We are thankful for you. 

P.S. We Have a Special Black Friday Sale, Just for You

Because 2020 has been super challenging, you deserve a boost. We want you to have the chance to skill up and save. 

That’s why we’ve bundled our two top-tier on-demand courses together for special savings – save $800!

Capital Campaigns in Times of Crisis: 5 Keys to a Successful Campaign Even in Today’s Uncertain World

Raise Major Gifts in Virtual Times: Master the Skills You Need to Thrive

This has been a challenging time. It seems you have to pivot your strategy every other day. This takes time, energy, and costs your organization money. 

Let us help you pivot faster and easier using our lessons learned. 

LEARN MORE NOW

We hope you will join us in the course and on our live coaching call in December. What a wonderful time to all pull together and learn from each other.

 

As always, it is a pleasure to share our weekly news and insights with you. 

If you are planning a capital campaign and would like to learn about our unique Capital Campaigns by the Numbers approach, let us know. 

Hope you have a wonderful and safe weekend.


You might be planning a campaign for 2021, or you may be in a major campaign right now. What can go wrong?

Capital campaigns, as we all know, are huge undertakings. They are full of risks, rewards and mega gifts, too.

And sometimes capital campaigns can offer breathtaking challenges. Add a global pandemic to the mix, and you have a recipe for stress, heartburn and anxiety.

Capital Campaigns in Pandemic Times

This year has been such a challenge! You and your team perhaps had a solid campaign plan. Your leadership was recruited and in place. Your lead gifts were identified. And everything was moving along smoothly.

But out of the blue came a global pandemic. Everything shut down. You could no longer visit your donors or see your key volunteer leaders. You might be concerned about your donors’ ability to give during this time. And you had to reinvent everything. You and your entire team shifted to juggle many balls in the air.

There really is a path to a successful capital campaign, though. You can still close major campaign asks, even virtually. Our clients are closing big gifts every day, and we want to show you how you can too.

If you’re interested, our new course, Capital Campaigns in Times of Crisis: 5 Keys to a Successful Campaign Even in Today’s Uncertain World will help guide you and your team to success – even in this virtual environment.

What Can Go Wrong with a Capital Campaign Today?

Where do we start? There are so many challenges! (By the way – You’ll find solutions to these challenges in our course – that will help you accelerate your success.)

Decision Making During Uncertain Times

Making major organizational decisions during uncertain times is scary. It can seem overwhelming at best, and may bring your organization to a standstill.

But not making decisions is just as dangerous as making the wrong decision.

First, you need to craft or re-craft a workable Campaign Plan in the midst of uncertainty. What can you control, what can’t you control?

How would it feel to be able to move forward vigorously with a revamped, realistic campaign plan? You’d see success on the other side.

Planning a Virtual Campaign and Feasibility Study in a Virtual World

Are you in campaign planning mode? If your campaign is on the horizon for 2021, we will show you how to take the right steps, now – so you can successfully move forward with lead gifts next year.

Managing a successful feasibility study – even in this environment – is very doable. We are actively working on some virtual feasibility studies, and they are moving along nicely. Donors are more available, and are willing to chat at length.

What is the Right Case for Support in This Environment?

How are you positioning your case in this competitive fundraising environment? You are probably struggling with the right story to tell for today’s donors. Yes, you do need a different story for today and tomorrow!

In our new course, we’ll share secrets on how to develop or refine your case for this environment. It seems more daunting than it is!

Nurturing Donor Relationships

We’re in a distant world now. it’s against everything we’ve gotten used to.

And are you exhausted by zoom?

Don’t be. We now know that donors are more available than ever. They are not traveling as much; they are focused on their community, they want to help.

Zoom means that the rules have changed. The future of your capital campaign depends on mastering a new set of discovery and qualification skills for the virtual environment. Let us show you how.

Staging and Closing Major Campaign Asks – Virtually

The biggest struggle of all? It’s how to manage a major campaign ask on zoom.

Yes, it can be done. Our clients are closing 6-figure gifts often, even in this environment.

There are a few strategic shifts you can make to ensure that your major campaign asks are successful, especially in a virtual world. In our course, we’re sharing five proven approaches you can use to set up and close major campaign asks. This is crucial for your successful capital campaign.

Bottom Line

The world is changing, there is no doubt. We are excited to share that your campaigns can still move forward, and be even more successful in this new world.

We have been helping our capital campaign clients reinvent, adapt and successfully move forward, despite the current climate. And it’s been going well.

This can be your success story too.

If you’d like to be prepared for the world as it is going to be, not as it was, please join us in our new course. We hope you’ll join Capital Campaigns in Times of Crisis so you can take your campaign to the next level of success next year.

If you are not in capital campaign mode, we wish you many major gifts flowing in from your generous donors.

 

As always, it is a pleasure to share our weekly news and insights with you. 

If you are planning a capital campaign, take a look at our NEW course which launched this week, Capital Campaigns in Times of Crisis:5 Keys to a Successful Campaign Even in Today’s Uncertain World

Hope you have a wonderful and safe weekend.

Gail Perry's interview on capital campaigns.

Is your organization looking to raise more money this year? Do you want to learn the steps to meet your fundraising goals? If so, then you are in luck.

Amy Eisenstein from Tri Point Fundraising and I recently spoke about the key steps in preparing for a successful capital campaign. You can find our introduction to the basics of capital campaign fundraising in the video below.

To discover the true secrets of capital campaign success please visit Capital Campaign Magic, a joint project between Andrea Kihlstedt and I where you will receive newsletters, webinars, and coaching that provide the building blocks to your success.

In the video interview you will learn:

  • Whether an organization is ready to start a capital campaign
  • The value of feasibility studies and how to get around them
  • 3 objectives to keep in mind when meeting major donors
  • How to develop and rate your prospect list
  • How to get your board to open the door to prospects
 gail

 

Bottom Line:

If you are just getting started, never fear! Start with these steps:

  • Go for your goal with great vigor
  • Have a clear, feasible and compelling vision that is supported by your board and community
  • Use a donor pyramid to run the numbers
  • Have your first 5 to 10 donors be top level gifts to get you half way to your goal

Two questions to ask yourself and your organization’s leaders before beginning a capital campaign:

  1. Can we raise this money?
  2. Where do we think it may come from? (Know your top donors.)