If your organization is running a capital campaign right now, you are probably finding more than a few haunting challenges these days. 

Even in stable times, campaigns are high-risk projects that take persistence, dedication and creativity. 

 And now, in the midst of all that 2020 has brought, everything is even more difficult. Yes, it’s a scary year – for a lot of reasons. 

But it’s not all scary.

Don’t let the pandemic goblins get you down. 

 We’ve seen many successes this year!

  • Capital campaigns we are coaching are moving toward their goals quite successfully this year. 
  • We are seeing the advantages of conducting virtual feasibility studies.
  • Our clients continue closing lead gifts – virtually. 
  • The Campaign Steering Committees we work with are maintaining momentum and enthusiasm.

Exciting News: We’re launching a new on-demand course in November! Capital Campaigns in Times of Crisis: 5 Keys to Success in Today’s Uncertain World. We will share how to chart a course through tough times to achieve a successful capital campaign. Stay tuned, and plan to join in! 

Today let’s have some Halloween fun. The campaign werewolf is not going to haunt you.

 It’s entirely possible to overcome these energy-sapping roadblocks:

1. Does calling on campaign donors feel like a trick . . . or a treat?

Talking with donors by phone or zoom can be full of surprises, tricks and sometimes special treats. 

But it takes more than dark magic to get donors to engage with you virtually. You need to employ your new and improved fundraising skills.  

We hear from fundraisers who are terrified trying reach out to a donor they don’t know. How should they craft a pretext for the visit? They feel awkward, grappling for the right thing to say and do. 

Are the prospect of these donor calls haunting you?

The good news is – these calls and zoom visits can be a breeze. Once you learn to have a Skillful Donor Conversation, and zero in on your donor’s interests, these calls can even be joyful and fun. 

Our upcoming course will touch on these techniques, so if you’re working to reach out to campaign donors – I hope you can join in!

2. Has your campaign goal become a ghostly apparition?

Has the flow of gifts into your campaign become just a trickle? Are your donors ghosting you? Are your key Foundation donors – who were once top prospects – shifting to other pandemic-related priorities? 

Your campaign might be stagnating.  What’s worse, your original campaign goal feels like hocus-pocus – something conjured up when times were good. 

BUT – it doesn’t have to be this way! 

We are seeing client capital campaigns move toward their goals nicely. Even when the pace has to slow down, we are using the extra downtime to dive into analytics and refine prospect lists.

You CAN keep moving toward your goal. 

Right now, even in this tough virtual environment, moving ahead just takes constant attention, gentle prodding, unremitting cheerfulness, and being present in front of your donors as much as possible. 

3. Will it take more than a séance to bring your campaign committee back to life?

 Your Campaign Steering Committee may have vanished into thin air. Your campaign volunteers might have drifted into creepy territory, never to be seen again. What to do? 

You need your key volunteers to open doors, make connections, and think through strategy.  It’s certainly frightening if they aren’t in action. 

But keeping them engaged and active is entirely possible!

Be present. Talk with them one-on-one and help them feel needed and productive. 

Here’s a tip: stage your campaign meetings to feature success stories and generate that magic thing called “momentum.” 

Bottom Line: You Can Create a Robust Capital Campaign – Even in Times of Crisis.

In our new course, we will be sharing our best advice on guiding your capital campaign through tough times. 

While we had a little fun with today’s post – we know that steering capital campaigns successfully through these difficult times is not easy. We’re excited to be sharing the many lessons we have learned with you, and help your capital campaign become more than just witchful thinking. We hope you’ll join us!


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. You can also join our INSIDERS community for more fundraising training and content. We would love to have you! 

Hope you have a wonderful weekend and a safe Halloween.