Andrea Kihlstedt

Andrea Kihlstedt

Andrea Kihlstedt is an author, speaker, trainer and founder of Capital Campaign Masters. She literally wrote the book on launching successful capital campaigns: “Capital Campaign Masters, Strategies that Work,” fourth edition coming this fall.

Her company, Capital Campaign Masters, offers pre-campaign planning services: coaching, board readiness workshops and online courses to help get organizations ready for a successful capital campaign. Kihlstedt also created the TRY THIS blog, which looks under the surface of human behavior to find the simple but powerful lessons about wholehearted living.

Find her on Twitter at @andreakihlstedt and @capcampaignmasters.

How to Recruit First-Rate Volunteers for Your Capital Campaign

Your capital campaign’s success depends heavily on the work of volunteers. The right sort of highly capable campaign volunteers add a breadth and depth to your campaign that your staff simply can’t replace. Volunteers won’t just open doors, solicit gifts and help with all sorts of tasks, but they’ll also be generous donors to your campaign...

A Cautionary Tale: Gift Solicitation Gone Wrong

Have you ever wondered what the ideal number of people is to solicit a gift? Is a one-on-one meeting best? Perhaps you should bring two people—your president and campaign chair? Or perhaps three people would be even better—president, campaign chair and board member. Sounds reasonable, right? Get a power team to solicit a power gift! But here’s a story that will set you straight...

Find the Right Board Giving Goal for Your Capital Campaign

What percentage of your campaign goal should your board members give to your capital campaign? Twenty-five percent? Forty percent? Ten percent? Again and again, I’ve seen board members stumble over this question. They want to do what’s right; but really, they have no idea what’s appropriate or more importantly, what’s possible...

To Make an Impact, Ditch Unnecessary Anxiety and Unwarranted Blame

I tossed and turned much of last night worrying that an email I sent to someone had been too critical. You know the feeling that starts just after you press the send button and immediately wish you hadn’t? But this morning I found a genuinely appreciative email from the guy, thanking me for my unvarnished…

Throwing Spaghetti for Capital Campaign Success

Have you ever thrown spaghetti at the wall? Either literally or figuratively? This week, try doing something just a bit outrageous just to remind yourself that you can and to know what it feels like...

Capital Campaigns and Conference Calls: A New Meeting Format

If you are planning a capital campaign, you should develop your skills at managing conference calls. The success of capital campaigns will depend on your ability to recruit and manage great volunteers. And these days, pulling volunteers together for meetings is harder than ever...

How to Ask for What You Want (And Get It)

Just the thought of asking for things can make even the most confident amongst us sweat. Whether it’s asking for something simple like a social media shout out or asking for a major donation, the “ask” part can really trip someone up. Not any more...

5 Tricks to Finishing Fundraising Projects

If getting things all the way done is a challenge, what do you find most helpful? Think back on the projects you’ve completed. Were there external conditions that forced you to finish? Have you found some other tricks that worked well for you?...

How to Use an Oreo Cookie to Improve Your Capital Campaign

Fundraising is a high-stake, high-anxiety field. Both staff members and board members face constant anxiety and fear of failure. And the anxiety ramps up during capital campaigns when the goals and consequences of failure are even higher.

4 Lessons Learned From a Stalled Capital Campaign

A stalled campaign is NOT the time to sit back and wait until the money comes in. Unless you take a bold and clear initiative, your organization is likely to be left with a failed campaign, a big debt and a black eye in your community...

Fuel Your Capital Campaign by Saying ‘Thank You’

With the immediacy and ease of email, there’s no need to rely solely on formulaic thank you notes. You can send a standard thank you note with its more formal language, but I encourage you to pair it with an email, phone call or text message that makes a more immediate and personal connection...

The 'AAA' Approach to Board Members and Your Capital Campaign

Whatever you do, don’t assume that your board members know what they are doing. Chance are high that they don’t. Your capital campaign gives you a wonderful opportunity to train them. The stakes are high, and you can develop a small training program just for them. Consider this three-part approach...

Ask Prospective Donors These 8 Questions

Most fundraisers spend an inordinate amount of time and energy worrying about making the case for their organization. But a far more productive undertaking is to get to know your major donors—particularly why and how they want to give. Find that out and you’ll have a sense of what you should ask them for and…