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 the Right Volunteers For Your Capital Campaign

Because the goals are high, capital campaigns feel risky. And few people want to be associated with something they fear might not be successful. So you have to take great care in building confidence right from the start. And that starts with getting the right people on board...

Could Face-to-Face Fundraising Be Flawed?

If you’re an experienced fundraiser, you’ve been taught that in-person, face-to-face solicitation is the most effective way to solicit gifts. But is it?...

You Must Do These 5 Things Before Your Feasibility Study

Perhaps you’re about to outgrow your building. Or the landlord’s not going to renew the lease, and it’s time to own your own facility. Or maybe you’re thinking about a new, exciting program for your organization that’ll springboard your organization’s services to a new level of excellence...

What to Do When Your Board Members Don’t Want to Ask for Gifts

If you are heading into a capital campaign, your board members will not only be called on to give generously of their own money, but they will be expected to ask their contacts and friends for generous gifts, too. And that’s often a sticking point!

6 Reasons Why You Need a Capital Campaign Consultant

During a recent client coaching session, we spent an hour talking about the reasons why it’s so important to hire a capital campaign consultant. Yes, we’ve covered this topic before, but the question keeps coming up. Besides, we thought of even more reasons that hiring a consultant is such a good idea. Why? Because any nonprofit that’s planning a capital campaign should really make the oh-so-worthwhile expense of hiring a consultant a budget priority!...

Looking for Your Top Campaign Gift? Check These 5 Places First

If you are in a capital campaign, you’ve got to have some prospective donors who are likely to give really big gifts. If your campaign goal is $5 million, for example, you’ll likely need a gift of $1 million or more to anchor your campaign. If your goal is $3 million, you’ll need a gift of between $500,000 and $750,000...

Ask Yourself 3 Key Questions Before Asking for That Big Gift

For most people, asking for gifts in person is difficult. And when you are asking for one of the top campaign gifts, it’s even harder because the stakes are super high. Chances are, you don’t have very many donors who would consider giving one of those lead gifts. So, it’s no surprise that when you ask those donors for very big gifts, you are anxious...

A Failing Capital Campaign Is Not Possible (If You Do It Right)

Once you recruit powerful volunteers to serve in leadership positions of your capital campaign, you have an obligation to make sure they succeed. Period! The leaders and philanthropists of your community put their reputations on the line when they agree to serve on your campaign committees or in leadership positions. To let them down and embarrass them by letting a campaign fail will have serious negative consequences for years to come. So, don’t make failure an option...

A Great Way to Help Your Donor Decide on the Right Gift

As you get ready to ask people for gifts, you will certainly wonder how much to ask them for. Sometimes you’ll know enough to have a sense of what’s appropriate. You can look at their giving history to your organization. You might also find out about other gifts they’ve made to comparable projects. Giving, like many other activities, has a large element of habit...

How to Prevent Donors From Sugarcoating Their Comments

Most people hesitate to give criticism or honest feedback. I’ve done it myself—sugarcoating my comments rather than telling someone what I really think. Unless someone asks me specifically what I really think, probing in various specific areas, I’m more inclined to give positive feedback...

How to Approach the Wealthiest People for a Gift the Right Way

Once you get over your misconceptions that rich people are so different and that they won’t want to talk with you, you’ll find that if you share common interests, you can bridge the wealth gap and build a relationship that may well lead to a gift...

Pop Quiz: How to Approach the Richest People in Town for a Gift

Do the wealthiest people in your community seem beyond your reach? Perhaps there’s a business person in your city who seems to have her fingers in most everything. She is the developer of the town’s most prestigious residential community...

Change Your Mindset: Capital Campaigns Build More Than Buildings

What’s the first thing you think of when you think “capital campaign?” I’ll bet it’s buildings. Most people believe that capital campaigns raise money for new buildings. In fact, many people think that donors like to give big gifts for buildings...

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...