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.

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…

Increase Your Organization’s Influence in Just 15 Minutes a Month

Do you wish that your organization had more clout? That you had more access to your community’s thought-leaders and philanthropists? Are you unsure how you should get to know the people in in your community whose opinions are seen as the gold standard? Here’s an excellent way to build those relationships. It’s not difficult and won’t feel awkward. And, most importantly, your community’s leaders will want to participate...

10 Tips for Surviving Capital Campaign Stress

Even if you’re not in the middle of a capital campaign, fundraising boosts your adrenaline. And if you are in capital campaign mode, the stress is even higher. Here are 10 suggestions for taking care of yourself. These are things you can do to boost your energy and morale, even as you live through the everyday anxiety of fundraising...

Infographic: How to Create a Timeline for Your Next Capital Campaign

It’s easy to get lost in big, complicated projects, like capital campaigns. When you’re on the verge of getting lost and not understanding how your fundraising all fits together, there’s nothing like a clear, simple picture to help you make sense of it all. I've created a simple, attractive image of how capital campaigns work. It lays out the entire process in eight simple segments.

Create a Visual Tool to Engage Your Donors

I've coached dozens of clients, helping them draft their cases for support. Quite frankly, it's always frustrating. Everyone finds it challenging to articulate clearly and in compelling terms what their campaigns will raise money for and why it matters...

3 Simple Tips to Make Your Major Donor Asks More Successful

The better you get at asking for major gifts before you plan a capital campaign, the more successful your campaign is likely to be. And, of course, the more money you’ll raise year-in and year-out. Here are three tips to keep in mind when approaching a donor for a big gift...

Fundraising Imitates Art: 6 Tips From a Musician's Capital Campaign

Alone, needing money to do a new project, without a development director or fundraising systems. No gift history. No fundraising experience. Just a big idea for a music project that promised to do what art does so well: get people thinking differently about an important topic—in this case, war. That describes musician and composer Theresa Wong...