CapitalCampaign PRO

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.

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!...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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