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.

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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