Fundraising 101: 10 Things You Need to Know About Capital Campaigns
6. Get to know
These days, individuals typically give to their top three nonprofit organizations, and give less frequently (if at all) to organizations that fall outside those parameters. When you get that first meeting with a potential donor, don't ask for a gift. You are building a partnership. Learn about the potential donor and what his goals are; give him time to get to know you and the organization and why this campaign is important to his community.
Gifts are being given, but many are taking longer to get and are less than originally expected. Many individuals are trying to predict what the market will do to determine whether they will make gifts and the size of the potential gifts. Initial gifts to the campaign are not necessarily the last gifts. We find that five-year payouts for major-gift donors are becoming the rule rather than the exception. Be flexible with donors around timing; some donors may need to ease in to their giving. Enable donors who desire to be supportive but cannot give cash right now to make deferred gifts that will be used in the future. Or allow a portion of their gifts to be allocated to capital and endowment needs.
8. Plan for stewardship
Stewardship is one of those things that many nonprofit organizations feel they already do well, but the messages we hear repeatedly from donors are often the opposite. Be disciplined about stewardship — develop a plan, assign responsibilities, hold people accountable. Once someone contributes, keep her informed on a regular basis about the campaign progress and how her funds are already changing the lives of those the organization serves and inspiring other donors to follow her lead.
9. Continue to
progress, and keep the big picture in mind.
Be disciplined about monitoring the campaign process, campaign progress-to-goal and priorities. The development team should meet regularly to discuss portfolios and review pipeline reports. Your chief development officer should meet regularly with the chief executive and chief financial officer to review campaign reports on fundraising progress and project costs to ensure that goals are realistic. If a campaign is not comprehensive, creating a complementary relationship between the annual fund and capital campaign will be necessary.