Attracting Donors to a Capital Campaign
4) The involvement of other funders. Funders are often reluctant to be the first ones to give a gift to a capital campaign. Grace says this is why organizations need “champions” in the community who will step up and either give that first gift or convince other funders to give initial gifts. For this reason, it’s important to build strong long-term donor relationships. Grace recommends organizations take their initial dreams and ideas for the new building or equipment to these donors and share their excitement about the project with them. This will not only make them more apt to become one of the initial investors, it will motivate them to talk with other potential donors and community leaders.
But Grace cautions that if you plan on sharing donor information with potential donors, you discuss it first with the donor. “When leadership gifts are secured in a campaign, discuss with the donor the way in which information about that gift can be used to inspire others. In the initial or quiet phase of a campaign, the list of donors can then be conveyed to other potential donors in one-on-one meetings. When a campaign is announced to the public, the list of donors and the size of their gifts -- plus the total raised to date -- is often provided. Clearance with donors is obviously essential,” writes Grace.
“Beyond Fundraising: New Strategies for Nonprofit Innovation and Investment” (John Wiley & Sons, May 2005) is available via www.wiley.com for $34.95.