If you don't know where you're going, it's kind of hard
If you don't know where you're going, it's kind of hard to get there
April 5, 2005
By Margaret Battistelli
"Chesire Puss," Alice began, "would you please tell me which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends on where you want to get to," said the cat.
"I don't much care where," said Alice.
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the cat.
Ah, the wisdom of Lewis Caroll. But who knew he could be such a valuable leader in the field of fundraising? Edith Falk ... apparently.
Falk, president of the Chicago-based philanthropic firm Campbell & Co., used that passage from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to caution attendees in her opening-day session, titled "Know Thyself: The Importance of Marketing Your Organization in a Campaign," that having a clear goal in mind -- and an equally clear game plan for getting there -- is essential when undertaking a major fundraising campaign.
Sounds obvious, of course, but Falk makes mention of the head of an organization with which she was working who insisted that the group needed to have a major capital campaign, with a major fundraising goal. Why? Well, two other similarly missioned organizations in town had just launched major campital campaigns ...
Falk stresses the importance of the case statement as a marketing tool for your campaign. The most successful campaigns, she adds, are built around case statements that evolve from a process that defines both the organization's mission and why the particular campaign is important.
"The case (for giving) is not 'We are ... therefore we deserve," she says, explaining that the most effective case statements:
1. Emerge from the organization's mission and strategic plan.
2. Present a vision of "what can be."
3. Serve as an investment prospectus.