Ways to Thank Capital Campaign Donors
A capital campaign is a huge endeavor to address a huge need within an organization, whether it be for a new building or new equipment. Capital-campaign goals frequently are in the millions, making most gifts seem like mere baby steps toward the destination.
But as every good fundraiser knows, every gift is fundamental and necessary in order to reach that goal.
Thanking capital-campaign donors for their gifts is not only vital, but it often is the first step in building long-term relationships with new donors and preparing them for the next campaign. In the book “Capital Campaigns: Constructing a Successful Fundraising Drive,” author Edward C. Schumacher answers 20 key questions pertaining to capital campaigns. Schumacher is president of Third Sector Consulting, a Seattle-based fundraising consulting and training firm.
Among Schumacher’s topics is that of how to thank capital-campaign donors. He recommends organizations put in place a good recognition program before the campaign begins.
Some ways to recognize donors include thank-you letters, listing their names in a newsletter or holding special events in their honor. For donors who give large gifts, organizations can offer naming opportunities on lobby walls, recognition plaques or brick walkways, and offer top donors the opportunity to name a building or a room after themselves or in memory of a loved one.
Naming opportunities can offer incentives for donors to make large gifts. But Schumacher says that before the campaign begins, the campaign team, staff and organization leadership should make a list of named-gift opportunities for the board to review, adding, “Whether or not to offer naming opportunities is a decision the board should make after careful consideration.” To be considered:
* Are the naming opportunities consistent with the values of the organization? Schumacher uses the example of a cigarette company wanting to donate a large amount of money to a nonprofit hospital. Accepting such a gift and naming a wing of the hospital after that company most likely would conflict with the hospital’s mission and values.