Andrea Kihlstedt

Andrea Kihlstedt

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.

How to Reach Your Goal By Reframing Your Capital Campaign

Some capital campaigns feel like a long slog. They begin with a big burst of energy and some large gifts from truly committed donors. But a couple of years later when, perhaps, the campaign has reached 70 or 80 percent of the goal, and the same remarkable volunteers continue to gather once a month to strategize about prospective donors, it can be hard to sustain the energy...

An Inside Look at Being a Capital Campaign Consultant

I was a successful capital campaign consultant. Every one of the campaigns that I worked on from assessment through the campaign reached and surpassed its goal. Was that because of my talent? Because I wave a magic wand?...

What to Do When You and Your Donor Lack Chemistry

Capital campaigns rely extensively on large gifts. It’s common for 50 percent or more of the campaign goal to come from 10 gifts. So, the success of your campaign will depend on your ability to build strong relationships with the people who might make those gifts...

3 Easy Ways to Build Donor Relationships

Do you wish you knew the secrets of building stronger relationships with people who might give large gifts to your organization? Do you feel a bit intimidated by people who have lots of money? Do you feel as though you can’t be the real you with donors, because your relationship with them is based on wanting their money? Chances are good that if you weren’t in the fundraising business, you’d never meet or speak with people like your major donors...

How to Recruit the Right Volunteers For Your Capital Campaign

Because the goals are high, capital campaigns feel risky. And few people want to be associated with something they fear might not be successful. So you have to take great care in building confidence right from the start. And that starts with getting the right people on board...

Could Face-to-Face Fundraising Be Flawed?

If you’re an experienced fundraiser, you’ve been taught that in-person, face-to-face solicitation is the most effective way to solicit gifts. But is it?...

You Must Do These 5 Things Before Your Feasibility Study

Perhaps you’re about to outgrow your building. Or the landlord’s not going to renew the lease, and it’s time to own your own facility. Or maybe you’re thinking about a new, exciting program for your organization that’ll springboard your organization’s services to a new level of excellence...

What to Do When Your Board Members Don’t Want to Ask for Gifts

If you are heading into a capital campaign, your board members will not only be called on to give generously of their own money, but they will be expected to ask their contacts and friends for generous gifts, too. And that’s often a sticking point!

6 Reasons Why You Need a Capital Campaign Consultant

During a recent client coaching session, we spent an hour talking about the reasons why it’s so important to hire a capital campaign consultant. Yes, we’ve covered this topic before, but the question keeps coming up. Besides, we thought of even more reasons that hiring a consultant is such a good idea. Why? Because any nonprofit that’s planning a capital campaign should really make the oh-so-worthwhile expense of hiring a consultant a budget priority!...

Looking for Your Top Campaign Gift? Check These 5 Places First

If you are in a capital campaign, you’ve got to have some prospective donors who are likely to give really big gifts. If your campaign goal is $5 million, for example, you’ll likely need a gift of $1 million or more to anchor your campaign. If your goal is $3 million, you’ll need a gift of between $500,000 and $750,000...

Ask Yourself 3 Key Questions Before Asking for That Big Gift

For most people, asking for gifts in person is difficult. And when you are asking for one of the top campaign gifts, it’s even harder because the stakes are super high. Chances are, you don’t have very many donors who would consider giving one of those lead gifts. So, it’s no surprise that when you ask those donors for very big gifts, you are anxious...

A Failing Capital Campaign Is Not Possible (If You Do It Right)

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...