Campaigns Should Move Rapidly
A fundraising campaign should move at a rapid pace.
There are few excuses for it not to. If the campaign is extended in duration, ideally it is because there is momentum to increase the goal.
When you do the right research—and my readers and other friends know I am a stickler for campaign planning studies for any effort of $1 million or above—you truly set the stage for a campaign that will hit its goal on time.
We recently conducted a study and through the process learned that the volunteer leadership that our client had in mind was not the right leadership for a campaign. Not only were gift levels that they confidentially shared far from what was needed, but they were not focused during the process and could put little time into assessing leaders for the study.
They will play a key role in the campaign, but will be undergirded by other volunteers and the scope of their work will be focused. Without the benefit of a study, this client would have had the wrong goal and the wrong leadership, and would not have known some of the challenges that need to be addressed before asking for a first gift.
The campaign would have run on for probably two years or more and languished—instead of what will be a tight, one-year effort when they embark after doing some additional cultivation and other essential preparation. So they will raise more money in less time.
Be sure that before you ask for the first gift that you are prepared. Have everything in place to drive the campaign to completion in an appropriate timeframe. Timing is everything. Momentum is vital. A campaign that languishes does nothing to build donor, prospective donor, volunteer and staff confidence. Train like you are an athlete preparing for a race, follow the plan and run fast across the finish line ahead of schedule!
Looking for Jeff? You'll find him either on the lake, laughing with good friends, or helping nonprofits develop to their full potential.
Jeff believes that successful fundraising is built on a bedrock of relevant, consistent messaging; sound practices; the nurturing of relationships; and impeccable stewardship. And that organizations that adhere to those standards serve as beacons to others that aspire to them. The Bedrocks & Beacons blog will provide strategic information to help nonprofits be both.
Jeff has more than 25 years of nonprofit leadership experience and is a member of the NonProfit PRO Editorial Advisory Board.