The Big 3 Ingredients in a Successful Fundraising Campaign
We are wrapping up a very successful endowment campaign with an exemplary client — the USPOULTRY Foundation. Recently, another foundation had asked to meet about its campaign.
The USPOULTRY campaign's initial chair, Monty Henderson (we have five wonderful chairs and a great steering committee), said he would like to share what made the campaign a success. I was very curious.
Henderson's top three points were:
- Mission — one that the board and donors are passionate about;
- Leadership — he pointed to the organization's CEO, John Starkey, and his incredible commitment to see this project succeed; and
- Counsel — he shared that having professional direction was instrumental.
Starkey echoed Henderson's top three but stressed the leadership of Henderson and the steering committee.
This really fascinated me because these are the big three that I share with potential clients:
- A case that creates urgency and excitement.
- You have to have great leadership — board, campaign steering committee and staff. Donors want to see a strong board because the board — and the CEO — is responsible for implanting the project(s). The steering committee leadership is critical because the steering committee visits with peers and shares its passion.
- And finally, while I don't usually say "counsel," I agree with Henderson. You have to have the right strategy and execution.
There are many ingredients in a successful campaign. Every campaign has its own unique circumstances and requires a strategic, tailored approach for success. But a compelling case, inspiring leadership, the right plan, and skillfully and timely execution are essential!
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.