How to Maintain Campaign Discipline
As major campaigns near their ends, often there is a tendency to lessen the focus on best practices and the campaign discipline that has been key to your success.
I believe that campaign goals should be met with major gifts. This strategy always should include plans to maintain and increase your ongoing annual support. If a grassroots effort is advantageous, then a community phase or grassroots appeal should take you over goal. It is stressful to be relying on smaller gifts to hit your goal.
So to finish as strong as possible and on schedule, you must maintain that strategic major gifts focus. Here are three key areas to focus on as you are in the homestretch, nearing your goal:
1. Focus on your best and qualified prospects
A qualified prospect means someone with a proven interest in your project, your organization or at least the kind of work you do, or someone with a volunteer or staff connection. You need to have a laser focus on your top 20 prospective donors, and guide the next steps in the relationship to move toward a gift.
2. Communicate regularly with the campaign steering committee
Sending weekly updates by email, and making regular phone calls and visits should support this relationship and the volunteer’s work.
3. Make volunteers the heroes
Volunteer leadership is key to a campaign fulfilling its potential. Make the campaign about the volunteers—not the CEO, chief development officer or other staff. Staff’s role is to support the volunteers. If you get out in front of the volunteers and don’t share the spotlight, well, the volunteers soon will be functioning at only a small portion of their capacities.
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.