Why Most Fundraising Campaigns Are Long-Term Failures
OK, hold on. Stay with me. Yes, all the relationship, cause and outcomes language is buried in there, but it is really campaign dressing, not core messaging. It's very subtle, which is why it's hard to hear it. But that subtle language is seeping in to the relationship with your donor, believe me. And that is something to be very worried about.
All this is happening because a manager somewhere is focused on the campaign, the timeline and the goal. He or she is not focused on the donor, the cause or the outcomes.
In the retail world it's like having a big sales event so you can grab the one transaction vs. grabbing the customer. I know you have to do it — got to reach that quarterly target! But in the meantime you really haven't brought the customer into the house and loved and cared for her.
This is the tragic — very tragic — thing that is happening in a lot of campaigns. Some managers and board members are very aware of this dynamic. We had a nonprofit in Philadelphia approach us on this very subject.
The manager, a highly skilled, donor-sensitive professional, wanted to be sure that the capital campaign was intimately linked to an ongoing major donor program that was donor-focused. The stated reason: "so that the donors giving to the campaign will see they are a part of a living, ongoing program to support the cause we are both interested in." Brilliant!
I can't tell you how many times we have done donor file analysis for nonprofits around the country where we see a huge drop-off of donors and giving after a campaign because the organizers of the campaign thought it was about dollars and goals vs. donors and cause.
If you’re hanging with Richard it won’t be long before you’ll be laughing.
He always finds something funny in everything. But when the conversation is about people, their money and giving, you’ll find a deeply caring counselor who helps donors fulfill their passions and interests. Richard believes that successful major-gift fundraising is not fundamentally about securing revenue for good causes. Instead it is about helping donors express who they are through their giving. The Connections blog will provide practical information on how to do this successfully. Richard has more than 30 years of nonprofit leadership and fundraising experience, and is founding partner of the Veritus Group.