Why Most Fundraising Campaigns Are Long-Term Failures
Oh sure, they raise millions for the campaign and everyone is all giddy about that, whacking themselves on the back, giving each other high fives, walking around all puffed up — yup, it's quite a high. And then the rest of life sets in, and the major-gifts officer and other fundraisers are left to pick up the future. Pretty depressing.
I have never been impressed with how many millions or multiple millions or zillions a campaign raises. Never. What impresses me is donor-value retention over the long term. That is real work. That is real accomplishment. That is discipline. Keep a donor over a long period of time and you really have accomplished something!
The thing is that very few nonprofits are really aware of how donor value is just slipping away year after year. To be clear, I am talking about analyzing and being in touch with dollar values from the same donors year after year. I am not talking about "body count," i.e., how many actual donors you have retained. Two different things.
So, next time someone in your organization announces that he or she is considering a campaign, you have been warned about it! Watch out, and take care of those good donors. nd if you are right in the middle of a campaign, you still have time to influence the messaging and strategies. If you don't do it, I promise that your revenue will suffer in future years.
Oh, the organization I mentioned at the top of this post that has a very successful major-gifts program but is now launching into a campaign … well, two things: (1) The campaign will be successful — the organization has hired a group that knows its stuff, and (2) The major-gifts revenue will suffer in the year after the campaign. I won't be able to confirm this until later this year, but I would bet a fair chunk of money that I am right.
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.