You’re ready to launch a fundraising campaign. You know what you want to raise money for and how it will impact your organization’s ability to deliver on its mission and vision. You are ready to go. Or are you? Could there be a deal breaker lurking amongst all the perceived “green lights.”
Here’s what we have learned: as you move forward in planning a major fundraising endeavor it is important to take time to build consensus both internally and externally. You may think you have consensus, but it can be fractured if you and your team haven’t openly discussed all aspects of campaign preparation. As an exercise we suggest you review the list below to see which area could be hiding a deal breaker now or during the life of your campaign.
- Capacity and infrastructure. There are many things related to this area that could become a deal breaker. Here are just a few to consider and openly discuss with your leadership. Do you have a campaign fundraising plan that integrates with your annual fundraising? How will you protect your annual campaign while raising additional funds for your special campaign? What about your data management system? Is the data current and accurate? Do you have adequate staffing to provide project management and administrative support as well as fundraising support? Does the organization have the “will” to embark on and sustain a campaign? Do you have committed fundraising volunteers? How will you create awareness for the campaign and your donors?
- Proper funding. Have you created a proposed campaign budget? Do you have funding for campaign staff and other requirements? Do you know who could provide these funds, and are you in discussion with these prospects? Are you intending to “ﬁ nd a way” or “do more with what we have?”
- Fundraising history. Do you have a history of meeting your fundraising goals? Has your annual campaign grown year over year? Do you know your donor retention rate? Have you had a wealth screen performed against your data base and are you working with the results of that screen? Do you have a process in place for prospect identiﬁcation and research? Do you have “real” donor prospects – that is people with the interest in your organization and the ability to make major gifts? Have you identiﬁed prospective donors who could make a lead gift, for example 20% of your campaign goal or more?
- External conditions. Have you identified the competition in the marketplace, for example which organizations are also preparing for campaigns? Have you assessed the level of community buy-in as it relates to your campaign priorities? How will the ﬁnancial and social climate impact your efforts?
In spite of the need and perceived urgency, you cannot achieve fundraising success without sustained buy-in from your stakeholders both internally and externally. Take time to regularly review and discuss the above issues to make sure that those items which could stop your campaign are addressed and resolved.
Copyright 2019 – Mel and Pearl Shaw
[Learn more at www. saadandshaw.com. Call us at (901) 522-8727 or 504-766-8003 for fundraising planning and strategy services.]