Four ways to improve your planned giving program

Strong planned giving is the hallmark of a high-functioning development program. While many organizations are able to meet their needs through annual fundraising and capital campaigns, planned giving is often the final element that allows a program to reach its full potential. Deferred gifts offer peace of mind to both the donor and the organization. They allow the organization to escape the hand-to-mouth budgeting cycle and plan for the long term. Is your planned giving program… Read more »

Research demonstrates the value of personal visits to fundraising

For 20 years, the Steier Group has relied on data analytics to manage our successful campaigns. Our statistics show what we know from experience: People give more to religious and community organizations when they are asked in person for support. The Steier Group recently embarked on a major, two-year research project to quantify exactly how much more effective personal visits are than other solicitation methods. We tracked 51 campaigns and 22,757 donor decisions, analyzing the… Read more »

Three ways to express your gratitude to donors

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.” ― Alphonse Karr (1808-1890) As I look back over the Steier Group’s 20 years, I could easily focus on the setbacks, struggles and heartaches. In other words, I could focus on the thorns. But I’m glad to say that when I look at the amazing relationships the Steier Group has developed with our clients, when I survey the good that we’ve… Read more »

Why do development directors only last 18 months on the job?

Let’s face it: Not everyone is comfortable asking others – especially people they know – for money. It’s an acquired skill, and it takes a bit of courage. It typically takes someone with an outgoing personality who isn’t afraid to hear the answer “no.” Leaders of nonprofit organizations, including religious ones, often find themselves in an endless cycle of replacing their development directors or stewardship coordinators. Many times they believe they have found the perfect… Read more »

Why do a capital campaign feasibility study?

When leaders at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Osage, Iowa, retained the services of the Steier Group, they hoped a capital campaign feasibility study would answer two primary questions. First, do their parishioners support plans to build a new, handicap-accessible church? And second, can they raise enough money to fund the project? The answer to both questions was yes, but with a pair of caveats. Parishioners indicated that they would back plans to replace their… Read more »

What is capital campaign management?

“There just isn’t enough time in a day.” How many times have you found yourself speaking or thinking this statement? How many times have you heard that from your organization’s employees or volunteers? Within your organization, chances are good your devoted employees log more than 40 hours each week so that your organization can continue to serve your community. Now imagine adding an additional full-time job – requiring another 40 hours per week – to… Read more »