Engage donors by telling your organization’s story

Dr. Seuss could tell a story. So can Stephen King. For me, Harper Lee remains at the top of my list of storytellers. I read “To Kill a Mockingbird” while in junior high school, and the story she told about racism still resonates more than 35 years later. Sharing a story can send a powerful message. Stories put social issues in perspective and give readers a call to action. Stories about overcoming tragedy inspire us…. Read more »

Plan for the unplanned when creating a capital campaign strategy

The whistle blows and it’s halftime. The sideline reporter asks the coach headed to the locker room, “What adjustments do you need to make in the second half?” This same question applies when evaluating the progress of your capital campaign. The ability to adapt to changing circumstances can mean the difference between falling short or getting past the goal line. A CUSTOMIZED GAME PLAN There are foundational strategies that must be included in any game… Read more »

Tiered goals set up every capital campaign for success

Everyone wants to associate with a winner. Whether rooting for a championship sports team or working on a successful capital campaign, people want to invest time and energy and make sacrifices for a champion. To ensure your organization is primed for success, make sure to conduct a campaign planning study prior to conducting a major fundraising effort. This allows your organization to set an attainable goal and come out a winner. But what happens when… Read more »

An appointed time for everything: Engaging the liturgical year in capital campaign fundraising

“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1) We all operate under the cyclic rhythm and pace of seasons and events important to us and our organizations. Just as our annual calendar moves through the four seasons, so too we live by other markers of time: academic calendars, fiscal calendars, tax season and more. The many Catholic clients we serve live by the liturgical… Read more »

The top five fears of development directors

Launching a campaign can seem daunting. Through the years, we’ve faced plenty of challenges that have the potential to derail campaigns and haunt development directors. Here are some of the top fears of development directors and how to overcome each: A Bad Donor Database: You don’t want to go to a cupboard you think is stocked only to find nothing on the shelves. Donors come and go, so your database must be equally fluid. An… Read more »

Giving is personal: Cookie-cutter approaches to fundraising don’t work

It typically starts something like this: Campaign leaders are talking strategy with their campaign manager about how to raise the necessary funds to meet their goal, when someone asks: “How many – take your pick: parishioners, members, donors – do we have?” Followed by: “How much money do we need to meet our goal?” Next comes a moment of silence as the person who started the conversation does some quick division. “That means if we… Read more »