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Capital campaign philosophy: people give to people, especially people they know

By July 29, 2014July 15th, 2021Steier Tips

Let’s face it: People typically don’t enjoy asking their friends, neighbors and coworkers for money. At the Steier Group, this approach to fundraising has led to hundreds of successful capital campaigns for our clients. Our clients know our capital campaign philosophy is based on two simple premises:

  • People give to people they know
  • People give when asked

Sometimes, our clients shy away from using personal visits as the staple in their campaigns. They would rather ask for support through group gatherings, telephone calls or direct mail. We know that our campaigns are most successful when prospective donors receive a personal visit from a volunteer who represents the organization and whom they know. These volunteers explain the importance of the project, explain why they support it, and ask the potential donor to join in by making a pledge.

The Steier Group takes this capital campaign philosophy based on the more than 1,500 campaigns in which the firm collectively has assisted clients in raising more than $2 billion. Studies also support this approach.

A study commissioned by Campbell & Company and conducted by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University found that donors who were asked to give in person by someone they knew donated 42 percent more for religious organizations and 19 percent more for secular charities. This can mean thousands of additional dollars for critical projects.

Our clients repeatedly tell us they are glad they listened to our advice and followed our model. “Their philosophy of assisting people to respond generously and their strategies to motivate gifts to the campaign greatly benefited a successful outcome,” wrote the Rev. Steven LeBlanc, pastor at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Lafayette, La.

Research and results tell us that personal, face-to-face visits work. So don’t be afraid to sit down with someone you know and ask them to be a part of something great.

If you have any questions regarding the Steier Tips or the professional services provided by the Steier Group, I encourage you to contact me at any time.