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Use planned giving to ensure long-term nonprofit sustainability

By Steier Tips

Most nonprofit organizations have a life span. The goal is to extend that life span and mission beyond immediate needs. This can be accomplished through strong yearly giving, productive capital campaigns and endowments. But those aren’t the only options. A focus on planned gifts can set an organization up for sustained success and a brighter future. Bequests, planned gifts and estate gifts can be used to build up your endowment. They may also be donated as restricted funds (like buildings and maintenance, scholarships, operations or specific programs) or unrestricted funds to be used at the discretion of the organization’s leadership….

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What is the state of fundraising in 2022?

By Steier Tips

Although the past few years have been tumultuous, data shows that donors have been as generous as ever. The state of fundraising in 2022 looks strong. In November, the Fundraising Effectiveness Project released its data on the first two quarters in 2021, showing an increase over 2020. FEP did see slowdown in the second quarter, but overall fundraising was still up. The slowdown in the second quarter could be due to the abnormally strong growth in quarter one. A few other notes from this data: The rise in number of donors was small (.7%) but total funds raised were up…

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Boost year-end fundraising with a focus on stewardship

By Steier Tips

As 2021 ends, nonprofits are discussing how best to solicit end-of-year gifts. Most often, the discussion centers on methods of giving such as taxes and retirement accounts. But, during the Christmas season, we believe a focus on stewardship – the heart of giving – serves to enhance year-end fundraising. The United States Catholic Conference of Bishops unveiled four tenets that define stewards: Our lives, and all that we have, are gifts from our loving God. As stewards of God’s gifts, we take care of what we have and generously share it with others. Seeing everything before us as gift –…

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Endowment campaign strategies that work

By Steier Tips

For many nonprofits, raising money for an endowment is the ultimate dream. To have the resources and support necessary to increase an endowment beyond an organization’s operating needs seems like a challenging, yet desirable goal. When you think of an endowment campaign, you might generally think of large nonprofits with endowment funds in the hundreds of millions. While those large institutions are often the most prolific endowment fundraisers, more modest sized nonprofits can and should raise endowment dollars when they are able. Small nonprofits, those raising $5 million per year or less, should generally focus on expanding their general and…

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Embracing stewardship helped Diocese of Hamilton in successful campaign

By Steier Tips

How can we ask for money at a time like this? That has been a common question from nonprofits since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in early 2020. For the Diocese of Hamilton in Ontario, Canada, the question arose as it was halfway through its $35 million One Heart, One Soul Campaign. After a brief pause, the diocese restarted its campaign in fall 2020, despite strict limits on Mass attendance and other COVID-related restrictions. The diocese has no regrets. “When you look at this through the lens of stewardship, through the lens of faith, it became clear that the option…

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Newman Center at Northern Arizona University persevered through pandemic challenges

By Steier Tips

When the pandemic shutdown much of the U.S. last year, campaign leadership with the Newman Center at Northern Arizona University (NAU) did not waver. They never hesitated in their goal to continue raising the funding needed to address their capital needs. “I thought ‘God is with us. We can do this,’” said Angela Vargas, the chief operations officer for the ministry center. She served as a leader for the Together, Let Us Go Forth Capital Campaign. While most Americans viewed the restrictions and a slowed economy through unnerving eyes, Vargas remained confident. Aware that leadership with other campaigns across the…

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How to plan a capital campaign launch

By Steier Tips

I wish I could say that a capital campaign launch was as easy as 1-2-3 – meaning you have three easy steps to follow. The process contains more steps than that – and each is critical to your organization’s success. The first step is to determine the need for a capital campaign. Do you need to build an education center? Do you need to reduce debt or strengthen an endowment? Do you need support for operations? Notice the emphasis on “need.” We know from experience that donors prefer to fund needs rather than wants. Donors will support projects that are…

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Planning study feedback proved vital to St. Pius’ successful campaign

By Steier Tips

Planning studies are intended to set the stage for a successful capital campaign. The 2019 study at St. Pius Catholic Church in Urbandale, Iowa, accomplished just that. The parish took into consideration its parishioners’ feedback, adjusted its campaign goals and ultimately raised over $5 million through the Living Our Mission – Building Our Future Capital Campaign. After beginning a master planning process in 2013, parish leaders developed plans to construct a 28,000-square-foot parish center at a cost of $7.3 million. St. Pius engaged the Steier Group to conduct a planning study to gauge support for the project and prepare for…

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What are the responsibilities of a capital campaign manager?

By Steier Tips

As you consider hiring a professional fundraising and development firm to help with your campaign, you might pause to think: “What will a manager do for me?” Or “How can a manager lead us on the path to success?” Capital campaign managers play a crucial role in any fundraising effort. They set the lead in planning, executing and monitoring projects. Campaign direction and progress revolves around the manager completing their tasks while assisting others with their work. Here are the key duties you should expect your manager to accept during a campaign. Communicating with donors and leadership: External and internal…

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Track these important capital campaign metrics to find success

By Steier Tips

For many, only one metric points to capital campaign success – total funds raised. And that is clearly an important metric. But that doesn’t tell the whole story of capital campaign success. True success comes from maximizing your fundraising efforts and inspiring support from your entire community. Here are three important capital campaign metrics to track to ensure a successful capital campaign: Number of personal visits At the Steier Group, our fundraising approach has always focused on personal visits. That’s because our experience has shown personal visits to be the most fruitful fundraising tool. The personal touch of talking about…

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