Fundraising beyond your organization’s yearly events can be intimidating. Building a new worship space, strengthening an endowment for tuition assistance or reducing debt require extraordinary efforts. You can’t just pass the plate a second time.
The idea of a capital campaign is often seen as a major chore; something that you have to do, but don’t want to do. It shouldn’t be that way. Capital campaigns offer a great opportunity to accomplish much more than raising money. When done correctly, campaigns build a sense of community in your donors, sharpen the work you’re already doing and serve as a launching pad for you to reach new heights.
Re-educate your constituents about your organization’s mission
What is your mission as a nonprofit? How will a campaign further that mission? These two questions will be answered repeatedly throughout the course of a campaign. Effective communication is essential to any fundraising effort and the majority of that messaging will tie back to your mission. Making a campaign about the mission, rather than simply fundraising, will give you the best chance at success.
Bring people together through shared ministry
The Steier Group recently conducted a parish campaign where a volunteer commented how much fun it was getting to know members of her church.
During two previous fundraising efforts, this parish consistently had 750 people participate. The Steier Group’s campaign, which featured creative approaches including morning breakfast meetings, after Mass gatherings, informational gatherings and milestone celebrations received gifts from more than 1,200 parishioners. That’s a 37 percent increase in members involved.
The campaign focused on parishioner interaction and building community by working together toward a common goal. Best of all, it made the volunteer experience fun. With the focus on community building and making the effort a positive experience for volunteers and donors, it felt like a secondary benefit with the campaign actually surpassed its fundraising goal!
This approach has proven successful throughout our many campaigns. Our fundraising model focuses on the campaign experience in addition to raising dollars.
Capital campaigns should never be solely about raising money. “We need a new building and we need you to give money to build it” is rarely going to inspire donors to make a meaningful gift. Instead, a capital campaign needs to focus on your mission and lay out a path for your supporters to advance that mission together, through the campaign.
In working exclusively with nonprofits, the Steier Group understands the importance of a positive campaign experience. Our model is designed to be flexible, fun and successful.
If your nonprofit is considering that next step, please contact me. It will be my pleasure to work alongside of you in raising mission awareness, ministry and money.