Why run a capital campaign?

Your board members are in agreement: It’s time for a capital campaign. For many nonprofit CEOs, the thought of launching a capital campaign is a daunting one. You know there will be months of hard work ahead. There are volunteers to recruit, donors to evaluate, a communications plan to implement and special events to host. The list goes on and on. With so many moving parts in a campaign, it can be easy to lose… Read more »

Why do capital campaigns fail?

Everyone likes to be part of a winning team. Be it sports or politics, we all want to support a winner. That attitude is alive in the fundraising world, too, as people like to know their investment is paying dividends. The payoff is delivered by seeing their nonprofit of choice continuing its mission. But, just as our favorite sports team doesn’t always win the big game, sometimes capital campaigns fail. It’s an unpleasant reality that… Read more »

Volunteers are key to fundraising success; don’t be afraid to ask for help

Sometimes, you simply must ask. We all know that volunteers are the lifeblood of any nonprofit. We ask them to pitch in at events, to stuff envelopes and to help clean our facilities. But when it comes to recruiting volunteers to assist with capital campaigns, organizational leaders sometimes get cold feet. They create reasons for not asking: She’s too busy. We rely on him for too many other important roles. She may not want to… Read more »

Capital campaigns bolster annual giving programs

As Steier Group clients prepare to embark upon major capital campaigns, the fears that they express most often are related to increased workloads for their staff members and the worry that a campaign may negatively impact the organization’s annual giving program. At every development and fundraising conference I have attended during the past 25 years – and within the pages of every capital campaign book or manual I have ever read – experts claim that… Read more »

Keep a successful annual appeal separate from capital campaigns

Can you have too much of a good thing? When it comes to an annual appeal the answer is “yes.” The Steier Group works often with nonprofits that pushed too hard and too fast on their annual appeals. “Our annual appeal brings in great returns. Let’s make it into a campaign by increasing the goals and the amount we request. We will have even bigger success!” That’s usually how the thinking goes. Unfortunately for organizations… Read more »

New Year’s resolutions that could hinder your nonprofit’s fundraising

In the last twenty years, I have seen many New Year’s resolutions drafted by nonprofit leaders — some were achieved and others were forgotten. As you plan for the future, here are a few resolutions to avoid, as they could do serious harm to your organization’s mission: This year, we’ll rely on our staff. Managing volunteers is just too messy. At first, it may seem wise to leave the fulfillment of your mission to trained… Read more »