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Capital campaign strategy best practices - Steier Group

Five ways to steward your donors from a safe social distance

By Steier Tips

Each Thanksgiving, millions of Americans share what they’re thankful for. Perhaps your family even went around the dinner table (or Zoom call) and individually expressed gratitude. During this holiday season, nonprofit organizations should be doing the same: expressing gratitude. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has never been a more important time to steward your donors. Though millions of Americans remain out of work and millions more have experienced reductions in pay, donors have stepped up to support charitable causes. The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported that charitable giving increased by 7.5% during the first half of 2020 when compared to…

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Roadmap to recovery

By Steier Wire

To say that the events of 2020 flipped fundraising (and the world as a whole) on its head would be an understatement: millions sick, hundreds of thousands dead, cities and states locked down, churches and schools closed, economic struggles, millions more out of work. Some Catholic communities are suffering too. Mass attendance is down as parishes grapple with local restrictions and safety concerns. Offertory income is declining. In some extreme cases, operational shortfalls are causing Catholic schools to shut their doors permanently. All the while, pastors wonder if parishioners will ultimately return in the same numbers they did before the…

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Silver linings found in running a capital campaign during a pandemic

By Steier Wire

The pandemic has created new challenges and changed the way Catholic organizations operate and raise money. At the Steier Group, we have seen the silver linings of this “new normal” and are helping our clients not merely survive this crisis but thrive through it. While the fundamentals of a capital campaign remain unchanged, the following are some of the positive developments we’ve experienced while working through the pandemic. RELATIONSHIPS Relationships are the heart of a healthy organization and the lifeblood of fundraising. Stay-at-home orders and physical distancing have forced us all to reimagine how to sustain relationships and how to…

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Now’s the time to consider a capital campaign

By Steier Tips

The idea of running a planning (feasibility) study or fundraising campaign while society adjusts to life with COVID-19 may seem a bit crazy. But is it? Over the past several months, the Steier Group has seen a significant evolution in thinking about fundraising during this crisis. In March and April of 2020, nonprofits were rightfully hesitant and unsure about how to proceed. Many determined it was best to weather the storm, hoping that as the situation improved, things would return to normal. We all now recognize “normal” has taken on a whole new meaning and, if we don’t adapt, it…

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Live forum: Asking in April

By Steier Tips

We’ve heard from so many nonprofit leaders that are struggling financially but are unsure if they can ask for support during such a challenging time. With that in mind, our next live forum will be addressing this important question: Asking in April – Can you fundraise during the COVID crisis? Perhaps Francis Doyle said it best: “All we can do is invite people” to give. Only prospective donors can decide whether now is a good time to be asked – and to give, suggested Doyle, who is director of development for the Diocese of Hamilton. “Generosity keeps happening.” During the…

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Can you fundraise during the COVID-19 crisis?

By Steier Tips

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” President Franklin Roosevelt’s 1933 inaugural address Nearly 90 years later, these words should again serve to comfort and inspire Americans. Just as the Great Depression caused distress for our nation, so too has the deadly COVID-19 virus. The economic effects of the pandemic have some nonprofits questioning their fundraising efforts, including capital campaigns. How should we proceed? Is this the right time to ask for support? Should we wait for a return to normalcy? As nonprofit leaders wrestle with those questions, they may draw inspiration from a pair of Steier Group…

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Fundraising and development during the coronavirus pandemic

By Steier Tips

These are unprecedented times. While there is understandably a lot of anxiety and uncertainty about what a nonprofit organization should do as the economy struggles and much of society shuts down, certain truths are unchanged. Your organization remains committed to achieving its mission, your needs are real, and your mission relies upon timely and effective fundraising. The Steier Group is no stranger to advancing our clients’ mission in times of crisis. We’ve faced the uncertainties following the tragedy of 9/11, the economic instability of the great recession, many regional natural disasters (hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes, etc.) and, for our Catholic clients,…

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Four traits of a successful feasibility study

By Steier Tips

What if you could predict the success of your capital campaign in just a few short weeks? Good news – you can. A well-managed, successful feasibility study can help you test interest in your proposed plans, identify volunteers, hear from your key donors, and, most importantly, forecast the funds you’ll raise in your capital campaign. However, not all planning studies are created equal. Here are a few key characteristics of a fruitful study: A strong response rate: A well-managed planning study gathers a wide response across all groups of constituents. A good mantra to follow is: if you are going to…

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Nonprofits active on social media see higher donations

By Steier Tips

For nonprofits, social media presents a major opportunity. Nonprofits can share their stories, interact with supporters and donors, and have an impact on the daily life of their communities. As of 2019, Pew Research Center found that 72 percent of American adults are on social media. Facebook was most popular with 69 percent of adults using it. From that group, 74 percent said they use Facebook daily. Looking at those statistics, it should come as no surprise that social media can have an impact on the fundraising of a nonprofit. CatholicSocial.Media, a Steier Group partner, found that churches that post daily on Facebook…

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Strong capital campaigns follow storytelling structure

By Steier Tips

Facts don’t always speak for themselves. It may be obvious to your leadership that it’s time to update the HVAC system, address that longstanding debt or that your growing organization requires more space. But for your supporters to convene and push such projects to success, plain facts must be shared within the framework of a story. Fittingly, one of the most important pieces to any successful fundraising campaign is effective storytelling. All stories have a beginning, a middle and an end. In the beginning, a problem arises. The middle of the story is finding the means to solve the problem,…

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