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Customized capital campaign best practices - Steier Group

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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Capital campaign fundraising costs explained

By Steier Tips

Warning! This Steier Tips article is laced with clichés and overused statements – but they all are purposely included to make the point that partnering with a professional stewardship, fundraising and development firm to run your capital campaign is a wise investment. Don’t go it alone (cliché No. 1) Launching a capital campaign is important, serious business. Some nonprofits are equipped to run their own – if they have a team of professionals on staff who have the experience and time to manage it. Keep in mind, running a campaign is a full-time job – which is why we assign…

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Strong leadership allows Rice Memorial High School to fundraise through pandemic

By Steier Tips

COVID-19 was officially deemed a pandemic on March 11, 2020. That day all aspects of American life began retreating from the public square, exemplified by a 1,200-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average — a plunge that ended an 11-year bull market. A week later, on March 18, the leadership at Rice Memorial High School in Burlington, Vermont decided to continue their fundraising campaign. Similar projects across the country were paused out of concern for the impending social and economic fallout. But Rice Memorial’s leaders went on to run a successful campaign thanks to their vision, skill and boldness. “We had…

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Holy Trinity Parish found fundraising success during pandemic

By Steier Tips

The easy out when COVID-19 hit would have been for Holy Trinity Parish to delay its capital campaign until the pandemic had passed. With that approach, the Catholic community in Eldorado Hills, California, would still be waiting to relaunch its campaign. Instead, the parish continued with its effort to reduce historic debt with a temporary redirect to shore up its offertory during the initial wave of the pandemic, said Jeremy Youngers, parish life director. “Our parish responded in amazing ways,” he said. “Our approach was intentional in every step. It came down to our pastor communicating the message.” Holy Trinity, months earlier,…

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Why should we conduct a debt reduction campaign?

By Steier Tips

Is debt holding your organization back from reaching its full potential? Debt can be unavoidable – constructing a new facility or expanding your campus is vital yet expensive. But, often, organizations struggle under the weight of debt – holding back expansion and growth or services offered. Servicing debt can be a daunting challenge for a parish and a strain on the operational budget. Through a debt reduction campaign, nonprofits can eliminate a substantial amount of debt (or all of it) in a short period of time and repurpose those funds toward other essential priorities. While the pandemic may seem like…

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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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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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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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Building faith through stewardship

By Steier Wire

Every day, 100 workers descend on the campus of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church for construction of a larger, permanent church and a new school gym for the growing parish in Wichita, Kansas. The Rev. Dan Spexarth, pastor, said parishioners drive through the parking lot at “1 mile per hour” just so they can get a closer look at the projects taking shape. “It’s very exciting,’’ Spexarth said. The parish’s Out of Love for God campaign is funding the projects. The dynamic parish in northwest Wichita partnered with the Steier Group on that successful effort in 2018, raising more…

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