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Customized capital campaign best practices - Steier Group

For the Diocese of Wichita, stewardship is a way of life

By Steier Wire

For the Diocese of Wichita, stewardship is not a goal; it’s a way of life. This diocese strives to be a community that gives generously, sacrificially and proportionally while sharing responsibility for the mission of the Church. There’s a reason they are known nationally for dedication to stewardship. When the diocese hired the Steier Group, deepening the practice of stewardship was as high a priority as raising funds to renovate the cathedral, invest in seminarian education and grow Catholic education endowments. The successful campaign raised $26 million on an $11 million goal. Most important to Mike Wescott, Wichita’s Director of…

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Five capital campaign mistakes and how to avoid them

By Steier Tips

If you’re like many of the nonprofits with which we partner at the Steier Group, it’s been several years – or possibly even several decades – since your last capital campaign. You may be wondering how to start a campaign in the first place. And certainly, you’re hoping to avoid any capital campaign mistakes that could derail your effort. Even the most well-meaning nonprofit CEOs and development directors can make mistakes when it comes to capital campaigns. Many of these leaders conduct only a few campaigns over the course of their careers. Here are five of the most common capital campaign…

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Timing is key during transition from a planning study into a capital campaign

By Steier Tips

Great news! Your organization’s recently-completed planning study found strong support for a capital campaign. Your donors are fired up and ready to support such a transformational fundraising effort. You have interested volunteers and leaders excited to step up. What’s your next step? At the Steier Group, we advise our clients to start the capital campaign immediately – preferably in less than two weeks. We have found that delaying the start of a capital campaign after a successful planning study can hinder the success of the effort. In 194 church capital campaigns over the last 10 years, we found that clients…

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Capital campaign donor recognition opportunities

By Steier Tips

So, your campaign is a big hit. Your leaders and volunteers continue their hard work in securing gifts, donors are fulfilling commitments and an end-of-the campaign celebration is in the works. Now you can start planning that ribbon-cutting ceremony, right? Well, to quote former college football coach Lee Corso, “Not so fast my friend.” Before you can even begin to smile over your success, you must take time to recognize those responsible for putting you in this enviable position. One cannot understate the importance of capital campaign donor recognition. Simply put: people like to hear the words thank you. And…

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How to start a capital campaign

By Steier Tips

For most nonprofits, a capital campaign is the result of many months, if not years, of strategic planning and preparation. Typically, an organization has established some long-term goals and projects that are too large to be funded through normal operating revenue. Now, what are the next steps? How do I start a capital campaign? Here are the five key steps in transitioning from strategic planning to conducting a campaign: Identify your organization’s needs: Before moving forward with a capital campaign, you should be able to answer “yes” to this question: Is the need – as defined by leadership – real?…

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Capital campaign video can lead to fundraising success

By Steier Tips

What if I told you that fundraisers with video raise 70 percent more? That’s a big number – one that demands our attention. A capital campaign video is a strong way to convey a clear message and evoke passion about one’s cause. Most of our clients have found that the investment made in a professionally produced video is worth it. YouCaring, which assists organizations with online fundraising, states that fundraisers with videos raise 70 percent more on average. A professional video is among the capital campaign services offered by the Steier Group. The growing popularity of this service is due…

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Eight capital campaign strategies that work

By Steier Tips

Every capital campaign is different. The organization’s mission and vision, the campaign goals, the donor base, the availability of willing volunteers – all of these factors contribute to making each project unique. However, there are techniques that apply to almost all organizations. Here are eight capital campaign strategies that work: Campaign planning studies: Even before a decision is made about whether to conduct a campaign, a thorough campaign planning study will set you on the path for future success. A study will test support for the proposed projects, help you establish realistic goals and identify potential donors and volunteers. Beyond…

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How can a capital campaign consultant help guide you through this fundraising process? Think of the three A’s of consulting - assess, advise and act.

What do capital campaign consultants do?

By Steier Tips

As a nonprofit leader, you know the extraordinary effort you and your staff put forth to fulfill your mission. It takes passion and determination to serve your community. You must also cultivate, solicit and thank donors to meet your organization’s current needs while always keeping an eye to the future. Add in strategic planning, hiring and budgeting and it can be an overwhelming task! Now consider launching a full-scale capital campaign and the phrase “there are not enough hours in the day” comes to mind. You will need help to do the job right, and that’s exactly what a capital…

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After 20 years, the Steier Group formula for capital campaign success remains the same

By Steier Tips

In 1997, I was 31 years old, Mary and I had recently welcomed our second son without knowing that three more would soon follow. I was discerning a career change from the family-run fundraising consulting firm where I was employed. After my best friend passed away, leaving behind his wife and young daughter, the pull became that much stronger. It was then I decided that life was too short not to take the proverbial leap of faith and I decided to start the Steier Group. From day one, we focused on providing our clients with the best service possible. We…

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Funding a new spiritual home in East Tennessee

By Steier Wire

Diocesan capital campaigns are challenging even when the goals have widespread support. When you’re raising money for a cathedral, the challenges can seem insurmountable. The Diocese of Knoxville, a young, vibrant and growing diocese, faced a major challenge: It lacked a true cathedral to call home. The need was obvious, but the benefits of a cathedral can be a difficult sell to those outside the cathedral parish. So how did 51 parishes dispersed across East Tennessee come together and raise more than $44 million? By listening to their pastors and parishioners, adjusting their plan, securing gifts from outside the diocese…

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