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Track these important capital campaign metrics to find success

By June 17, 2021January 13th, 2022Steier 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 the importance of a campaign, in person, cannot be understated.

In our campaigns, personal visits make up 45% of all pledges and 82% of overall pledge amounts, with an average gift size of more than $10,000. This shows the importance of recruiting volunteers and making as many in-person appeals as possible.

While the pandemic impacted the number of in-person appeals, Zoom calls and other avenues helped bridge the gap. And, as things open up again, personal visits will once again be the best way to solicit campaign donations.

Participation percentage

Considering the 80-20 rule, the bulk of your funds raised will come from your biggest donors. But that doesn’t mean you should only ask those donors for support. A campaign that relies heavily on major donors may reach goal but might not be as fruitful in the end. Expecting your major donors to do all of the work is a way to wear out your welcome with those supporters.

That’s where participation percentage comes into play. While a high participation percentage may not yield significantly higher funds, it will most certainly lead to a happier, more connected community. It shares the burden of a significant fundraising endeavor across the entire community. And broader buy-in generally leads to more excitement and more funds raised. Steier Group campaigns with higher participation almost always find greater success and build a stronger community connection through the fundraising effort.

Pledge redemption percentage

While the items listed above are important, capital campaign success ultimately comes down to this final metric. Pledges are non-binding commitments to support your organization. Until fulfilled, they don’t actually help you pay for your new church or replacing your HVAC system. Ideally, every campaign would receive every dollar pledged. But reality gets in the way of that goal. Over a pledge period of three or five years, it is common for supporters to move or change careers or suffer hardships that alter their ability to fulfill that initial pledge.

The good news is that there are ways to boost pledge redemption. Consistent communication and reminders can help keep donors on track. Online giving is a great way to fulfill pledges as the donor can set up recurring payments and won’t need to remember to send in a check. Additionally, you can find new donors to adopt unfulfilled pledges.

Just as you may lose some supporters to moves, new supporters will join your community during the pledge period. Don’t be afraid to ask for their support. St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church in Roswell, Georgia, used consistent capital campaign follow-up to achieve a high pledge redemption rate.

Keeping these important capital campaign metrics in mind should help you find fundraising success. If you have questions about metrics to track in your fundraising efforts or how the Steier Group can help you achieve your fundraising goals, please contact me.