You’ve just finished a successful capital campaign. Time to celebrate! All that hard work has helped you get a long-awaited project off the ground.
However, you knew this project was going to take more than one capital campaign to accomplish. You’ve raised enough to get the project started, but you have more pieces that are part of your vision. And your organization needs some time in between campaigns.
What do you do in between campaigns to sustain your vision and put yourself in position for a successful follow-up effort? Here are a few ideas:
Effectively follow up on the first campaign. OK, but what does that mean?
- Evaluate the first campaign and learn from it. What can we do better the next time? What worked well that we should do again?
- Focus heavily on pledge redemption. It doesn’t help to have pledges if they don’t turn into actual gifts. Be sure your Follow-Up Committee is monitoring collections and offering polite nudges to those who lose track of their payments. If donors have had unforeseen events, adjusting payment plans is an option. Consider asking supporters to adopt unfulfilled pledges and seek gifts from new members.
- Continue to update your database. That will be crucial when you start the next campaign.
Continue to cultivate major donors. Keep in touch with them. Seek their opinions. Thank them. Celebrate. Hold occasional events that don’t have anything to do with money.
Communicate! Make your supporters aware of the continuing benefits of their support. Communicate the needs for the follow-up campaign.
But LISTEN, too. Ask donors and potential donors what they think of the organization’s effectiveness. What ideas do they have for the future? How should the organization focus a second campaign?
Welcome those who are new to the organization. Update new supporters regarding your past and give them a taste of the future. Help them feel that they belong and that their investment in your organization is important and appreciated. When the next campaign comes around, they’ll be eager to be a part of it and will provide fresh energy to your donor base and volunteer crew.
Educate your supporters about stewardship. For faith-based organizations, stewardship is a way of life in which we give first and foremost because we’re grateful for what we’ve been given. It’s what puts the joy into giving.
Often and anytime, say thank you! For the financial gifts. For being active in the organization. For whatever way that person or family makes a difference. Then say thank you again. You simply can’t say it enough.
If you have any questions about what to do between capital campaigns or would like to discuss our services, please contact me.