Campaign Feasibility and Counsel
A campaign is often the impetus for a transformative gift because campaigns focus around a long-term vision for your organization. Drawing on my experience as a staff fundraiser and campaign counsel for seven campaigns, which ranged from $2M to $125M, I advise on the following aspects of campaigns:
- Identifying what you need regarding readiness for a successful campaign
- Defining your case for support
- Gauging a campaign goal based on data (see below) in addition to interviews with top prospects
- Analyzing whether you have the right number of staff and volunteers to reach your goal
- Training board members and key volunteers
- Helping you to implement your campaign strategy
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Executive Director and Development Director Coaching
One of the top reasons donors make major gifts is a belief in the management of the organization. Getting to know and trust the executive director motivates philanthropists to consider investing in your nonprofit versus simply sending in a gift. I work with executive directors on how to best convey their vision to donors. I take into account the executive director’s personal comfort level and style.
Fundraising Metrics and Performance
While it is true that development work is “about relationships,” having relationships alone does not automatically translate into raising more money. The organizations that raise the most money have measurable goals, a clear plan for attaining them and the dedication to evaluating their progress along the way.
Since a significant major gift may involve 18 months to two years of strategic cultivation, evaluating a fundraiser’s work based only on an annual dollar goal can be counterproductive. I’ve seen people sacrifice the chance to secure a larger gift in favor of asking for a less significant annual gift because of a reliance on short-term goals.
If you are interested in pursuing transformational gifts, you need to gauge your progress along the way. I work with clients to determine appropriate benchmarks for individual fundraisers and create a system that builds in accountability.
Wealth Screening and Prospect Identification
Regardless of your budget or staff, no organization has unlimited resources. You need to know where to concentrate your efforts in order to maximize your time for the most money. Wealth screening and prospect research allows you to be strategic.
Once you have a sense of the giving capacity among your pool of current and potential donors, you can set individual and organization-wide fundraising goals, determine whether your staff capacity is adequate and how to adjust it accordingly, and overall, where to best spend your limited time. I work with clients on maximizing the results of wealth screening