When is the Right Time for a Major Gift Campaign?
In our work with thousands of nonprofits, one of the questions we are often asked is this: “How do you know when it’s the right time for a major gift campaign?” The simple answer is: “If the nonprofit needs money, it’s the right time to raise major gifts.”
However, needing money does not guarantee that you will raise major gifts. That takes intentionality. Asking these questions will help predict your nonprofit’s ability to complete a successful major gift campaign:
Is your vision big enough?
Needing more money to keep the lights on and “help people” is not a bold vision; and donors want to invest in something big. Raising major gifts requires you to think well beyond the day-to-day tasks, and imagine the lives you could change if you had all the money you needed. Would you establish a new, permanent home? Would you renovate your current space? Would you retain additional staff members, expand programs, create a strategic reserve, build an endowment…? Take time to dream; then plan.
Have you done your homework?
How do you know how much money you could realistically raise? How long would it take? Who cares deeply about your mission, and who will lead your campaign? What steps do you need to take before you launch the campaign? Undergoing a pre-campaign study – conducted by objective, experienced and highly professional fundraising consultants – will provide the answers to these questions and more. Combining proven experience, research and donor/prospect-derived data, the pre-campaign study will provide a “roadmap” for success.
Do you have the right leaders?
Leaders can make or break a campaign. When your staff, board and campaign leaders are informed, mission-focused, determined and committed to executing the campaign in a disciplined manner – using a donor-centric, strategic campaign plan – the campaign will have a much greater chance of success. The right leaders feel ownership in success and take pride in what happens under their watch.
A successful major gift campaign takes the right vision, plan and leadership. It takes courage. Are you ready to raise major gifts? Hartsook is ready to help you make it happen!
Next stops on the road to achieving Hartsook’s mission of growing philanthropy by 25 percent in the next 20 years:
February 1, 2019
IGNITE 2019: Conference
February 4-6, 2019
The Great Fundraising Masterclass
February 7-8, 2019
LSE Annual Behavioural Public Policy Lecture
March 4-6, 2019
Think Double! Fundraising Masterclass
July 11, 2019
2019 Bridge Conference
AFP of Washington DC Metro Area Chapter
Prepared for Success: Demystifying the Major Gift Campaign
Resources for Smart Fundraising Available on Kindle
Keep up to date on the latest fundraising trends with the Kindle ASR Media collection:
- Reality Fundraising – Ideas, insights and lessons learned through hundreds of best practices from nonprofit professionals nationwide by Bob Hartsook
- Fundraising Leadership – The definitive source for empowering board members to become pro-active fundraising leaders by Karin L. Cox
- Getting Your Ducks in a Row – A tool box of strategies for effective campaign fundraising by Bob Hartsook
- Million Dollar Gifts – Real-life stories of million-dollar gifts that will amaze and inspire your fundraising by Bob Hartsook
- Closing that Gift – “29 secrets” to closing a gift and avoiding the top 10 solicitation mistakes by Bob Hartsook
- Performance-Driven Fundraising – Handy, yet entertaining reference tool for new and seasoned fundraisers by Matthew J. Beem
- Nobody Wants to Give Money Away! – Stories, humor and more than two decades of fundraising experience in which Bob explores the nine fundraising truths essential to success by Bob Hartsook
- On The Money! – An enlightening collection of success stories and lessons learned from nonprofit fundraising campaigns nationwide by Bob Hartsook
- $231 Billion Raised and Counting – by Bob Hartsook, Matthew J. Beem, Karin Cox and over a dozen Hartsook consultants and clients. Hartsook shares stories and “Strategies for Success” that will educate and inspire
Hartsook President and CEO Matthew J. Beem’s book Performance-Driven Fundraising: Taking Control of Your Success shares decades of fundraising insights and features campaign success stories. Performance-Driven Fundraising will help accelerate anyone’s learning curve and serve as a valuable reference tool for new and seasoned fundraisers.Go here to purchase the book.
On the Web
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Visit the Hartsook website for:
– Educational opportunities
– Books/reference articles
– Conference/workshop speakers
Strategies for Success explores smart ideas, connecting with thousands of fundraising professionals. We welcome your best practices contributions or comments. Send to Strategies for Success editor Karin Cox, [email protected]. If you’d like a free subscription to Strategies for Success or its monthly companion, eHartsook on Philanthropy, contact [email protected].