Do you know if you have the full support of your community of stakeholders? Before you focus on the money required from the community, you need to consider whether you have a collection of people who are willing to do the work to raise the millions of dollars that might be required. You need administrators, solicitors and marketers who understand what it will take to fulfill the promises you make when you start the campaign until you finish and exceed your goal. You need bankers, attorneys and accountants. Then, you need financial supporters that agree with your case for raising the money.
Who will be charged with creating the structure for the campaign? Who will be keeping track of prospect assignments, meetings, results and all the required documentation? Who will be setting benchmarks, deadlines and checking in periodically to know if you are achieving the interim results as planned? Will you do it all in-house or hire a consultant like Mersky, Jaffe & Associates? Nonprofits can do it on their own, but they should understand the steps and have a clear plan before they start the journey.
From determining your quiet phase through creating time for your staff to achieve the goals, from finding a campaign chair early on in the process through strategically scheduling each ask, timing is an essential element in almost every part of a capital campaign. So much so, that there is a companion piece, “The Timing of a Capital Campaign” that can be found by clicking here.
Capital campaigns show the true nature of your organization. Are you the kind of organization that is worth investing millions of dollars or are you struggling to keep afloat? The impression that you give, from the very beginning of the process, will make the difference between success and failure. And while all of us at Mersky, Jaffe & Associates like to help organizations in a variety of ways such as: focusing their energy on important tasks, increasing their success rates through improved systems and training solicitors, no one can help an organization that does not have the community support, necessary infrastructure and understanding of timing and timeliness. Not even us.