We are embarking on a capital campaign and I have officially hit the fundraising fast-track. We are studying our donor base in minutiae. I am amazed a the process — which is beginning to look something like a high-stakes chess game.
A capital campaign can seem daunting at first — especially if you’ve never experienced one from the start. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Fortunately for me, we’ve placed ourselves in the hands of an ace consultant (aka “coach”). Capital campaigns are all she does, and that matters. It’s like hiring a wedding planner — you want to work with someone who’s arranged hundreds of weddings, not just a few. You’ll thank yourself for making the right hire. The right consultant will make all the difference between shock and awe — and confidence, competence, and ultimately, success!
So, when was the last time you conducted a thorough donor analysis. I mean, really? Not just the biggies, not just the board. It’s worth doing, and if possible, in partnership with someone who will really push you to your best effort. Two heads, as they say, are always better than one. Here are a few suggestions for a deep-dive donor analysis:
- Look as far back as 10 years for major donors
- Look at who stopped giving, and make a plan to get them back
- Evaluate single gifts and cumulative giving
- Seek out the sleepers and brainstorm ways to engage them
- Make a list of donors who got stuck and may need cultivating upward.
Never let a BHAG (Big, Hairy, Audacious, Goal) scare you. BHAGs can be your best friend, if you let them. Now get out there and win a round for the good guys!