I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a nonprofit plunge head-first into a capital campaign.  

Here’s the scenario: A capital campaign gets fast tracked to start. Great, right? Well, no feasibility study has been performed. An astronomically high goal is set, because, hey, why not? This is a great organization, right? The board of directors is totally gung-ho, but they’re hand’s off. The CEO thinks it’s a great idea, but is also hand’s off. Everybody is on board except …

You guessed it. The Development Team.  

Have you ever felt as if you were thrown under the bus? Yeah, that’s the feeling a development team gets when management tells them to go out and work miracles based on what? Hubris? Desire? An “edifice complex”? 

These are absolutely the wrong reasons to start a major fundraising effort like a capital campaign.  

As a fundraising professional, wouldn’t you like to speak truth to power? Wouldn’t you like to nip this kind of magical thinking in the bud? Most of all, wouldn’t you like to know that you and your colleagues won’t bear the brunt of this kind of magical thinking?

One thing that senior management does tend to listen to is data. Sure, statistics can be manipulated by spinmeisters, but data is pretty black and white. That’s why it behooves any non-profit considering a capital or other major gift campaign to take a data-driven approach.

It takes some work, but you can do an internal audit to assess your organization’s readiness for the heavy lifting ahead.

Learn about this and much, much more, in part 1 of our Data-Driven Major Gifts Campaign workbook. Download Part 1. To accompany the workbook will be a three-part webinar series, the first scheduled for August 25, 2016 with Catherine McGrath, principal with Marts & Lundy, along with Linda Garrison, WealthEngine senior consultant. Register for the webinar. 

Want to start a discussion now? Contact us or leave a message in the comments below. 

 

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