By Pete Parker
Despite the sluggish economy, a handful of non-profit organizations are beginning to consider major giving campaigns to fund capital, endowment and scholarship projects. It’s no secret that major campaigns are among the more extremely difficult and time consuming projects undertaken by organizations.
How do you know when your organization is ready for a major campaign? Here is a list of questions you might consider when determining your organization’s readiness for a major campaign.
- Do you have a strategic long-range plan for your organization?
- Are your organization’s key stakeholders, such as the board, executive director, and key volunteers, committed to investing energy, time and money?
- Does your organization have a positive image in the community?
- Does your organization have enough staff to handle campaign activities or will you need external professional counsel?
- Does your organization have a current development/fundraising plan?
- Have you conducted a pre-campaign assessment to test your case and campaign goal, develop relationships, and recruit campaign leadership?
- Do you know how to best utilize your volunteer and staff resources?
- Does your organization have a compelling case statement?
- Does your organization have a strong public relations effort to complement your fundraising plan?
- Have you identified the current and potential donors who have the resources to make significant contributions?
- Are you prepared to create solicitation strategies for each donor?
- Does your organization have a gift policy?
- Do you have a plan for collection and pledge redemption?
A common mistake made by non-profit organizations is lack of preparation when it comes to major fundraising campaigns. While the questions above should be answered before every key initiative (annual fund, board recruitment, membership), preparation of your organization’s most aggressive project will determine its success, both in the short and long terms.