Campaigns tend to have an arc beginning with strategic planning. This stage then moves into a campaign planning study followed by campaign quiet phase. The quiet phase is followed by the community phase. Once success is attained, it is very important to do excellent post campaign stewardship to ensure donors feel valued.
Planning study objectives
Ideally the planning study will lead right into a campaign launch. As part of this study and budgeting, it is valuable to bear in mind 5% of the campaign goal should be planned to go to expenses. The key parts of the planning study are
Phases of a Planning Study
A planning study has four phases. Each phase is critical to the success of your campaign. You cannot skip a step or speed up this process. The four stages are
Campaign: Key Elements
A campaign is more than a planning study report. There are many important elements in a campaign. The key parts of a campaign include
It is important to think about the role of other areas of your program including endowment, planned gifts, and the annual fund.
Phases of a fundraising campaign
Key to a great campaign is to be strategic with your time. Your most valuable ask is an ask made in person. Leaving asks to events and direct mail will leave money on the table.
6 months to 1 year 1 to 3 years
|Campaign planning||Organization||Quiet Phase||Community Phase|
|Strategic Planning||Campaign cabinet||Quiet fundraising phase||Public announcement, awareness, and publicity|
|Financial goals and objectives||Campaign leadership structure||Strategic gifts by constituency||Achievement of financial goals|
|Feasibility and planning study||Detailed campaign timeline||Recruitment of leadership||Celebration event|
|Institutional readiness||Table of gifts required to succeed||Securing of leadership and major gifts||Accountability to donors|
|Naming opportunities and policies||Stewardship and updates for top donors||Donor recognition program|
|75%-90% of final goal secured|
Campaign Quiet Phase
A quiet phase is "quiet but not secret" phase of your effort. This stage is when the organization engages the inner circle of donors and stakeholders. Another part of this time is to solidify the case for support and work through the project details and timelines. It also quietly tests the working goal and determines the path forward. Finally, this is the stage when 75%-90% of the goal will be secured.
Campaign Major Gift Solicitation Stages
When meeting with major donors, there are a series of actions to undertake with major donors.
Listen adapt, succeed
Even with a great campaign, there will be tough times and reversals. However, with a solid plan, strong leadership, a compelling case, and great execution, your charity can succeed in a campaign.
Eric Javier is a Principal and Managing Director with CCS. For the last 20 years Eric has advised leading executives, trustees, and development leaders from across the nonprofit sector.