How Do Your Major Gifts Program and Your Capital Campaign Work Together?
You might wonder whether your capital campaign will undermine the work you’ve been doing to build a major gifts program for your annual fund. Will your donors choose one over the other?
4 Keys to a Strong Major Gifts Program
To answer that question, let’s take a quick look at four factors that go into creating a strong major gifts program:
- You have specific goals for amounts raised through major gifts.
- Your fundraising team members have portfolios of donors they’re responsible for.
- You hold regular meetings specifically to discuss your major donors.
- Your major donors are a priority, and you make sure they feel great about their giving to your organization.
If you can say “We do that!” to most or all of the above, then you are in a great position for a capital campaign. You have strong relationships with people who believe in your work, who trust you and who will want to help move your organization to the next level.
A well-executed capital campaign takes your organization to the next level of impact.
Combining a strong emphasis on major gifts with a capital campaign results in more than either can accomplish by itself. An ongoing major gift program builds strong relationships with donors and a capital campaign provides a context to get them even more involved and ask them for special, larger gifts.
Increasing Impact with Your Capital Campaign
Capital campaigns raise money that will boost the capacity of your organization. When the campaign is done, you’ll make an even bigger difference in the world than you do now. You’ll help more children or rescue more animals or feed more hungry people.
In short, you’ll raise the bar on impact.
If you already have major donors who are excited about what you do and trust you to do it well, they’ll be excited to help you grow by making larger, special gifts to your capital campaign in addition to their annual support.
Not only that, but your capital campaign will give you several special opportunities to bring your major donors even closer to your organization.
Capital Campaigns Strengthen Relationships with Major Donors
Few fundraising initiatives give you as many opportunities to draw your donors closer than capital campaigns. How?
- You’ll have a chance to ask their advice about your plans for the future. And you know that asking advice is one of the very best ways to engage people.
- You’ll have wonderful opportunities to invite your donors to serve in short-term leadership roles, perhaps serving on a campaign committee or even co-chairing your campaign.
- You’ll have many opportunities to share inside information with them as the campaign plans take shape and you get remarkable gifts.
- You’ll have special ways to recognize their generosity and to celebrate the campaigns success milestones with them.
Put simply, a capital campaign provides the structure and excitement to jet propel a major gift program, strengthening and deepening your relationships with your largest and most committed donors.
Don’t Have a Major Gifts Program Yet? No Problem.
What happens if you haven’t yet been focusing on major gifts, or your program is just getting started?
If that’s the case, you can use your capital campaign to kick-start your major gifts work.
This approach works well because people respond positively to exciting plans, clear goals and deadlines. Whether they’re already your major donors or not, they’ll respond to the magic of big thinking about the future.
So even if you don’t have a fully developed major gift program right now, you can (and should) use the structure and excitement of a capital campaign to move both your fundraising and your organization to the next level.