So you have a BIG fundraising initiative coming up where you need BIG $$$ -
Purchasing a new building/renovating
Expanding your programs/services/territory of service
These appeals might reach millions of dollars - so how do you engage donors throughout the process?
Make a Plan 📈
Set a timeline
Work backward - when do you want this project to be accomplished/launched/live? Ex: Fall 2022
Set a fundraising goal
Break this goal down into segments (see below)
Discuss with Board and primary stakeholders
Get their buy-in/feedback, personal financial commitment and confirmation they will be your primary leads in soliciting NEW and/or major donations
Segment donors into categories/lists (major, minor, etc.)
Major > Mid-Level > Minor
Create compelling marketing materials
Why do you need this $?
What will this $ do/accomplish for your mission/community/those you serve?
Check your internal systems/tools
Can our CRM easily track the incoming donations?
Is our mass e-mailing tool organized/segmented/ready to mass-blast our contacts with appeals & updates?
Do we have a dedicated staff member to collect/organize/report on/steward donor data?
Launch to Donors 🚀
We recommend breaking your capital campaign into 3-4 "segments" depending on your goal & timeline.
For example, if you're trying to raise 1 million dollars, you can break this down into 4 segments:
Major Donors - $250,000
Target your major donors (individuals, corporate partners, etc) first with a major gift ask (ex: $25k+)
You'll need some significant funds to kick-start your project & these folks will provide the necessary funds to get you there
This is usually a "silent phase" of your campaign where you're reaching out to these folks in a personal way/not through public channels (ex: Facebook, etc.)
Mid-Level Donors - $250,000
Target your donors who currently give est $1k - $5k annually
These folks will keep the momentum going
Low-Level Donors - $250,000
Target your low-level & inactive donors with a smaller one-time ask and/or a monthly ask (ex: $100 one-time or $10/mo)
These monthly donors are the stable "building blocks" who will not only help fund the completion of this project but also the ongoing expenses afterwards that are associated with it (ex: maintenance, staff labor, etc.)
Major Donors - $250,000
Final push! Target your major donors (individuals, corporate partners, etc) with a major gift ask (ex: $25k+)
You'll generally need some significant funds to wrap up your project, cover unexpected expenses that arose throughout the process, etc. & these folks will provide the necessary funds to finish strong.
Donors give because they care about your cause and want to see how their gift has made a difference. Throughout your campaign, share progress updates with them (text them through Harness 📲) and after the campaign is over:
Updates - "Here's a picture of breaking ground on the new building..."
Testimonials from donors - "I give because I believe this building will service much-needed members of our community..."
Reminders of the "why" - "We're doing this because we believe members in our community deserve XYZ and this building will help accomplish that...."
Call to action to share the news - "Thank you for your support! This project is made possible FOR the community, BY the community....tell your friends and families to be a part of this powerful journey with us!"
Gratitude for donors - "We just want to thank you for everyone who has donated, spread the word, and continue to believe in our mission!"