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Maximizing Support From Donors Through Your Campaign


One of the most important by-products of a well-run fundraising campaign is the establishment of deeper and more engaged relationships with your donors, which in turn can help move smaller, annual fund donors up to major, multi-year contributors.

In order to do this effectively, a few key questions should be kept in mind:

(1) Should you separate the annual fund from your capital campaign or conduct a comprehensive campaign?

(2) How do you protect and enhance your annual fund during a campaign?

(3) Can you initiate a "legacy gift" conversation during a campaign solicitation? 

Annual Funds and Campaigns
The first rule of campaign fundraising should always be: "First do no harm to the annual fund!" It does you no good to have a $10,000-per-year annual fund donor pledge $50,000 to the capital campaign over a five-year period if they stop giving to the annual fund. To avoid this, many organizations have moved to comprehensive campaigns, where everything counts. But this can lead to the same result. The key is to have good communication with your donor and to be sure they understand that the campaign "ask" is above and beyond their regular support. This is an opportunity to reinforce how important their annual support is, which is always a good idea.

More often than not, once the announced campaign goal is reached many organizations declare victory and go home, without taking advantage of the opportunity to involve smaller donors. The public phase of your campaign is an excellent opportunity to upgrade smaller annual donors and engage new donors. The smaller donors you bring on board at the end of the campaign are your "seed corn" for your next major funding initiative, and your larger, loyal donors like to see that you are developing new support and not just leaning on the usual suspects.

Relationship Management Cycle
Maximizing donor support and engagement is best accomplished through a cyclical relationship management approach. Smaller annual donors (who are often identified and renewed through direct response initiatives) will often, with reasonable cultivation and engagement, support the organization on a larger scale. Once they become larger donors, good donor stewardship can lead to a deeper relationship and more meaningful gifts. Campaigns provide an excellent opportunity to move more annual donors into the major gift relationship management cycle.

The Role of Analytics
Many of your annual fund supporters don’t have the capacity or the inclination to become major donors. If you have been keeping track of your donor histories, (of course you have) you have compiled valuable information on giving patterns and interests. Data analytics professionals can help you develop a predictive model based on your typical major donor that prospects with a high major-gift likelihood. Additionally, age overlays coupled with a loyal giving history can help reveal prospects ready for the "legacy giving" conversation, which can be brought up as part of a campaign ask or in the process of regular stewardship calls.

At the end of a well-executed capital campaign, it is common to see at least 15 percent to 20 percent increase in your annual fund efforts, often much more. You will have many more donors giving at major gift levels, and your ongoing and effective stewardship of these relationships will yield significant benefits for your organization for years to come.

Jeff Wilklow is Vice President at Campbell & Company. He has more than thirty years of development experience working with a diverse range of nonprofits across the country.  

Top 5 Tips for Video Interviewing


Video Interviews: Be Your Best on Both Sides of the Camera

For both candidates and recruiters, using videoconferencing as a recruitment tool can save time and money. Yet while video interviews can offer a high level of convenience, they do require a certain amount of preparation and online etiquette.

More and more recruiters are using video interviews as one of the steps in the selection process (following resume review and initial phone screenings). Video interviews can produce more valuable interviewer-candidate engagement than phone interviews. And they can help to hone in on the top candidates to bring in for in-person meetings, saving travel costs that often include pricey airfare and hotels.

Readily-available technology is making video interviewing cost-effective for even small organizations. If you both have Apple devices, FaceTime is an easy option. Gmail users can opt for Google Chat. Skype can also be used. If you subscribe to a conference software like GoToMeeting, interviewers can even record it for others in the organization to review later.

One note of caution for interviewers: the informality of the technology may lull you into forgetting about EEOC guidelines on pre-employment inquiries. It’s always best to stick to a prepared script of questions so that you don’t ask anything that could be out of compliance.

As for candidates: do your homework prior to the interview. Carefully read through any documents that have been sent to you and review the organization’s website. Preparing a list of questions in advance says a lot about your interest level and your work style.

Here are my top five Video Interviewing tips (for both the interviewer and candidate).

1. Dress the Part

Dress as if this is an in-person interview. Nice shirt or blouse, even a suit coat and a tie if that is appropriate for the culture of the organization. Makeup and non-flashy jewelry help to create a polished image. Straighten your hair. Brush your teeth. Look sharp.

2. Frame Yourself

Find a clean, quiet location for the interview. Look behind you to see what will be visible as your backdrop. Ideally, it should be a bookcase, or a nondescript photo or painting. You don’t want anything to distract from your face. And check the lighting. Add a desk lamp if the space seems a bit dark.

3. Test Your Equipment

It can be awfully stressful to try to join a video interview only to find that the connection doesn’t work. If you’ve set up or been given a conference software login, try it 5-10 minutes in advance to make sure you don’t have to download anything. To be on the safe side, exchange cell phone numbers and email addresses ahead of time so you’ve got an alternate way of connecting if the technology fails. As search consultants, we’ve had our share of experiences where we’ve had to switch to iPhone FaceTime when laptops or iPads have not cooperated with candidates. Simply be flexible. Acknowledge the problem, and if you both have audio but no video, just carry on.

4. Considerations for Your Pets

We all understand that dogs can bark without notice. So if you are at home and have a dog, inform the interviewer (or candidate) upfront at the start of the meeting. If barking erupts, it will provide a little comic relief rather than discomfort. That said, you might consider scooting your pets out of the room during the interview. A cat walking across a keyboard is not as uncommon of an occurrence as you might think!

5. Take Notes, But Don’t Lose Eye Contact

You’ll want to have a pad of paper and pen nearby to take notes as needed. If that’s a bit old-school, then use a tablet with a silent keyboard. It’s hard to talk over the sound of clicking keystrokes. Just make sure you maintain good eye contact with the person on the other side of the screen. That’s why the two of you are on the video interview in the first place.

Kris McFeely is Executive Search Consultant at Campbell & Company. Kris McFeely has decades of experience in executive search and works with the Campbell & Company’s Executive Search team to find talented individuals that can make an impact on an organization’s mission for years to come. 

Campbell & Company Expands Presence in Madison, Wisconsin with Wisconsinite Bruce Matthews


Campbell & Company announces that Bruce Matthews, Vice President, has relocated to Madison, Wisconsin where he will serve the region’s nonprofits.  

Currently a Vice President at Campbell & Company, Bruce has expertise working with clients in secondary and higher education, arts and culture, healthcare and the environment. In total, he has helped clients raise more than $3.4 billion.

He brings to his clients a national perspective on fundraising best practices, and as a Wisconsin native, he brings a local understanding to philanthropy within the state. Bruce’s experience with Wisconsin nonprofits includes:

  • Wisconsin Chapter of the Nature Conservancy

  • Wisconsin Department of Veteran’s Affairs

  • Wisconsin Veteran’s Museum

  • Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

  • Marquette University

  • St Elizabeth Hospital Foundation in Appleton

  • Calumet Medical Center in Chilton

Bruce joined Campbell & Company in 1999 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, where he managed a staff of 50 and helped craft the strategy for a comprehensive campaign. Prior to that, he spent eight years as the Senior Development Officer in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s College of Engineering. While there, Bruce was involved with the university’s first comprehensive campaign, the $475 million Campaign for Wisconsin, and helped organize the College of Engineering’s $100 million Vision 2000 campaign. He also served as the Director of Marketing and Development for Wisconsin Public Radio and the general manager of symphony orchestras in Rochester, Minnesota, and Madison, Wisconsin.

Bruce is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Idaho, receiving degrees in music performance specializing on the French horn.

To contact Bruce Matthews, please email him at or call (312) 896-8883.

Campbell & Company is a national consulting firm offering advancement planning, fundraising, communications and executive search services for nonprofit organizations in the education, health and medicine, arts and culture, environment, social service, and professional society fields.

Through thirty-eight years and thousands of engagements, Campbell & Company has helped nonprofit organizations anticipate and manage the challenges of the philanthropic marketplace. The company maintains offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Washington, DC. For more information, please visit

Successfully Managing Leader Transitions


What would you do if a leader in your organization planned on leaving one year from now? One month from now? Today? Leaders vacate their positions in both seen and unforeseen circumstances, and as a result, the structure and culture of the organization shift in fundamental ways. The departing leader leaves with his or her personality, connections, and skills, while the organization is left to look for a replacement. How is the organization supposed to go about searching for someone new? 

It is common to believe that searching for an individual who can fill a position in the same way as the previous executive is the proper search methodology. More often than not, however, this is not the case because over time, the methods an organization uses to achieve its goals do not stay the same. New developments within and around the organization directly affect how it must interact with its environment to achieve its short and long-term goals. Thus, an organization must first determine not only what its goals are, but also the methods by which it can most effectively reach them before considering who to pick as an ideal successor. 

What to Look for in a Successor

Transition Management

When looking for a successor, the main question to ask is, “is the successor right for your organization?” While it is important to look for individuals with general leadership qualities including big-picture orientation, adaptability, collaboration, and the ability to build and manage relationships [cite], there are many features particular to each organization in which leaders do not function well. What an organization’s succession planners must do, then, is identify these features so that they are fully aware what may not suit potential successors.

In addition to position suitability, the transition itself is a difficult element to tackle for a few reasons: first, the timeline of the leader’s departure may not line up with the successor’s arrival; second, the successor may need some time to become acquainted with the particularities of the new position before he or she actually fills the role; and third, employees in the organization may need some time to recover from an executive departure and adjust to a new work environment. In all of these cases, time is a central issue that can greatly affect the smoothness of the transition. And on occasion, even when an organization has a planned successor in place, the service of an interim executive may be required. 

How to Best Prepare for a Transition

While the previous discussion assumes the security that an organization already has a successor lined up to take the place of the departing executive, what if this is not the case? Sometimes leaders leave unexpectedly, forcing the search for a successor to commence just before or after the departure. This situation can result in a scramble, thus often necessitating an interim executive who can carry out the responsibilities of the vacated position while a search takes shape for a long-term successor.

To mitigate the consequences of an unplanned departure, Marian Alexander DeBerry, Director of Campbell & Company’s Executive Search Practice, makes the following recommendations: 

MarianDeBerry Executive Search“I recommend that organizations have an executive transition plan already in place in case of an unexpected departure. From my experience, it seems like this has been happening more frequently over the past few years, so it makes sense to have a predetermined plan of what to do. Organizations without a plan are skating on thin ice. It’s possible to recover if the ice breaks, but why wait till it breaks if you can just as easily prevent it?”

To prepare for future transitions, both planned and unplanned, there are a few actions that organizations can take. Meeting regularly to determine evolving organizational goals, preparing the Board to get involved in and support and assist a potential future transition, and setting up a culture of leadership in the organization to develop leaders from within will all play their part in allowing future executive transitions to proceed smoothly.

Additionally, encouraging leaders to announce their plans to leave early on in their decision-making will greatly help the transition process. 

Marian DeBerry


Another dimension to consider is the tenure of the incoming executive. Ms. DeBerry has seen firsthand how in nonprofit organizations, the private sector, and in government-related fields, tenures at best are shifting to three to five year terms while organizations often maintain the perspective that a five to ten year-term is the standard. This framework is changing, and it is becoming more appropriate to think of a new executive as someone who will guide your organization over a couple hurdles, but not necessarily take you the full distance. While this may seem disadvantageous at first, its advantages lie within the opportunity for the organization to pick a successor that is best equipped to achieve particular organizational goals.

Lastly, managing the transition does not only have to do with finding the replacement. Its application extends beyond the implementation of the successor and into a “watch period” to ensure that the organization can run effectively with the successor and that he or she is comfortable in the new position. To make this process easier, an organization may have the successor shadow the departing executive for a sufficient amount of time before the executive leaves. This way, the successor can acquire not only a working knowledge of the duties of the position, but also establish relationships with coworkers and colleagues. This, in turn, allows the organization to become accustomed to their new leader.

Want to learn more? Leave a comment in the section below or contact Marian Alexander DeBerry, Director of Executive Search, Campbell & Company.

About the Campbell & Company Executive Search Team

The Campbell & Company Executive Search Team can find the strong leaders you need for the challenges ahead. We strive to understand each organization’s particular needs and draw on an extensive database and national network to support each of our clients.  Over the past 37 years, we have helped hundreds of nonprofits successfully fill executive positions.

Campbell & Company maintains offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Washington D.C. For more information, please visit

Countdown to #GivingTuesday! Download our Free Guide for Nonprofits!


With 76 days and counting until one of our favorite events of the year, Campbell & Company is excited to share our "Short and Sweet Guide to #GivingTuesday - a Toolkit for Nonprofits."

#GivingTuesday is a movement that has inspired a national day of philanthropic giving to kick off the holiday season. Falling on the Tuesday after consumer-focused “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday,” the 3rd annual #GivingTuesday will be held on December 2nd, 2014.

GivingTuesday guide

As a firm, we encourage our clients to take a strategic, disciplined and creative approach to managing and developing relationships with members, donors and friends. Accordingly, we recognize #GivingTuesday is a great opportunity to weave interactive engagement into those relationships and act as a touchpoint in our clients’ cultivation efforts. Our goal in compiling this guide is to assist our nonprofit friends as they innovate to leverage #GivingTuesday, telling their stories to inspire gifts and strengthening the fabric of their
communities—local, national and international—for the better.

Please let us know how you like the toolkit and if you have found it be helpful!

The Ice Bucket Challenge and Social Media’s Role in Philanthropy


On a recent trip to Ireland with my wife, we were able to meet some of her relatives for the first time and visit the family farm on which her grandfather was born. We learned her cousins are all on Facebook, so my wife has since connected with them permanently through social media. When she first visited two of her cousins’ pages last week, she found a video of each of them pouring a bucket of ice water over their heads in support of ALS, proving the immense power and reach of social media. 

The Ice Bucket Challenge has truly transcended what most viral and social media campaigns seek to achieve. According to, it started with a golfer in Sarasota, Fla., who was nominated by a friend to participate in the challenge, which at that time was not tied to any specific charity. The golfer selected ALS because of a relative who was suffering from the disease. The campaign has now spread across the globe, in many different forms, and as stated by the ALS Association, has raised, to date (September 8), more than $110.5 million in donations – this is compared to $2.8 million during the same time period last year. This campaign shows us what is possible through the use of social media and, to some extent, where the limitations lie when seeking to build a comprehensive program of philanthropy. Yes, everyone is participating, but there seems to be limited penetration of real information about the disease and how money will impact finding a cure or helping those who suffer from the disease.  People are being “called out,” but this is different from being asked to give. There is massive participation – and it is entertaining – but how much traction will there be in giving from a long-term perspective?

Organizations are increasingly using social media as a means to communicate with donors and potentially raise money. And while social media can be a good platform, campaigns like the Ice Bucket Challenge can sometimes cause board members and fundraisers to ignore the larger goal of building and sustaining a comprehensive fundraising program. In a comprehensive program, new donors are engaged and stewarded over time, and there is an exchange of value regarding the mission of the nonprofit organization (and the benefit of contributing). Donors and prospects are segmented and those with the greatest interest and ability are asked to make major investments in the future of the organization and its cause. And social media can play an important role in accomplishing these tasks. Consistently, the organizations that do all of these things well and in an orchestrated fashion outperform their peers.

As a firm, we are using social media to reach out to our community, and we are advising our clients to do the same. But, we remain focused on understanding the benefits and the limitations of social media as well as integrating it into a comprehensive fundraising program that will produce the greatest financial results for our clients.

Peter Fissinger is the President & Chief Executive Officer of Campbell & Company. 

Campbell & Company Team Quoted in Modern Healthcare on the Lessons from the Ice Bucket Challenge


We would be surprised if you haven’t already poured a bucket of ice over your head, in support of ALS. The Ice Bucket Challenge has not only raised awareness about the disease and funds for the cause but is also prompting many nonprofits to ask the question “how do we do this too?” ModernHealthcare

Modern Healthcare recently published an article which looks at the campaign’s marketing and communications lessons for healthcare nonprofits to use in their own fundraising programs.

Adam Wilhelm, Senior Consultant and Sarah Barnes, Director Marketing and Communications at Campbell & Company weigh in on the factors contributing to the success of such a campaign.

“The old adage is people give to people, and this is a prime example,” says Adam Wilhelm. “It's peer-to-peer fundraising at its best.”

The limited time to act upon is yet another element that prompts many to participate “It creates a sense of urgency,” says Sarah Barnes.

While the use of social media can help support your overall message, an organization needs to be aware that the end goal is to engage, steward and retain donors. “Social media is a great way to engage donors and get your message out there,” Wilhelm says, “but you have to think about how to steward all these people and lead them to the next giving opportunity.”

You can read the complete article here.

About the Campbell & Company Healthcare Practice 

Campbell & Company is a national consulting firm offering advancement planning, fundraising, communications and executive search services for nonprofit organizations in the education, health and medicine, arts and culture, environment, social service, and professional society fields.

Through thirty-eight years and thousands of engagements, Campbell & Company has helped nonprofit organizations anticipate and manage the challenges of the philanthropic marketplace. The company maintains offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Washington, DC. For more information, please visit

Shaun Keister and Brian Kish Quoted in CNNMoney


CNNMoneyAs more students transition from one school to the next during their undergraduate years, engaging and soliciting these students as potential donors is becoming more challenging. 

Recent data from the study by the Council for Aid to Education (CAE) finds that total contributions to colleges and universities rose in 2013 while the percentage of alumni who are giving is decreasing. In 2003, alumni giving was at 13 percent, while last year the number dropped to 9 percent.

CNNMoney recently took a closer look at the issue featuring two of our Annual Giving Consultants at Campbell & Company, among others.  Here is what Shaun Keister and Brian Kish had to say:

"What motivates alumni to give is a sense of loyalty, an indebtedness that 'I am who I am because of my education,'" said Shaun Keister Vice Chancellor for Alumni Relations at the University of California, Davis. "What we don't know from this generation that jumps around a lot is: Are they ever going to have that warm and fuzzy feeling for the campus?"

While Mr. Keister concentrated on what makes alumni give, Mr. Kish, President at the Emeril Lagasse Foundation and Annual Giving Consultant at Campbell & Company, shared his take on the reasons behind the declining participation rate and the “transfer” phenomenon. 

"So let's say you went to three different places undergrad, and then to grad school — because we have more people going to grad school, too. Now you've been to four schools. Where's your love? Where's your affinity? Where's your passion?" said Mr. Kish in the interview to CNNMoney.

For the complete article please click here.

Campbell & Company is a national consulting firm offering advancement planning, fundraising, communications and executive search services for nonprofit organizations in the education, health and medicine, arts and culture, environment, social service, and professional society fields.

Through thirty-eight years and thousands of engagements, Campbell & Company has helped nonprofit organizations anticipate and manage the challenges of the philanthropic marketplace. The company maintains offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Washington, DC. For more information, please visit

Shaun Keister Featured in COP on the High Demand of Fundraisers


Keister, ShaunAs charities aim for increased private fundraising the demand for highly skilled and accomplished fundraisers is on the rise.

However, vacancies are hard to fill. It takes a median of six months to replace a development director, according to a 2013 national survey of more than 2,700 charity leaders and top fundraisers by CompassPoint Nonprofit Services and the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund.

A recent article on the high demand of fundraisers in the Chronicle of Philanthropy features Shaun Keister, Vice Chancellor of Development and Alumni Relations for UC-Davis and Annual Giving Consultant at Campbell & Company. Mr. Keister shares the story of his recent transition from one institution to another. He also shares his take on what it takes to be a high-performing fundraiser in today’s philanthropic environment. Read the complete story here.

About Campbell & Company
Campbell & Company is a national consulting firm offering advancement planning, fundraising, marketing communications and executive search services to nonprofit organizations in nearly every sector. Through thirty-eight years and more than a couple thousand engagements, we helped our clients anticipate and manage the challenges of the philanthropic marketplace. Our offices are located in Chicago, Portland, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Washington, DC. For more information, please visit

Tips to Building an Engaged Board


An organization’s board is a key ingredient to increasing a nonprofit’s impact in its community – and having the right people on the board is critical to the success of the organization.

During Campbell & Company’s 38 years, we have debated whether nonprofit boards should have term limits. And in the larger nonprofit community, this is a widely debated topic. Essentially, I favor term limits.  I believe that by having term limits, an organization is forced to have to continually work on building and developing its board, and as a result this leads to stronger board development and engagement practices.  Among the many benefits of having term limits include: fresh energy and perspectives from new board members, avoiding “board member burnout”, and expansion of constituency and expertise.

Here are a few board development tips that will impact the engagement level of your governing board:

  1. Make the board development committee central to the working of the board. This group, which should include the board chair, the CEO and the chief development officer – among others – should be charged with developing and sustaining a great board.
  2. Develop clear criteria, including providing expectations, for all prospective board members.  Knowing what kind of trustee you are looking for will impact your ability to identify strong candidates.
  3. Establish a strong list of potential trustees. Many boards become weaker when there are no good candidates and there are vacancies to be filled. It is important for your board to develop a list of potential members who fit the culture and vision of the organization.
  4. Meet with prospective board members, in person, at least once before inviting them to consider serving as a trustee. Make sure you review the benefits (impact on mission) and responsibilities all trustees have before asking a candidate to serve.
  5. Create a strong orientation program.  In order for board members to succeed, they need to understand the organization. And having an effective orientation programs get them off to a good start. Examples can include special tours, meeting organization staff and leadership, attending events.
  6. Assign new board members to at least one committee. Serving on a committee will engage new trustees at a ground level, allowing them to meet people and make a difference. Learn about your board members’ interests and talents, and try to assign them appropriately.
  7. Evaluate trustee involvement (and effectiveness) annually. Many board develop a scorecard to measure the performance of board members on key indicators: meeting attendance, committee participation, financial support. This can be a guide to use when evaluating trustees. Remember a scorecard does not tell the whole story.
  8. Meet with board members annually to receive their feedback on the quality of their engagement. This is easier said than done, but can go a long way toward either keeping trustees engaged or beginning the process of considering whether a particular trustee might consider resigning his or her position to someone who is better suited to the job.

It is true, a board can do all these things whether the organization has term limits or not.  But the recruitment cycle term limits impose tend to focus boards more toward board development, and good board development is a critical key to creating and sustaining an engaged board.

Peter Fissinger is the President & Chief Executive Officer of Campbell & Company. 

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