For nonprofit organizations, the decision to embark on a comprehensive campaign can be one of the most significant they will ever make. The magnitude of a campaign raises important questions, such as “who will lead the campaign?” or “are we using our database wisely?”
A campaign also calls forth well-founded worries, such as the perception that the annual fund will suffer. Since the most common early donors to a campaign are those who already make annual gifts, Campbell & Company decided to explore the conventional wisdom that campaigns cannibalize annual giving.
Over four decades of providing campaign counsel to nonprofits across the country, our firm has gathered strong anecdotal evidence that campaigns do just the opposite. In our experience, campaigns have the ability to transform programs, development departments, and entire organizations and have a positive impact on annual giving well beyond the campaign’s conclusion. Through this research initiative, Campbell & Company sought to identify the true impact campaigns have on annual giving, both during and after a campaign.
This paper presents the results of our research and introduces three illuminating case studies from recently completed campaigns. The last section outlines 24 best practices for preserving and growing annual giving during, and after the campaign. These best practices focus on six areas:
- Campaign preparation
- Quiet phase and major gifts
- Community phase and small gifts
- Communications and marketing
- Board engagement
- After the campaign and stewardship
Campbell & Company is committed to helping nonprofits thrive before, during and after their fundraising campaigns. For additional insight on this topic, watch our webinar and don’t hesitate to contact me with questions.