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“I’m not sure if our campaign is sexy enough.”
I can hardly count how many times I’ve heard this worry from a client over the years—a potentially self-defeating apprehension that their campaign isn’t exciting, sparkly, or new-and-different enough to attract serious consideration from donors.
We can all picture the kind of campaign they’re imagining—the glitzy temple-building project where you get a name-brand architect, recruit all the biggest names in town to your committee, print a 30-page brochure with bold statements over gorgeous renderings, and build a landmark new building that you probably can’t afford to operate and might glimmer-glamour you to the brink of insolvency in the next recession.
Those campaigns sure can be fun. But they were never more than a highly visible fraction of successful campaigns to begin with, and their true heyday was probably all the way back before the Great Recession.
They certainly aren’t going to be the norm when we emerge from our bunkers and cautiously begin planning the first wave of post-pandemic campaigns.