A while back, we were working with a client whose membership had not been exposed to the idea of philanthropic giving as a culture. The client’s goal was to increase overall giving by the general membership in an effort to support the mission of the organization. For many years, it was assumed that dues and outside support were enough to sustain the amazing work the group is doing. Unfortunately, this was not the case and it was becoming more and more clear that they would not be able to maintain their level of quality work if something didn’t change to give them an increased revenue stream.
The idea of conducting a Capital Campaign was discussed and after a Feasibility Study was completed it was determined there was an opportunity to increase funding through the membership. But how?
The notion of conducting a formal Capital Campaign seemed almost too extreme to the leadership. Afterall, the members were not used to philanthropic giving and to immediately launch into a “campaign” could be viewed by some as aggressive. Instead, we decided the better approach would be to frame it as a shift in thinking. By taking some of the same elements as a Capital Campaign such as educating stakeholders, involving key influencers, and communicating the needs and benefits of the group, we are achieving the same results without raising concern or comfort level from those we hope to enlist in this effort. Creativity and flexibility are paramount in any fundraising initiative…think outside the box and don’t be restricted by names.