by: Steve Michalek
When campaign conversations begin to rise within an institution, whether in conversations with board or administrative leadership, the moment has arrived to harness that energy and direct efforts toward planning. If the idea of a campaign gains traction before the important steps of planning and engagement have taken place, expectations begin to take shape – realistic or not.
Taking the step back to prepare for a campaign is essential, not only for assessing the capacity of potential efforts, but for providing three foundational elements to any successful fundraising initiative.
A pre-campaign study:
- Holds space for the potential of the project. By focusing on a “proposed” campaign, the opportunities remain open, not fixed. This ensures that untested expectations don’t get projected onto the perception of a campaign.
- Values the contribution of volunteers as equal if not greater than an organization’s financial capacity. Participation strengthens an institution’s infrastructure and broadens its reach. Meaningful engagement of volunteers yields an informed cadre of advocates for your cause. Identifying and empowering constituents in ever expanding circles of influence not only increases campaign potential, it positions your organization for sustained success.
- Legitimizes your plan. Taking the necessary steps to execute an effective pre-campaign study not only engages your constituents in the planning process, assuring their sense of ownership, it provides a public relations benefit as well. By inviting others to weigh-in on the proposed efforts, your leadership demonstrates a level of transparency and trust vital to a successful campaign.
Is your organization hearing the campaign murmurs?
Consider the opportunity to capture that promise to build momentum for a well planned and executed campaign to advance your mission.