April 23, 2008
This is a question I often ask myself. Are we in the world of philanthropy working together or working against each other. Are we in competition or in collaboration?
Lets say for an example that you work for a nonprofit that provides food for children in Africa. There are hundred of non-profits doing that vary thing why should I give my money (or why should I raise money) for you instead of another organization? I am really happy with many organizations that focus their organization on a specific niche group of people that they know how to serve or issue because it allows them to specialize. What about when two organizations that have a similar or overlapping missions do they go after the same dollars?
I know many nonprofits pride themselves on how collaborative they can be. And sometimes I believe this is true when you see a couple organizations coming together to serve a family in need, or an organization has a staff member who’s salary or work area is directed from an organization outside of the nonprofit.
I have found that when it comes to fundraising there is a very small amount sharing that is going on. Try calling up a local nonprofit and telling them that you would like to see a copy of their sponsorship levels and benefits (and don’t forget to tell them you work for a nonprofit) and you’ll get a no almost every time.
What do you think? Should nonprofits be open to collaboration and shared information on everything? Should nonprofits take a more serious business approach and see their partners as competition? Or is it a mix between the two?
April 21, 2008
I am hosting the Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants and I thought this would be a great opportunity to get a bit of input on what makes a great capital campaign. I heard back from a couple people on this topic and have included their submissions below. But I’d love to hear more so I will keep the offer open. If anyone posts on the topic of capital campaigns and wants me to link to their post in the future send me an email and I with highlight it here.
Joanne Fritz talks about what a capital campaign is at About.com. Visit the article about capital campaigns to find some really useful information.
Definition: A capital campaign is a time-limited effort by a nonprofit organization to raise significant dollars for a specific project.
Sandy Rees has some great insights on how to run a successful capital campaign. She talks about the need to start preparing your donors years in advance, and to have the right people on board. Check out her post on her blog, Get Fully Funded.
At its heart, a capital campaign relies on the same things as other fundraising efforts: a compelling case, relationships with donors, and the right person asking for the right amount at the right time.
Robert Guinto from Nonprofit Capital Management sent me a few pointers about how important messaging is to a capital campaign. Check out his blog.
The branding and marketing of the message is critical to capital campaigns. There is a need to have the capital plan designed in a manner that strategically seeks funding from foundations, businesses and individuals… Another element of a campaign is that it does not just state and end on a short time period. It is important to note that your organization needs to be in front of an individual several times before there may be a positive outcome.
I thought I would highlight some examples of capital campaigns online for you to check out.
- The Elevation Church kicked off their capital campaign, Dominate, giving away $40,000 to their congregation in increments of $5 and $10. Congregation members had so spend the money on other people. An interesting way to share the vision of their campaign but resulted in huge success.
- The University of Rio is trying a video approach to bringing university alumni.
- Do you have any links or stories to successful capital campaigns?
In a few weeks make sure to check back to read my interview with a few capital campaign leaders. I have asked The Collins Group, Convio, Lipman Hearne, and Tavro Lund and they will be sharing their expertise.
April 13, 2008
I am currently in career transition. In a few weeks time I will be leaving my current job to start as the Campaign Manager at a local community college. It is going to be a great opportunity to be a part of a great institution of higher education and participate in a capital campaign. I am very excited and hope this will bring a whole new skill set for me to reflect on at A Small Change.
Over the next couple of weeks I would really appreciate any input and advice from you on capital campaigns. Next week on April 21, I am hosting the Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants on the topic, “Ingredients to a Successful Capital Campaign.” Please send your submissions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, the last day to submit will be Friday, April 18. I really want this carnival to be a good one so if you have a few minutes to craft a creative and exciting article (on Capital Campaigns) I’d love to promote it on next weeks post.
In early May you will also see another one of my “Online Interviews.” At the end of January I interviewed a number of online fundraising experts and wrote a five part series. Come early May you will see a very similar interview on the topic of capital campaigns. Feel free to let me know of any great capital campaign resources, or pieces of advice below.