Online Strategy: Capital Campaign Interview

I hope that you enjoyed this week’s posts, Key Components, Campaign Strategy, and Current Trends & The Ask. Our final topic for tomorrow is third party help. I want this week’s posts to be used and available to as many people in the nonprofit world as possible. Please send this link to a friend, stumble this post, or simply take a minute to leave some feedback.

Do you recommend having an online fundraising strategy as part of your capital campaign? How would you go about doing this?

Absolutely. Nowadays, I believe that it is important to incorporate a Web based strategy as part of a capital campaign. The objective is not to raise a lot of money on line per se, but to identify new prospects and to cultivate/ steward existing prospects and donors. Our research paper, the Wired Wealthy indicated that 66% of high value donors will go online to review a nonprofit’s Website prior to making a contribution to a new organization. Just like you’d make sure your facility was “up to snuff” if you had a major donor visit, the same applies to your Website. I recommend creating a campaign “micro-site” or mini Website focused on the campaign exclusively. It should have inspirational content, make it clear to donors how their funds would be applied, have an online giving option with gift levels/ asks tied to the theme of the campaign e.g. buy a brick, and have the ability to have prospects/ donors sign up for email. I also recommend an email cultivation strategy, with content segmented by prospects and donors at minimum. Major gift officers can leverage an online marketing tool like Convio to not only run the microsite and email outreach, but also to track the online engagement of prospects and donors. Often times, capital campaigns also have events associated with them. In those cases an online registration component should be included.
Vinay Bhagat, Chief Strategy Officer and Founder,

The Collins Group:
Savvy nonprofits already use online fundraising in their annual fund programs to encourage regular giving. All campaigns should have some element of an online fundraising strategy, whether it’s a portal for a donor to make a pledge, a web site for sharing campaign and project updates, or emails that solicit gifts. Gifts made online are usually smaller than gifts solicited in person, but the social networking and communications values of “e-philanthropy” should not be overlooked.
Dana Van Nest, Marketing Director and Kate Roosevelt, CFRE, Vice President,

Lipman Hearne:
Online fundraising is growing in importance, but more on the annual fund or operating income side than in the capital/major gifts arena. Major and leadership gifts are given as a result of direct and engaged conversations between a donor and institutional or volunteer leadership; that level of intimacy is not possible – even through Web 2.0. Ask yourself: what’s the maximum amount of money you would commit – either to a philanthropic cause or to a consumer purchase decision – through the Web without, in essence, “kicking the tires”? $500? $5,000? $50,000? In most cases, this level of commitment would not rise to the major or leadership gift strata. And major gifts drive campaigns. Online giving, properly managed, can provide a terrific new way to engage annual or operational donors, and get them in the “cultivation queue” (particularly in regard to younger donors), and online outreach can be a terrific tool in terms of stewardship, communications, and donor community engagement, but in the end the dollars are going to be brought in by the door-to-door retail slog.
Robert Moore, Managing Partner,

Please leave any comments or advice of your own below. If you would like to see past and upcoming online interviews you can visit the Interviews page. Thanks for reading!


One Response to Online Strategy: Capital Campaign Interview

  1. […] Online Strategy: Capital Campaign Interview from Jason at A Small Change Fundraising Blog […]

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