Third Party Help: Capital Campaign Interview

I hope that you enjoyed this week’s posts, Key Components, Campaign Strategy, Current Trends & The Ask, and Online Strategy. I want to say a big thank you again to The Collins Group, Lipman Hearne, and Convio. Make sure to visit their sites to see what they can offer your organization when you start to think about a capital campaign.

Should all capital campaigns have third party (i.e. consulting) help? What is the advantage of this kind of help?

The Collins Group:
It’s a choice each nonprofit needs to evaluate when contemplating a campaign; not all organizations require campaign counsel. The greatest return from counsel comes from creating and driving the campaign plan, working alongside the client to develop appropriate strategies for each prospective donor, and training and preparing staff and volunteers for face-to-face fundraising activities. Often counsel can have greater effect on board members than staff because they bring new ideas and are not part of past discussions. Visit The Giving Institute website for tips on how to choose fundraising counsel.
Dana Van Nest, Marketing Director and Kate Roosevelt, CFRE, Vice President,

Lipman Hearne:
It’s not a matter of whether or not, but of how much, and to what purpose. A very sophisticated and well-resourced advancement operation might need fundraising counsel only to conduct a feasibility study and provide board training and some external perspective. A less sophisticated and more scarcely-resourced organization might need fundraising counsel to do a lot more. In terms of campaign communications support, many institutions do fine in developing their case and producing materials, and others get consumed in internal conflicts that don’t let them distinguish between institutional need and donor benefit – so the case suffers – and don’t have the skills or experience to recognize and/or exploit the “special moment” that the campaign must express. Outside perspective and experience are frequently useful, as are skills that a consulting firm has in-house and uses every day, in contrast to the skills in an institution that might only be asked to devise campaign strategies every five to seven years.
Robert Moore, Managing Partner,

What can your business offer a nonprofit looking at doing a capital campaign and what is it that you do that is different than your competitors?

The Collins Group:
The Collins Group is the largest, most experienced fundraising consulting firm in the region and the largest woman-owned fundraising consulting firm in the country. We tailor our services to the specific needs and vision of each client. The Collins Group signature is innovative solutions to fundraising challenges based on broad knowledge of Northwest communities. Our innovative approach to the application of proven fundraising methods delivers superior results to diverse nonprofit organizations. Since 1979, we have helped our clients raise more than $1.2 billion.

For organizations considering a capital campaign, we would start with a phone conversation or meeting to determine their readiness. The first step in a campaign is usually a campaign feasibility study. With our studies, you not only get a report with analysis and recommendations, but also a plan to move forward.
Dana Van Nest, Marketing Director and Kate Roosevelt, CFRE, Vice President,

We can provide both the software and the services required to have an effective online component to your campaign. We work well with other agencies to drive coordination.
Vinay Bhagat, Chief Strategy Officer and Founder,

Lipman Hearne:
We have been providing high quality, on-target, smart and gorgeous campaign materials to our clients for more than 30 years. We have produced materials for many of the largest campaigns in higher education, health care, and the arts, and bring both experience and an urgency for “fresh approaches” to each new assignment. We know how to work with both institutional and volunteer leadership, and we are committed to your success. While I believe that there are many firms who do this kind of work very well indeed, I don’t think that anybody does it better.
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. 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. Thanks for reading!


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