Congratulations! Your campaign is over and you have cash and pledges that meet or exceed your goal. Your board, boss and donors are
thrilled and you are being thrown a ticker-tape parade down Main Street...
But before you go out and celebrate, remember that there are a few things you should do to make sure that all of those pledges
— Make certain to send payment reminders each month that a payment is due. Nothing will stall a good campaign faster than not sending
payment reminders. The payment reminders should be in the form of a personal, positive update letter with a simple statement indicating
total gift, amount paid to date and the balance remaining. Remind the donor how important their timely payment is to successful conclusion
of the campaign.
— You probably don't need a sophisticated computer program – unless you have hundreds or thousands of donors. A simple spreadsheet program
and some staff time should be sufficient.
— Keep the campaign newsletter going. Show progress. Make sure all the donors understand how the plans are progressing and why their continued
support is important.
— Keep close tabs on those donors who made one-time cash gifts. On the anniversary of their gift, contact them and ask them if they
would consider supporting a specific part of the project – or even general operating support. You’ve accomplished the hardest – their
first gift. If you do the rest well, they can turn into the foundation of a major gift effort.
— Publish the results of the fund raising... and pledge redemption. Let your donors know how close your organization is to collecting all
of the funds needed. In essence, create a "mini-campaign" that focuses on cash in the bank.
— Have periodic building events. Have a "ground blessing", then, a couple of months later, host a "ground breaking." As the project proceeds,
have different on-site celebrations. Keep the enthusiasm high by emphasizing the original reasons for the campaign, and how much closer you
are to the goal as the pledges are paid.
— Make sure all outstanding solicitation visits are closed. Re-visit those prospects who haven’t made a decision yet and re-explain how
important their support is.
— In the case of donors who aren't paying, plan to re-visit them with the same leaders who received the gift to begin with. Don’t be timid –
communication is the key!
Most important, keep in mind that redeeming the pledges is as important as getting the pledges in the first place. Involve your board and
leadership in the process, and stay focused until you deposit them all. It doesn’t do your organization and those you serve much good to
have a successful campaign "on paper", and then not collect the pledges that are due you. Be tenacious!