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Five Tenets of a Successful Campaign


Article By William C. Krueger

Process Creates Potential
A good fundraising process will generate additional financial potential. A campaign may not know where all the money is going to come from when it starts, but if the process the campaign follows is solid, additional potential will be uncovered. Finding an acceptable process that the leadership will commit to is critical to ultimate success.

A Campaign Is A Series Of Connected Activities
Some people think that a campaign is an "event". The reality is that it is a series of connected events, all put together in a way to build on past successes to achieve greater future successes. Many campaigns get sidetracked by banking on one event or activity. We've seen clients who were so focused on their “event” or sales activity that they couldn’t see that even if that activity was totally successful they still wouldn’t raise the funds they sought. Conducting a great kick-off event isn’t the campaign – it’s the start of a long process. If you know how you want the campaign to end (and when), knowing how to start it should be pretty easy. Focus on the total campaign, not single parts of it.


Early Support Builds Momentum And Credibility
Credibility is the key to successful campaigns. Ever wonder why organizations wait until half the money – or more – is committed before "going public". If you can show success before announcing a campaign, your credibility is higher and more people will want to give. That's why getting early leadership gifts is so critical. If others have put in $500,000 or $100,000 gifts, it’s much easier for me to see that my $50,000 gift is secure.

A Campaign Case Is About Vision, Dreams, Beliefs And Mission... Not Needs
So many clients call us and tell us what they need, instead of how their campaign will benefit someone, a community or a cause. No one cares what your organization needs – we all have needs. What people want to hear is about how supporting your campaign will benefit a community or a cause. Even capital campaigns have to have a higher purpose than a building. Focus your case on the vision of what can be, not on what you need.

People Give To People Because They Are Asked
People don't generally make large gifts without being asked. It happens, but not frequently enough to build entire campaigns around a public relations plan. Ultimately, a successful campaign requires leaders who are willing to ask. The more people and prospects asked, the more money that will be raised.

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