Capital campaigns work. They work because there is a specific need, a timeline, and momentum.
Crowdfunding has many of the same attributes. The donor knows what their money is going for and they know that it’s not going to happen without their help within a certain timeframe.
While these two sets of initiatives normally operate at different ends of the fundraising spectrum, both motivate donors in ways that aren’t seen in other kinds of fundraising. Let’s face it – the clear, bold, ambitious ask inspires donors more than most annual giving asks for operating dollars.
So, how do you incorporate the energy of the capital campaign and crowdfunding into their other kinds of fundraising?
Just as universities and other brick-and-mortar institutions are constantly running campaigns to improve their facilities, your nonprofit can create a series of ambitious campaigns to launch big, dream initiatives that will create change.
I can hear what you’re thinking: You’ve got to raise those annual giving dollars.
Agree! And I’m not suggesting that you stop doing that.
But just as capital campaigns at universities run along side annual giving campaigns and crowdfunding initiatives burst in and out at the same time as many organizations raise operating dollars, so too can your organization create campaigns around special initiatives or program challenges and continue your annual fundraising efforts.
A special initiative campaign doesn’t need to have the expensive structure of a capital campaign, or the know-how to launch a tech-savvy crowdfunding initiative.
What a special initiative campaign does need is ambition. It needs dreams.
Does your organization have something BIG it wants to accomplish in the next few years and struggling for the funds to make it happen?
If so, a special initiative campaign could be your next move.
A special initiatives campaign should harness the assets (and challenges) of a capital campaign and it’s classic structure:
A special initiatives campaign should also take some of its cues from the growing world of crowdfunding:
What will this do for your fundraising? Quite a lot. Over and over again we’ve seen capital campaigns catapult an organization into bigger and better major gifts fundraising. A special initiative campaign can do the same.
In the next three posts, I’ll be exploring the how, what, and why of special initiative campaigns. If you’d like to hear more, tune in. If you have ideas for me to cover on this subject, I’d love to hear them. You know where to find me!