The Many Benefits of a Comprehensive Fundraising Campaign

| by April Anthony

A comprehensive fundraising campaign is not a new idea and coordinates multiple campaigns into one.  This type of campaign is more strategic than a typical capital campaign.  It focuses an organization’s energies into one campaign with multiple goals and revenue sources.  A comprehensive campaign prevents confusion to prospective donors and can be used as “one stop shopping” offering a menu of opportunities to fund an organization.  It also reduces duplication of efforts for the nonprofit or institution of higher education.  

I’ve noticed nonprofits are becoming masters at integrating solicitations for events and their annual campaign.  Asking a donor to buy a table to a gala or sponsor a golf foursome making it clear that this donation is in addition to an annual gift has become common place.  This same concept should be used for campaigns.  When soliciting a donor as part of a comprehensive campaign, the donor is asked for an annual and capital and endowment gift at the same time.  A comprehensive campaign also encompasses planned gifts and other restricted needs.   

Many organizations are running an annual campaign and raising funds for a building, scholarships or endowment at the same time.  A donor may give to the annual campaign but have a greater capacity or interest to give to the capital campaign.  If organizations do not coordinate both campaigns, a donor may give an organization a large annual gift but the opportunity is gone to ask for a donation that combines annual and capital giving.  Making an additional solicitation in the year may not be possible and the donor may think the annual campaign ask covered the organization’s needs for the year.  Another benefit of a comprehensive campaign is that donors can give small donations and feel like they are part of a major campaign.   A comprehensive campaign will create excitement in the community and can reengage lapsed donors or give a current donor an incentive to increase their gift.

Comprehensive campaigns should be planned with an organization’s board leadership and can last from three to five years.  Volunteer leadership will help develop goals for individual board giving and all leadership volunteers must be prepared to participate.  Volunteer leadership and an organization’s leadership should ensure that the campaign is conducted with sound policies and procedures and ethical standards.

Armstrong McGuire and Associates can conduct an overall development assessment for your organization and prepare you for a comprehensive campaign approach.

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