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Newsletter: August 2009 Tip

Capital Campaigns and FundRaiser Software

by Larry Weaver

FundRaiser Software is all about making it easier to raise money for your organization by having as much current information about your donors and prospects as possible.

You need to ask

One of the most important ways it does that is to help you communicate your organization’s mission and its need to those who are most likely to give in the most effective way(s) possible. Those who are most likely to give are

  • those who have given to you in the past
  • those who have an interest in what your organization does
  • and, most importantly, those people you actually ask.

The information you need to make your capital campaign run smoothly is no different than the kind of information you need for annual fundraising, it is just that the stakes are higher. There will be more pressure for you to be organized and to have the correct information quickly to hand when you need it.

What Donor/Prospect data to have organized for your capilal campaign

Some of the basic donor/prospect information you need to have in order is:

  • if they have given
  • when they last gave
  • how much they have given
  • why they have given,
  • and, of course, normal contact information like mailing addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers.

All of this data should be as up to date as possible before you begin your campaign.

In FundRaiser Select and Professional, you have many codes to choose from, including the gift codes.

Gift Codes

For Gift codes you have

  • Motivation ("why" did they give)
  • Fund (where did we put the money)
  • Purpose (how is the money to be used)
  • Solicitor (who was responsible for getting this gift)

All of these can be used effectively when planning and executing a fundraising campaign.

Solicitors for major donors 

Solicitors normally work with "Major" donors (and each organization has their own definition of what constitutes a major donor) to encourage them to give and to build a relationship between the donor and the organization. In FundRaiser Select/Professional you can assign solicitors to donors and keep track of how those solicitors are doing through a special Solicitor Summary report. If you have and use the Pledge module, you can also assign solicitors to pledges that they have encouraged others to make. This lets you see the "big picture" of what your solicitors have been doing.

In-Kind donations

Another aspect of giving, even during capital campaigns, is the In-Kind donation.  If your campaign is geared toward a building fund, for instance, consider making appeals for materials, supplies, even labor.  All in-kind donations can be easily entered into FundRaiser, using the In Kind Donation gift type code.  With appropriately worded templates for thanking those donors, and donation summary reports that automatically break out in-kind donations from monetary, FundRaiser makes it much easier to accept those in kind donations and to see where you stand at any given moment.  Even if you can’t assign a dollar value to an in-kind donation, you can (through Options | Gifts) allow zero amount gifts, enter the donation, and, in the Merge Notes section of the gift, enter a description of the goods or services donated.  This allows you to personalize your thank you letters, so that the note is “merged” right into the letter at the time of printing.  You have a permanent record of exactly what was given, and your letters are more personal, perhaps resulting in future in-kind donations from those same donors.

In person, or by mail

You may communicate your mission and your needs in many ways, of course, and most consultants would agree that you are more likely to get results from a face-to-face request for money than any other method, but that is not always practical. Use FundRaiser’s built-in Word Processing to send your message through the print menu, and use Queries or Groupings to make sure that you have the right people getting the right kind of appeal letter.

Larry Weaver leads online training for FundRaiser Select and Pro. In his free time Larry enjoys music, motorcycles and being a grandfather.


Article: Capital Campaign for Small Organizations facilitated by Kim Klein

BRING Recycling and Their Capital Campaign

Legal Services of the Hudson Valley and Their Capital CampaignK/font>

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