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Do Capital Campaigns Hurt or Strengthen Major Gifts?

Fundraisers disagree about the value of capital campaigns. Yesterdays post argues they do more harm than good in the long run. Today’s post offers a different point of view.

Some people worry that major gifts will suffer in the years after a capital campaign. But it’s simply not true!

Remember, very few things move in simple straight lines. That’s true of human motivation, growth patterns and yes, even the way people give.


How Campaigns Hurt Major Gifts

Fundraisers disagree about the value of capital campaigns. Today’s post argues they do more harm than good in the long run. Tomorrow’s post will offer a different point of view.

Someone is going to be upset when they read this.

Reason: they’ve invested their entire career in campaigns, and when someone like me comes along and says that most campaigns hurt major gifts and are long-term failures, it’s a sword thrust into their soul.

But I must say it. Here’s why ...


The GuideStar Newsletter Articles You Read Most in 2018

A new year. Time for a fresh start, resolutions, and hibernation (sometimes mental, sometimes physical, sometimes both). And time to identify the GuideStar Newsletter articles that caught your attention in 2018.


Keeping It Ethical, Principle 14: The Power of Separation

Have you heard of English Catholic historian, politician, and writer John Dalberg-Acton? Probably not. But I bet you’ve heard his famous quote: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Too much power is rarely a good thing. When it comes to nonprofit governance, best practice always calls for governance and management decisions to be made in the best interest of the organization, free from conflicts of interest or other personal concerns. And the best way to do that? Spread the decision-making power, rather than concentrate it in one person or among a few.


Nonprofit Tech Solutions: A Guide to Ramping Up Donations

The new year (calendar or fiscal) typically comes with increased funding goals. However, this doesn’t always have to cause stress! Higher goals should boost your own confidence in your organization because it shows that you are passionate enough about your mission to want to grow.


How Storytelling Can Help Your Nonprofit Grow Its Membership

The new year is here, and with it comes a season for planning. Do your goals for 2019 include growing your membership? Whether you’re part of an arts organization, an association, or local club, increasing your membership base can make all the difference. 

So, how do you grow your membership? 


When Asking Goes Wrong: A Case Study in Communication Failure

Communicating by email and text can be tricky. You don’t have the advantage of vocal inflection as you do on the phone, or visual cues as you do in person.

Not to mention potential grammatical errors—which can sabotage the best of intentions.

For example, “Let’s eat, grandpa,” versus “Let’s eat grandpa.”


10 Measurable New Year’s Resolutions Your Nonprofit or Foundation Can Totally Achieve in 2019

Hi everyone. If this is your first day back from the holiday break, make some coffee and read last week’s pep talk “Welcome back to work, you stunningly brilliant and attractive world-changer, you!” followed by “12 tips to ensure you don’t stab anyone on your first day back from break.” (Tip 9: Take a short walk. To your car. Drive home. Watch Netflix.)

It is 2019, a brand new start! Take a deep breath. What you smell is the aroma of change, of possibility, of hope!


New Research Shows Nonprofit Transparency Matters

New research supports what we at GuideStar have long believed: (1) donors give more to transparent nonprofits and (2) transparent organizations tend to be stronger organizations.


8 Essential Practices for Capital Campaign Committees That Fuel Success

Birds of a feather flock together ... but when it comes to your capital campaign, they’ll only flock well with successful leadership. Your committee chairs must be well-organized and maintain excellent communication.

It’s easy to lose sight of the simple, basic practices that make systems work well when the goals are very big. But it turns out that the bigger and more complex the goals, the more important rigorous attention to essential practices of organization and communication.


  New research reveals nonprofit transparency leads to increase in contributions. Click to learn more.