The GuideStar Blog retired September 9, 2019. We invite you to visit its replacement, the Candid Blog. You’re also welcome to browse or search the GuideStar Blog archives. Onward!

GuideStar Blog

Ask Your Capital Campaign Consultants to Think in New Ways

In this post, the second in our series about the new trends in capital campaign fundraising (part 1 appeared last week), we explore whether, why, and when you will need an experienced consultant to guide you through your capital campaign. 


7 Important Things You Need to Know about Today’s Capital Campaigns

Massive undertakings like capital campaigns require all the tools in the toolshed. And with today’s technology, the available tools have never been more effective.


Beware of “Truths” in Fundraising

Image by Drakeblack5 on Pixabay

Counterintuitive is usually defined as something contrary to what one would intuitively expect. For example, marketing pros discovered long ago that the fewer choices we’re presented with, the more likely we are to actually choose one, whether it’s a lot full of new cars or a shelf full of pasta sauces in the supermarket.

Fundraising is often counterintuitive as well. Here I’ll share four instances. In my book, The Busy Volunteer’s Guide to Fundraising, you’ll find a fuller discussion of many others.


What Your Donors Really Want: The Simple Truth

Sometimes we spend so much time and effort and energy trying to get all of the systems and materials and research and processes of fundraising right that we plumb forget the most important things.

The Simple Truth about Donors

Your donors—no matter who they are or how much they give—want two things.


How to Ask Your Campaign Committee Members for Their Gifts

One of the characteristics of most successful capital campaigns is that they ask for gifts from the “top-down, and inside-out.”

That’s shorthand for saying that you’ve got to solicit the people who can give the largest gifts first and the people who have been most involved with your organization and your campaign—that is the campaign committee members and the board.


No More Pledges!

The word “Pledge” has a negative connotation. For many, they won’t even consider an extended payment plan.

You surely have heard this sort of a comment: “I don’t pledge (making the fatal word three syllables!). I’ll make a gift, but I don’t know how things will be in the next few years. So I’m not going to pledge.” Or, “I just don’t believe in pledging. I’m almost certain I’ll give again next year, but I won’t pledge.”


Is a Do-It-Yourself Feasibility Study a Good Idea?

Imagine this ...

Your organization is planning a capital campaign to raise $4.5 million for a new building that’ll more than double the number of people you are able to serve.

This will be your first capital campaign. Your board members have little campaign experience and you are all appropriately anxious.


7 Tips to Get Your Organization to Embrace Fundraising



Asking doesn’t just happen out of nowhere.
Your organization has to embrace asking clear across the board in order for you to develop a strong culture of asking.


Have You Hit Anyone Up This Week?



Have you hit anyone up this week?
Have you twisted arms? Have you called in the big guns to help you lean on your best targets?

This is, after all, the height of the fundraising season, and you need their money to make your fundraising goals.


5 Capital Campaign Strategies to Energize your Annual Campaign



Do you ever wish you had a new way
of thinking about your annual fundraising? Does it feel tired and old? We’ve got some suggestions for you taken right out of the capital campaign play book that we’ve seen work again and again. Warning, capital campaign fundraising is not same old, same old business as usual. Instead, it's exciting and demanding and special. That’s what makes it work. So if you want to jump-start your annual fundraising using campaign strategies, you’ve got to be willing to try some new things.

5 Capital Campaign Strategies for your Annual Fund.

Here are five capital campaign strategies we think can be very effective for your annual fundraising this year: