© 2018 V
Approach Your Campaign’s Finish Line
By Thomas Schroeder
The campaign is winding down, the excitement and energy level is
dissipating and it seems as if everyone just wants it to end. But
you still have work to do. Now what?
“Capital campaigns are multi-year efforts and require a great
deal of planning and orchestration to keep staff members,
volunteers and donors energized and engaged,” says Barrett
Carson, vice president of development for Georgia Institute of
Technology (Atlanta, GA). “The final phase of a campaign is
extremely important and should be carefully structured and
When the finish line is in sight, Carson suggests that the
campaign leadership team make an honest assessment of the
progress to date and the work yet to be accomplished. “When the
goal has not been met, it may be time to implement new campaign
strategies,” says Carson. Those strategies may include the following:
❑ Adjustment of goals and timeframes. Donors, volunteers and
community leaders want to be involved in “winning”
campaigns. If goals and milestones have not been achieved,
deadlines should be extended.
❑ Challenge gifts. In the early phases of a campaign (quiet or
non-public phase, and initial open campaign) a challenge gift
effort is often unnecessary as gifts at all levels are pouring in.
The final six months provide an excellent opportunity to reach
out to existing donors and present the option of challenging
their friends and colleagues with a challenge match.
❑ Increased publicity. Staff and volunteers have been fully
engaged in the campaign for months, but it is common for the
community in general, and potential new donors, to need to
be reminded of the campaign goal, purpose and impact the
new or expanded facility will have on lives. Press conferences
and special events will help to re-engage the community.
“Even when the financial goal of the campaign is clearly
within reach, there are important objectives yet to achieve in the
final stages of the campaign,” says Carson. They include the
❑ Expressing gratitude. Donors, volunteers and community
leaders must be thanked often, and in multiple channels.
Donors should be thanked immediately after their gifts or
pledges, volunteers are the lifeblood of the campaign and
should be celebrated with a splashy event, and the media events
and interviews will communicate your success to the public.
❑ Retaining donors. In addition to thanking each and every
donor, it is vital to look for ways to keep these individuals
connected and engaged. Campaign donors are excellent
candidates for annual gifts or estate planning conversations,
and many of your donors are certainly business executives
and community leaders and would make exceptional board
members, planning committee members and future campaign
Source: Barrett H. Carson, Vice President of Development,
Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA. Phone (404) 894-1868.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.gatech.edu
Recognize the Intersection
Of Planned Giving and Major Gifts
For most charitable institutions, goals and objectives
for cultivating planned gifts are separate and distinct
from major gifts initiatives.
“Planned giving efforts are by nature future-
oriented and are designed to provide benefits for the
donor and the charitable organization,” says Jeffrey
Lydenburg, vice president of consulting for PG Calc
(Cambridge, MA). “But also of note, planned gifts are
almost always the largest gifts a donor gives, so they
are connected and should be an integral part of the
organization’s major gifts program.”
According to Lydenburg, planned giving also
allows donors to establish a consequential and lasting
legacy for a cause or mission they value, whereas
major gift donors are motivated to see their giving
impact a single project or campaign, and the following
factors should be weighed:
✔ Planned giving discussions should take into
account the life stage of the prospective donor
and his or her motivation for giving. Older donors
who may be retired executives or business owners
will likely seek to generate income from their
giving, are concerned about long-term tax
benefits and are looking to unlock highly
appreciated and low-yielding assets.
✔ Major gifts and planned gifts may involve assets
such as cash, securities or stock, real estate or
works of art. Gift acceptance policies will guide
the organization regarding which assets will be
accepted, and which assets may be too
cumbersome and should be avoided. Gifts of real
estate, for example, can be complicated, and the
organization may incur costs that make gifts of
real estate undesirable. The acceptance policies
may ask donors to sell certain assets first and
donate the proceeds to the organization.
✔ Matching or mixed-purpose giving can encourage
some donors (millennials or newly wealthy
entrepreneurs) to participate in both legacy giving
through planned gifts and current giving through
the major gifts initiative. By designing the giving
instrument so that current dollars, in a matching
formula, also link to an irrevocable future gift
commitment, the donor and the organization can
realize short-term and long-term benefits. For
example, on a 1-10 ratio, one dollar of current
giving is tied to 10 dollars in irrevocable future
commitments through a bequest, charitable gift
annuity or other instrument.
Source: Jeffrey Lydenburg, Vice President of Consulting,
PG Calc, Cambridge, MA. Phone (617) 497-4970.
E-mail: email@example.com. Website: www.pgcalc.com