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News & Press: Member Insights

Capital Campaigns Need Strong Leadership

Thursday, July 21, 2016   (0 Comments)
By Bob Lewis, CFRE, Chairman and Strategic Counsel, Global Advancement

No matter what kind of non-profit capital campaign you are organizing, it must be led by a committed, respected and effective team of leaders. Building this Leadership Council should be one of the campaign’s first priorities. The team will help implement the campaign plan and its case for support, get it before key constituents, and solicit important friends and contacts that are already engaged in or sympathetic to the cause.

In recruiting this body, an organization must select people who are fully engaged in the cause in some way, are respected members in their communities, are able to attend occasional council leadership meetings and are in position to make a significant gift of their own.

So, whom to reach out to? Start gathering a list of potential recruits from your organization’s board and committees, as well as from its database of supporters. Explain to the recruit why they were approached, what the campaign is about and how they can assist. It is also important to make clear to the recruit that they will be asked to share their contacts who might aid in the campaign. Not only will people be recruited for their particular expertise but for who they know professionally and socially as well.

Once several individuals are selected as potential recruits, they should be prioritized based on their potential to accept the assignment. The next steps will depend on the results of the initial contact. Several contacts might be needed before the individual is even asked to join the Leadership Council. Each contact should be acknowledged with an appropriate communication such as a thank you email, handwritten note or phone call. The communication process must be tracked and reported by all recruiters to all recruiters.

Once recruited to the leadership team, members will be asked whom they feel would also make good members of this important group. Just remember, in all communication to this team and the recruiters, keep it regular, concise and relevant.

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