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do you really know your donors?

do you really know your donors?

Capital Campaign Plan

You’ve probably heard the expression before. . . “you are either in a campaign or planning for one.”   I tell my clients this all the time.  Sometimes it can take years to put a capital campaign plan together because you need the right ingredients for success.  One of those key ingredients are your donors.

Recently, we completed a feasibility study for an organization and provided a report noting that given certain conditions they could raise about 50% of the goal that was being tested.  They thought they had a really good relationship with their donors but the capital campaign plan was much harder than they expected.

I sat down with the Executive Director to do our AAR (After Action Report), and he told me that one thing he learned in the process was that they really didn’t know their donors all that well.  It was their first capital campaign and their donors had been supporting the organization through events and mail appeals.  They were not accustomed to someone coming and talking to them about their experience, their interests and asking for a gift.

The next time they do a capital campaign plan it will be more successful.  They will take the time to “plan” for the next one by making a concerted effort to get to know their donors better.  Some organizations treat donors like an ATM machine — whenever there is a need for money they go to them. Remember, it’s not what your organization needs but what the donor needs.

What are the different ways you are getting to know your donors?  Are you creating immersion experiences?  Are you finding ways to build a friendship?


“Remember, raising money is expensive.

But not raising money is even more expensive”.

Jerry Panas


Written by: Paul D’Alessandro

Founder and Chairman

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