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September 19, 2018
The Art of Administrating a Nationwide Campaign
Creating and sustaining a philanthropic culture takes a lot of time and hard work. It takes even more deliberation and intentionality when a nonprofit’s prospective donors and campaign volunteers live in different states.
Here are some tips on how to navigate this challenge successfully:
Divide and conquer
There will likely be more prospects, living all over the United States and abroad, than a campaign manager and executive director could possibly cultivate and solicit on their own. You will need to recruit an engaged, trained campaign cabinet to be an extension of the development team. With the prospects spread across the United States, it will be necessary to have geographically diverse volunteers as well.
Not everyone who cares deeply about the organization and is eager to help should be accepted to volunteer for cultivation and solicitation tasks. One of the greatest needs is to keep long-distance volunteers motivated and focused on fundraising goals. You will need to provide crystal-clear communication about expectations before inviting them to be part of the campaign cabinet. Make sure they know what they are signing up to do.
Stick to the script
Running monthly, long-distance campaign cabinet meetings is imperative. Between meetings, the campaign manager will need to communicate with each campaign cabinet member on the status of their assigned priority prospects. This will ensure that the campaign remains in front of them and meetings can be held to the time constraints while allowing for thoughtful group discussion and next-step assignments.
In addition to holding monthly group calls with the campaign cabinet, the campaign manager needs to develop quarterly benchmarks to guide the success of the campaign. These should be mutually agreed upon by the executive director and the campaign cabinet, which gives volunteers a sense of ownership over the process. With everyone pulling in the same direction – albeit from all parts of the country – you can not only meet your campaign goals, but grow volunteer leadership and expand the organization’s donor base geographically.
Strategies for Success explores smart ideas, connecting with thousands of fundraising professionals. We welcome your best practices contributions or comments. Send to Strategies for Success editor Karin Cox, [email protected]. If you’d like a free subscription to Strategies for Success or its monthly companion, eHartsook on Philanthropy, contact [email protected].