Every goal needs a plan—and the more detailed, the better.
In similarity to the private sector, when it comes to non-profit fundraising, there are few other instances where a clear sense of direction, vision, and attention to detail are as necessary as they are in sorority fundraising.
And the reason is simple:
Sorority capital campaigns are hard.
In any capital campaign, your goal is to raise a large sum of money to finance a specific project, event, or initiative.
That may sound simple, but as an officer in your sorority alumni association, you know firsthand how challenging it can be to orchestrate a large and sweeping campaign, involving meticulous planning, a major gifts program, and consistent communication across your alumni network throughout your campaign.
It can be a lot...but the truth is, it doesn’t matter.
Because you’ve got a goal to reach.
And whether that goal is a new sorority house for your alumni members, a scholarship for your undergraduate chapter, or a philanthropy addressing a cause you care about, you’re ready to get it done by any means necessary.
To help you achieve it, here are the 3 basic needs of every successful sorority campaign.
1. A Clear Vision, Based on a Solid Plan
Executing a capital campaign is no easy feat. Not only does it involve raising significant sums of money, but more specifically, a full-scale marketing plan is required to do it.
As a sorority alumni association, your capital campaign goal will likely be related to the purchase of real estate, new construction, or both.
So, when crafting an effective sorority capital campaign, it’s important to start with the absolute basics and build out—namely, your “why” as this will inform your goal’s purpose.
Why are you attempting to raise a large sum of money?
Why does this fundraising campaign need to happen now?
Why is this the only method to achieve this particular goal?
These questions may feel like nitpicking but in truth, they’re vital to the definition of a clear sense of purpose for your goal. When you know and have internalized these answers, you’ll be much better at communicating your vision to those you want to solicit for donations.
Once you’ve determined a clear purpose behind your goal, it’s time to consider your vision.
What does the future of your association look like once this goal has been accomplished?
Think in terms of years, get your members excited for the future, and give them a dream to believe in.
With a fundamental purpose and a clear vision, you're ready to strategize and then execute the solid plan that will evolve through the process.
2. Thoughtful Strategy and Execution
Let’s dive into the components of good strategy and execution.
To start, you’ll need to do extensive prospect research.
In capital campaigns, less than 5% of your alumni will generate 80%+ of the funds. As a result, you’ll begin with high-value prospects (typically alumni members) that are supportive to your cause.
To solicit them effectively, first create a list of as many qualified names as you can think of and categorize these potential donors based on their expected contribution. For example, if your goal is to raise one million dollars, you’d tier donors you believed could contribute $10,000 above those you think could only donate $1,000 and you’d go after the former category first.
Your next step will be to conduct a feasibility study.
The feasibility study
In short, a feasibility study is what it means to test if your sorority capital campaign goal is tenable or not (i.e. will other members support it).
To determine this, you’ll want to poll about 30-40 people and tell them about your goal and why it’s important before asking them if they’d be willing to support it.
The benefit in conducting this initial screening—particularly before any real groundwork has been completed—is that it allows you to forecast your goal’s chances of success based on your membership’s willingness to get behind it. If not, you may be heading back to the drawing board, but you’ll be saving a considerable amount of time you would have otherwise wasted.
Finally, if you want to execute your well-vetted plan effectively, you’ll need a team.
- Who’s going to help you?
- What are their roles and responsibilities?
- Who’s going to keep the finances in order?
- Who’s going to reach out to potential donors?
- Who’s going to facilitate your marketing and event efforts?
The answers to these questions will define the kind and amount of help you’ll need in executing your plan and getting broader support from your alumni membership.
Lastly, once you’ve got a good plan and a strategy to bring it forward, you’ll need one last piece to make your sorority capital campaign a success, and that’s...
3. An Experienced Partner Invested In Your Success
Even the greatest sports teams have a coach to guide them.
If you want to achieve success with goals at this scale, you’re going to need a little help.
Sure, you may have a body of willing and able alumni sisters, but the difficulty in succeeding with fundraising campaigns at this level isn’t a lack of effort, it’s your ability to see ahead.
By working with an experienced partner who’s succeeded in helping sororities just like yours achieve their fundraising goals again, and again, you’ll gain the wisdom of hindsight.
That means knowing the best ways to execute that social media push to inspire more donations, which platforms work best for your demographic, and how to keep your alumni members engaged consistently to ensure they’re receptive to donation requests any time of the year.
These are the kind of experiential decisions that influence strategy, catch potential missteps, and ultimately save you time, effort, and money.
So, give your sorority’s alumni association the best chance for success by working with a partner that can provide real value and help you achieve your fundraising goal.
For free resources, helpful guidance, and other materials to help you with your fundraising
Call 1.785.843.1661 or contact us directly here.