What will bring your organization fraternity capital campaign success?
How do you get donors to engage, give, and help bring you that much closer to your fundraising goals?
Fraternity capital campaigns require time and resources from you and your fellow volunteers, and there are many moving parts that can either lead you to prosperity or run you off the rails.
Much of this centers on how well you forge connections—with both prospective donors and your volunteer solicitors.
Top non-profit CEOs already know this, and it’s a huge part of what makes them pros and allows them to secure their much-vaunted high-level contributions from megadonors.
How do you capture that lightning in a bottle and, at the same time, create a meaningful network of like-minded colleagues dedicated to your cause?
There’s that old cliché that if you shoot for the moon, at the very least you’ll land among the stars. Indeed, the stars of the nonprofit world have much to teach us.
Let’s look closer at how to Manage Your Fraternity Capital Campaign Like Fundraising Pros.
Connecting with Top Donors
Your 10 biggest givers will contribute most of your total fundraising gifts, so recognizing these megadonors and getting them to commit early is key to your Greek fundraising success.
Doing this has the effect of bringing fundraising progress to the attention of other high-level donors . Seeing you make progress toward your goal can build potential donors’ confidence to the point where they choose to give themselves.
Many of your biggest donors will be 25-50 years out of their undergraduate career. This means they’re experienced, discerning, and that they’ve seen capital campaigns come and go over the years.
That means that if you want to court big-gift donors, you’ll have to show them why your project is worth their time and money.
Let’s discuss how some of the top nonprofit fundraising pros garner millions, and how you can apply those lessons to your own Greek fundraising efforts.
What’s the Value of Giving—Beyond a Dollar Amount?
During conversations with potential donors, focusing too heavily on a specific financial fundraising goal, rather than on the concrete end result of your project, can turn them away.
While you should fill your fellow alumni in on all the fundraising details, it’s often more impactful to focus on the good their gifts will do.
For instance, a gift might help build a new chapter house library and study rooms. Make sure your solicitors know your project inside and out and can articulate the importance of the project.
A donor who values their undergraduate experience and the way their chapter fostered academic success might see this as a chance to give back.
Many top fundraisers are personable and value their relationships with their donors. Building consistent and robust alumni relations takes time, but it means that you will have a diverse range of big and small gift potential donors.
This means things like regular contact via email, postal mail newsletter, social media, telephone, and events. It means showing interest in fellow alumni’s professional and personal lives, and how that relates to your organization and university.
But there are also some ways to go the extra mile with your top-tier donors, such as:
- having a top executive officer meet with them, if possible, or
- sending a big-gift donor you’ve already secured along with your solicitor, to explain their motivation in giving and to instill confidence in his peer
- using a tiered donor list with unique privileges for high-level givers, such as events which could be used as a peer networking opportunity
Show Them Why They Should Give, Don’t Just Tell Them
Some assume that those able to give large amounts should. That attitude will definitely translate poorly to the potential donor’s feelings of generosity toward you and your project.
Most donors want to give back to the undergraduates, but they need to know their money will help in a meaningful way.
Undergrads and alumni leaders should make early pledges in order to instill confidence that the chapter and project leaders are fully invested and have a stake in the project’s outcome.
As we mentioned above, large gifts can instill confidence and lead to more large gifts. On the flipside, donors don’t like to feel like they’re the only ones contributing. That’s why building momentum early with top potential donors is crucial in showing meaningful progress and commitment.
Setting Your Volunteers up for Success
You justifiably place a lot of focus on your potential donors during a capital campaign. But are you also fostering a culture of success among your volunteers?
It’s easy to take volunteers for granted, but an unmotivated and unorganized team can derail your campaign aspirations.
Here are some tips for building a better fundraising culture:
- manage and utilize solicitors as if they were talented, paid staff members
- do a cost-benefit analysis of how you train and manage your volunteers
- recognize unique skillsets and match them with tasks for which they’re suited
- engage with and show appreciation for your volunteers
- provide incentives to connect with your organization and excel at fundraising
- pair young and eager volunteers with the leadership of more experienced volunteers
Fundraising Professionals in Your Corner
As experienced fundraising professionals, Pennington & Company can help plan and manage your fraternity capital campaign.
Our trained consultants will guide you through early feasibility studies, data mining of top donors, project planning, donor management and engagement, gift collection and management, annual campaign management, and more.
We can also help you strategize how to connect with big-level alumni donors at an elite level. This means focusing on what makes investing in your undergraduate chapter meaningful, such as highlighting bright undergrads who’d be a good fit as interns at donors’ companies.
Pennington offers software solutions for fraternity chapters for recruitment, budgeting, alumni communication, and more. Learn more about our services or call direct at 785-843-1661.
Leave your questions or comments about our fraternity capital campaigns in the comments below!