Sorority capital campaigns have grown rapidly in recent years, topping past fundraising totals and competing more with men’s fraternity campaigns.
Goals have become more ambitious. Campaign management has grown more savvy and determined. And donors are more willing to give.
Whereas past campaigns might raise an average of $600,000, today the average sorority capital campaign raises just under $1 million, with some far exceeding that.
Many factors have influenced this massive growth in giving potential over a relatively short period of time. Women now control 51% of their personal wealth, make 81% of financial decisions in the household, and share 50% of philanthropic decisions within their families, according to the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.
By and large, alumnae want to contribute to their legacy and the legacy of their sororities.
With increased viability for larger campaign fundraising totals, managing these projects becomes more complex, with many moving parts to optimize for success. The workload can feel overwhelming.
Many campaigns have found success by enlisting the services of campaign consultants. These communication and fundraising professionals who guide alumnae groups through the planning and execution of capital campaigns, as well as increase across-the-board alumnae engagement.
This article will explore the role consultants play in helping alumnae groups reach and exceed their fundraising goals.
Table of Contents:
- Sorority Capital Campaign Consultants Understand Women’s Giving
- Sorority Capital Campaign Consultants Focus on Communication
- Sorority Capital Campaign Consultants Bring Success
Sorority Capital Campaign Consultants Understand Women’s Giving
Sorority campaigns require an intrinsic understanding of women’s giving and how to implement an effective strategy when soliciting donations.
Consultants will recommend solicitation strategies based on alumnae’s motivations, such as:
- How their gift will make a difference. 82% of women said they want a value proposition from their sororities that is backed by results. They want to know the impact their involvement will have on the chapter.
- Whether they’re giving to an efficient organization. 80% of women said they want to be assured they’re giving to an alumnae organization that will use their gifts efficiently and effectively.
- A desire to give back to the community. 78% of women said a project’s philanthropic value for undergraduate sisters, their (inter)national sorority, the university, and Greek life, and a donor’s ability to add to that value is likely to impact her willingness to contribute.
- Giving to multiple causes. Women donors often give broadly rather than deeply, when compared with men. They often give smaller amounts on average to multiple entities.
A consultant can help craft a solicitation strategy that addresses these motivations, connects alumnae directly with a chapter project, and establishes why a sorority campaign is worthy of a high-value gift.
Sorority Capital Campaign Consultants Focus on Communication
Whereas men’s giving is traditionally transactional in nature, women’s giving tends to be more relational.
Sorority donors want to feel like they’re a part of the causes they support, that they are contributing to a community of like-minded people with shared goals, and that they’re creating a worthwhile legacy.
This means sorority alumnae groups may need to invest more time, effort, and people into cultivating meaningful relationships with their potential donors throughout the year—not just during a capital campaign.
Consultants help campaign managers bridge that gap with a focus on communication.
Consultants are well-versed in formulatinge donor communication strategies that lay the groundwork for future alumnae contributions. Some communication strategies campaign consultants might focus on include:
- Tailoring a robust alumnae engagement plan, both during and outside of a capital campaign.
- Meeting with top prospective donors to capture their insights into the potential chapter project goals before launching a campaign.
- Strategizing a multi-channel communication strategy so alumnae can better connect with their alumnae groups and chapters, such as physical and digital newsletters, email campaigns, social media, text or phone calls, and in-person meetings.
- Effective member management strategies to keep your alumnae database current and accurate, so you have access to up-to-date email, phone, mailing address, professional information, graduation year, and more.
Campaign consultants will tailor these communication strategies based on:
- How sorority donors view their legacies in relation to their chapters and their impact on future generations of women.
- The level of engagement sorority donors seek with chapter causes.
- How a sorority capital campaign measures up against donors’ charitable giving to other entities.
- Bringing alumnae into a network of their peers. Sorority donors are more likely to be compelled by strong alumnae relations efforts, joining alumnae clubs, and attending events.
- Targeting top campaign volunteer prospects. Women who volunteer with their organization are more likely to donate. The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy found that 86.7% of women volunteer with the organizations they give back to.
Sorority Capital Campaign Consultants Bring Success
Professional campaign consultants provide services that extend beyond a purely advisory role. They can act as campaign representatives and connect directly with alumnae before, during, and after a solicitation.
Pennington found that sorority women are generally more enthusiastic about chapter project success than fraternity men, yet they’re less likely to be willing to solicit or to have experience soliciting for money.
Consultants can identify and solicit top donors. They can also help volunteer solicitors prepare a successful strategy for securing gifts when they approach donors independently.
Pennington & Company has worked on more than 100 sorority campaigns. Since 2016 alone, our fundraising consultants have helped sorority chapters close 8,714 gifts.
Of the total dollars raised in a campaign, Pennington’s consultants secured nearly 80% of the fundraising total through face-to-face solicitations.
Pennington & Company’s comprehensive services include:
- Data mining and prospect research.
- Pre-campaign feasibility studies.
- Campaign planning assistance.
- Project timeline management and accountability.
- Guidance with donor engagement and outreach.
- Help with gift and member management.
- Web development.
- How to build and sustain annual campaigns.
Pennington offers professional solutions for Greek letter chapters for communications and fundraising. Learn more about our services or call direct at 785-843-1661.
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