When you ask the right way, the money comes.
I know, because I’ve met with over 4,000 major gift donors and personally raised over $150,000,000 for Catholic schools and churches.
In 30+ years, I’ve learned a few things about the right way to plan and execute a capital campaign. In the last 20 years, my capital campaign success rate has improved to nearly 100%.
How is that possible?
I learned from the mistakes big firms make.
Early in my career I worked for large fundraising firms and saw three problems.
(1) Divided loyalties. Consultants at big firms quickly learn the company’s profitability is priority #1, no matter how much he might love his client. For example, I saw many instances where a school was not ready for a capital campaign. But with soothing reassurances, my bosses convinced them to press forward anyway.
(2) Profitability shapes the method. Large fundraising firms cling to processes that haven’t changed in decades. Why? Basic templates allow them to minimize their time investment, hire inexperienced help, and thus maximize profits.
(3) Inexperienced consultants. If you look at the LinkedIn profiles of consultants for large, well-advertised firms, few have any direct major gift solicitation experience, which accounts for 95% of total dollars raised. The consultant is advising clients on something they have never done.
Catholic schools and churches deserve more.
In 1996 I struck out on my own as an independent consultant. That gave me the freedom to do things differently.
Pre-campaign preparation was the key to success. Once free of the big-firm shackles, my Notre Dame MBA gave me the background to work on the larger picture. That might include five-year financial plans, marketing, enrollment and tuition decisions, even staffing of the development office.
As we prepared for the capital campaign, we solved a host of other issues. Major gift donors appreciated that. When we launched the campaign, donors wanted to invest.
Bigger isn’t Better
With the freedom to do things right, my eyes were opened. Large fundraising firms have no financial incentive to improve their methods. They skip essential preparation because it allows them to cover more clients in less time.
Clients are forced by consultants to do the asking, but not prepared for it. No wonder many pastors, presidents, and board members find major gift solicitation an uncomfortable task.
Let me show you an intelligent, organic process that just makes sense.
I focus on Catholic schools and churches, and work with no more than two or three capital campaigns per year. I choose to work with clients who want to learn an organic process that treats donors like friends. It’s based upon a belief confirmed by 30+ years of experience:
- An intelligent ask is a far more comfortable conversation.
My processes give you detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to execute a fundraising feasibility study and capital campaign. I teach the principles of sound fundraising, so that long after I’m gone you can apply what you’ve learned to future situations.
With my guidance you will have the confidence to ask, receive, and better serve the people you care about.
You can do this.