JGA Blog

Defining Campaign Success: Using a campaign to grow major gift donors

August 14, 2018

Like many others, I began my career in fundraising by attending the Principles and Techniques of Fundraising class at The Fund Raising School at Indiana University’s Lilly School of Philanthropy. As a new member of the development team at the Indiana University Foundation more than 20 years ago, I learned that, typically, an organization could anticipate that 80% of the dollars raised in a fundraising campaign would come from 20% of the campaign donors. The so-called 80/20 rule.

Much has changed in the last twenty years. Mirroring, or perhaps in response to, the changing landscape of wealth distribution in our society, fundraising campaigns have more significant dollar goals that rely on fewer and fewer donors in order to achieve success. Campaigns are now typically based upon the projection that 90% of the dollars will come from 10% of the campaign donors. In some corners of the nonprofit sector, notably higher education, successful campaigns may have 95% or more of the dollars contributed from as few as 5% of the campaign donors.

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Five Questions a Feasibility Study Should Answer

October 02, 2017

by Angela White

Some time ago, I recorded a short video interview on why we advocate feasibility studies at JGA, and I find that those reasons continue to hold true.

Conducting a feasibility study prior to a campaign is a common and proven way to gauge what level of support may be achieved in a campaign and what strategies should be employed – not only to achieve a financial goal but, perhaps as importantly, to build both unity and momentum for organizational success. 

 

A feasibility study provides the opportunity for your current and prospective lead donors to dream big, to think through what the future will look like for your organization, and to share how they see themselves participating in that future.

Here are some questions a good feasibility study should help you answer.

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7 Tips to Keep Momentum During a Capital Campaign

August 10, 2016

Capital campaigns are an important tool in raising funds for nonprofits. In fact, 20% of higher education institutions reported that being in a fundraising campaign helped them raise between 176% - 200% more funds. It’s no wonder then that in the first half of 2015 approximately 46% of nonprofits were in a campaign, up from 11% in 2011.

While a campaign can be a crucial initiative for moving an organization forward, the reality is that the vast majority of campaigns experience a period – or sometimes multiple periods – of time when they seem to lose steam. 

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5 Key Steps for Capital Campaign Planning

May 17, 2016

Conducting a capital campaign can be one of the most exciting and transformational activities that an organization can undertake. The funds raised through the campaign can allow you to bring to life the vision and aspirations identified in your strategic plan and position your organization to fulfil its mission for years to come. 

However, the excitement around the actual campaign can sometimes overshadow the realities. All campaigns come with some risk and require organizations to stretch to reach new levels. Proper campaign planning can minimize those risks and demonstrate to current and prospective donors the organization is a good investment and will be a good steward of their dollars.

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Four Keys to An Effective Feasibility Study

December 03, 2015

After 19 years of consulting, the feasibility study process is still the most rewarding work that I do at JGA. We are honored that so many esteemed nonprofit organizations trust JGA to step into key donor relationships and assist in strengthening donor bonds that advance their missions.

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Recent Capital Campaign Trends in Education

November 13, 2015
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8 Best Practices for Fundraising Campaign Success

October 28, 2015

Over the past 21 years, JGA has served as campaign counsel, assisting scores of not-for-profit organizations in planning and conducting all types of fundraising campaigns from comprehensive campaigns, to endowment and capital campaigns. The organizations we have counseled represent all segments of the nonprofit sector – secondary and higher education, cultural arts and museums, health care, human services, churches and religious institutions, and wildlife and environmental causes. We have served as campaign counsel for campaigns with goals of less than $1 million and more than $100 million.

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2 Crucial Elements Influence Capital Campaign Success

July 17, 2015

In a recent luncheon conversation, a prospective client asked me, “What, more than anything else, influences the success of a capital campaign?”

A number of important factors quickly came to mind: a well-conceived and executed plan, outstanding institutional and volunteer leadership, great campaign counsel (like JGA, of course . . . just couldn’t resist!).  But as I reflected on the many campaigns in which I have been involved over the years, I told the inquirer two things stand out as being most influential. Donors_Vision_Puzzle_2

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The President’s Role in a Campaign: 10 Key Responsibilities

May 29, 2015

Presidential involvement is a crucial component of campaign success | A campaign will likely be one of the most important undertakings of a presidency and can transform an institution. The following list outlines the president’s top responsibilities in ensuring campaign success.

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Vision and Leadership are Key to Advancing HOPE

May 07, 2014

by Andy Canada

 

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