Stewarding Capital Campaign Donors

Earlier this month, I participated in a special online chat sponsored by #fundchat (a weekly Twitter chat for fundraising professionals — which you should take part in if you are on Twitter!) on the topic of “Capitalizing on Capital Campaigns.”  Special guests Ian Adair and Nathan Hand shared their insights on the full gamut of capital campaigns, from feasibility studies to ribbon-cutting events for new buildings, based on their years of fundraising experience.

Near the end of the chat, I asked for any great stewardship ideas that Ian and Nathan may have, with a special focus on after the capital campaign has been completed (full disclosure: I am working on re-engaging some past CC donors and am always looking to hear what others are doing).  I thought that it would be worthwhile to share some of those ideas with you, my dear readers, so here it goes . . .

  • Invite EVERY donor to the ribbon cutting. Use DM and other means to tell them about the magic happening inside the walls they built. Turn them on to a particular program or need w/in the building. (Nathan)
  • Stewardship is key to keeping the donor well after a ribbon is cut. People like to know that organizations are good stewards of their money. I like to hold thank-a-thons just to let them know we appreciate their help and update them on everything going on. (Ian)
  • Have a 5 and 10 year reunion party. Invite some of those that ‘shined’ in the process to explore board/committee roles down the road…  (Nathan) // A great way to include them in the long term is to have anniversary parties where you invite them back to see what they were able to accomplish for the community. These are just thank you events – no asking whatsoever.
    Have those using facility tell what it has meant to them and show donors around to see programs and activities. (Ian) // Find pictures of the ribbon cutting and ID people in it, send a copy of the pic with their face circled in red sharpie – ‘Is this you??’ Join us for our 10th bday! (Nathan)
  • Most buildings get finished in the nice weather. Send campaign supporters a holiday card w/ a pic of the building in the snow – so they remember what they accomplished (Nathan)
  • Have your populations give thank you’s as well. I can say it all day, but when it comes from some of the children we serve the donor never forgets that moment. (Ian)

To see more of the strategies that Ian and Nathan shared in the chat, check out the transcript here.

How have you stewarded capital campaign donors in the short- and long-term?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *