As I write, I am preparing for the 2012 Association of Fundraising Professionals International Conference in Vancouver, Canada. I am proud to be one the AFPeeps, a group of fundraisers who are helping provide social media coverage of the conference and some short training sessions for the attendees.
I will be live-tweeting and live-blogging from some of the sessions and doing a brief session on using Twitter for professional development (with the always impressive Beth Ann Locke).
If you are going to be in Vancouver for the conference, please let me know — I’d love to meet a few of you dear readers! If you cannot make it, be sure to keep your eyes on this blog and the Twitter hashtag #afpmeet. I’m really looking forward to the experience and to sharing it with you here.
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?
Every now and then, I will share a quick anecdote that can serve as a reminder to all of you wonderful fundraisers out there why you should be taking part in the ever-expanding community of fundraising and non-profit professionals on Twitter. Here’s my first one, so please do enjoy . . .
When I first joined Twitter almost two years ago, I really had no idea that other fundraisers were using it, let alone how they were making use of it. Now I never imagined that I could end up using Twitter as a source of prospect research, but it turns out that I did earlier this year. While checking the latest tweets of the day, I stumbled upon a link to an article from Bloomberg Markets magazine entitled “Hidden Billionaires: Eight Really Rich People You’ve Probably Never Heard Of.” Now if you know me (which some of you dear readers do, if only through this blog, LinkedIn and/or Twitter), you know that I see this sort of list as a bit of a challenge; when I see things like this, I always check the names on the off chance that someone is in our alumni database or is perhaps related to someone who is. Occasionally I find a connection and this was one of those great times — it turns out that one of the billionaires on this list is married to an I-House alumnus. Now I can say with great certainty that there is very little possibility that I would have stumbled upon this information at a later date, because we did not even know that this alumnus was married.
I say all of this to strongly encourage you to join Twitter, to start following your fellow fundraising & non-profit professionals (along with those news sources that interest you), and to join this dynamic community! And when you join, be sure to tweet me @dan_blakemore.