With the tides beginning to turn in the number of requests we are receiving for campaign planning studies, it seems as though people’s thoughts are finally turning more towards campaigns. So often nonprofit boards want to see immediate and constant results when delving into a campaign, but in reality this is simply not the way a campaign works.
Every campaign goes through lulls and bursts in fundraising momentum over the course of its “evolution”—some phases are filled with gifts and pledges being solicited and received, while others are dedicated solely to planning. First, there’s the campaign planning period—a time for research and strategy (lull). Next, the board solicitation (burst). Then comes a period of lulls and bursts as the organization begins to involve key players, develop strategy for advance gift solicitation, cultivate donors and finally solicit gifts.
Many nonprofits don’t have the capacity to execute these steps simultaneously so it’s important to realize that lulls are a natural part of the campaign process and should be expected. It is for this reason that no successful campaign has ever been conducted by the “seat of its pants.” Before launching a campaign there must be a strategy and plan in place so that when you do encounter a lull, you’re prepared.