Tips to Plan a Successful Capital Campaign

Your organization knows the importance of annual giving. When done correctly, it can ensure the success of your nonprofit for years! If you want to continue to positively impact your community, then you need to make annual giving a core part of your yearly fundraising strategy.

Luckily, the team at iWave is here to show you the top strategies you can put into place!

One: Start with Your Board

Your board is the figurehead for your campaign and serves as your connection to the community. Therefore, it’s important you leverage these connections to jumpstart fundraising.

When your annual giving campaign commences, start with your board members. Ask them if they would be willing to make a contribution to your cause. Then, they can provide testimonials that you can use in your annual giving marketing materials and website.

Since your board members are so connected to the community, not only will they lead by example, they’ll also help you gain more supporters. Reach out to your board and ask them if they know anyone with an affinity for your cause who may be willing to support your mission as well.

By having a board member make an introduction with prospective donors, you also increase your chances of establishing a solid and strong personal relationship. A friendly face and close connection makes donors feel more confident and secure in their decision to support you.

Two: Screen Current Supporters

One of the biggest indicators that someone would be willing to support you is affinity for the cause. There are many potential donors out there with the ability to give, but without that vital personal connection, they are unlikely to contribute.

When looking for supporters for your annual giving campaign, you want to search for those who are close to your cause—and who’s closer than your current supporters? Perform wealth screenings on current donors, volunteers, and team members and then create a segmented gift ask list.

One of the biggest mistakes that organizations tend to make when it comes to annual giving is to ask for a set amount across the board. For example, if you’re asking everyone to make a donation of $50, you could be receiving significantly less from a donor who has the means to give significantly more.

Use Wealth Screenings to Ignite Your Fundraising

Instead of asking for a universal amount from all donors, you should build out set amounts based on the findings of wealth screenings. Utilize iWave to learn more about potential donors such as their ability to give as well as propensity to support your specific cause.

If one donor has more physical assets (real estate, for example) than another, you may want to ask for a higher amount. Likewise, if two prospects have similar wealth indicators, but one has a deeper history of charitable giving to like-minded causes, they may be more likely to provide a larger gift.

By segmenting your donor list, you’ll ensure no money is left on the table and your fundraising efforts are as successful as possible.

Industry-Exclusive Multi-Lens Scoring Takes Segmentation to the Next Level

When it comes to wealth screenings, a game changer is more than welcome. iWave’s industry-first Multi-Lens Scoring feature is just that.

Organizations looking for viable new prospects, say for a major gift campaign, might score their entire database through a single lens. It’s possible less than 10% of the database falls into this category. Meanwhile, the other 90% or so aren’t cultivated at all.

Multi-Lens Scoring allows organizations to cultivate multiple segments for a single campaign. Ultimately, your database is cultivated at a higher rate and with even greater accuracy!

Three: Create a Model for New Prospects

When screening your supporters, look for key trends or common indicators between them. This will create a unique donor profile and model, which you can use to:

  1. Describe your existing donor base

When you take the data you already have and then analyze the unique characteristics of your database, this is known as a descriptive model. In crafting this model, you need to ask yourself what makes your donors different from the average donor.

All donors are unique, and the data you’re collecting should be analyzed as such. The kind of characteristics you pull may include information on how often they’re donating to similar organizations, as well as general trends in donations (for example, repeatedly giving to organizations conducting cancer research). You can even pull real estate information, comparing it to the donor’s age and their local real estate trends to better understand capacity to give.

With all this information, iWave can help you uncover hidden gems among prospective donors!

  1. Predict who else is likely to give

After creating your descriptive model, you can get to work on your predictive model. This is a custom algorithm filled with your specific data that paints a clearer picture of the factors you should be looking for when performing wealth screenings.

By helping you identify these similar attributes across your donors, you can rank your prospect list similarly and build out your gift asks more accurately.

There may be times when you feel like you’ve exhausted all your donor options, but the reality is you may not be searching for the right metrics. Take the time to analyze your data and create a model to be more accurate and precise in your donor searches.

Four: Get Creative!

Since annual giving is an ongoing venture, it’s crucial you keep your audience engaged through every step of the journey. One of the biggest challenges that nonprofits face is finding innovative ways to keep bringing supporters back. You may have an easy time getting one-time donations, but how can you transform these donors into consistent supporters?

By changing up your fundraising strategy often and keeping your efforts unique and interesting, you’ll continue to attract an audience. Don’t be afraid to get creative in your efforts. Some of the ways you can do this include:

  • Start a corporate matching gift drive

Matching gifts have the power to double gift amounts and help you maximize your fundraising efforts. Matching donations are offered by some companies to encourage their employees to give back to their community. Use prospect research to uncover donors who work for companies with match programs.

When sending your gift asks, make sure to include information on how to receive the matching gift from their employers. There are a few extra steps these donors will need to take, and you want to ensure they’re following through.

  • Establish a recurring gift program

One way you can cultivate long-term donors to support your nonprofit for years to come is through a recurring gift program! Set donors up to give annually or even monthly. Work with prospects to discover the right giving plan for them.

  • Share a crowdfunding page

Typically, crowdfunding pages are used to support individual fundraising endeavors, however they can be used to promote your annual campaign as well. Set up your page to clearly outline your mission as well as your yearly goals. It’s important donors understand what they are supporting.

Next, you’ll want to share your crowdfunding campaign on all your social media pages to reach a wide audience. Encourage donors to share your page with their friends as well to help maximize outreach. This method of fundraising is a great way to reach lower-tier donors en masse.

Ensure Every Fundraising Effort is a Total Success

No matter how you decide to fundraise for your annual fund, you want to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible. The best way to do so is with comprehensive wealth screenings. Look for key indicators about wealth and inclination to learn more about your donors and how they can fit into your organization.

For example, if someone has strong wealth indicators, then they may make a great addition to your recurring gift program. However, if another donor has a greater affinity to the cause but not as many wealth markers, they may be more likely to support and share your crowdfunding page.

You want to tailor your gift asks as much as possible and by presenting prospects with fundraisers curated to their specific interests and giving potential, you’ll increase the likelihood of receiving a gift.

Five: Make a Connection

Success stories are one of the greatest tools for building personal connections with current and prospective donors. Reach out to your biggest supporters asking for testimonials on giving. Also, be sure to speak to people or organizations your nonprofit has personally impacted for stories on how you’ve changed their life.

Personal stories help prospects see more than a monetary goal you’re attempting to reach. Instead, they will see all the good your nonprofit creates and want to join in. As mentioned before, personal connections are crucial to donor cultivation and real-life stories are one of the best ways to start a relationship.

For example, if you run a hospital, speak to former patients and collect stories from them to share with prospects. Whether located in your brochures or on your website, these stories are crucial to showing all the good your nonprofit can do with the right supporters behind them.

How iWave Can Help you With Your Annual Giving Campaign Ideas

There are many ways that iWave can help with your fundraising efforts, including helping you launch a successful annual giving campaign.

iWave enables development teams to segment hundreds or thousands of individuals who you may know little about into an actionable list of prospects who have the capacity to give, are philanthropic, and give to organizations similar to yours. One of the unique aspects of our platform are our Hidden Gem insights, which highlight donors you may not have considered before.

Our fundraising software is also completely customizable to your unique needs. A member of our team is happy to work with you to show you how you can unitize our platform for each unique fundraising effort as well as how to curate searches around your nonprofit’s specific interests.

Contact us today to schedule a free demo or fundraising assessment to learn more about how we can propel your nonprofit forward into the next phase of fundraising.