The MSG Team
STARTING A CAPITAL CAMPAIGN? DON'T START BY DOING THIS ONE THING . . .
At Midwest Studies Group we love helping with Feasibility Studies and Capital Campaigns. Being able to connect with people to build something exciting . . . who would not want to be part of that?
We get a lot of inquiries about our services and the ONE thing we want to warn organizations of, is how NOT to start your campaign. Executive Directors with the biggest hearts in the world, who mean the very very very best . . . will say, "We started the work on putting up a new building. Out of the $XX million that we need, we already raised some of the funding by selling cupcakes".
We hear this sort of stuff more often than you might think. Organizations starting campaigns by selling cupcakes, t-shirts, or bricks. When people say these things to us, our hearts groan. Not that we mean to sound rude but just because we know how much work goes behind raising money that way. In fact a very similar comment, granted at a higher level at least, is when people tell us "We need to raise $XX million for our new building. We were thinking if we found XXXXXX people to each give $1,000, we should hit our goal."
If you are starting a Capital Campaign project, and you ever said either of these things to yourself . . . STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING right away. Raising money in this fashion might sound logical and easy but after selling 500 cupcakes you are going to lose momentum after seeing a low total amount.
At MSG, we take pride in giving OBJECTIVE thoughts to nonprofits, since it is one of our core values. Our advice to you is to CALL someone. We know, it sounds as if we are suggesting that you call us. Happy if you do but NOPE. We want you to call ANY professional to help. Arthur Alley, Alford Group, Amperage are three firms we trust and we are sure you can find many others. The best part is that campaign costs are usually rolled into the campaign fundraising, so the help eventually pays for itself. Using a firm to set you in the right path, can make all the difference. It's the difference between driving to South America by guessing and driving there with a map (or phone/GPS these days).
Midwest Studies Group connects nonprofits to their communities, by providing feasibility studies, annual giving studies, RD planning, strategic planning, and capital campaign support. Learn more at www.midweststudiesgroup.com.