5 years? I thought this was a 5-month commitment

The Steering Committee (or Capital Campaign Committee) is a group of dedicated volunteers who have all made a stretch gift to the capital campaign and have agreed to lead the fundraising efforts of the campaign. Let’s first discuss the responsibilities of the steering committee in a capital campaign.

 Committee Responsibilities:

  • Be passionate about and actively involved with the organization
  • Make a personal donation or pledge to the campaign
  • Ask others for donations
  • Attend Steering Committee Meetings (monthly)
  • Follow through on work produced at the Committee meeting
  • Be an advocate in the community for the organization and the campaign

The job of the steering committee member is not easy. They have made a commitment to multiple years of making solicitations, regular meetings and attending many cultivation events.

Despite the dedication of the committee, often problems arise with the committee that can hinder your campaign. Over the next couple of weeks, we will discuss these different challenges.

The Challenge: Our committee is not engaged.

The (other) Challenge: You are not engaging your committee members.

The Solution: While every development officer would love if their steering committee members were just out there making successful 6-figure solicitations on their own, it if often not the case. So, how can you engage your committee members in the fundraising process?

  1. Review donor prospect lists together to identify individuals who they know. Note: sometimes the committee member knows the individual too well to actually make the solicitation and it is not a good match for solicitation. And sometimes you need to show them the rational.
  2. Once you have identified 5-10 prospects, develop strategy for approaching the donors and the timing for this to unfold. Also, determine a solicitation amount and a specific area of the campaign that will be of interest to the prospect.
  3. Provide any necessary materials to your committee member to help with the cultivation process (i.e. case for support, pledge card, gift chart, etc.)
  4. Offer to go on the cultivation or solicitation call to provide support to the committee member and help make the call successful.
  5. Follow up with your committee member on their progress. Help them build new strategy when the original plan does not work as anticipated.
  6. Celebrate success!
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