Campaign Insights A Collective Approach to Success
Campaigns Published Date, 2023

Campaign Insights: A Collective Approach To Success

Created By: Amanda Nelson
September 28, 2023

Across the sector, campaigns are changing. With the opportunity to learn from each other’s expertise and experience, Orr Group recently convened a group of nonprofit leaders from across Philadelphia to discuss campaign trends and success.

On September 14th, myself and CJ Orr were joined in a roundtable conversation by co-hosts Mark Chilutti, CFRE, Assistant Vice President of Development at Magee Rehab Hospital Foundation – Jefferson Health, and Joan Allmaras, Philanthropic Solutions Specialist at National Philanthropic Trust. Ranging from entrepreneurial smaller-scale organizations to large institutions, to federated chapters, our expert fundraising guests brought a diversity of experience and perspectives on campaigns of all sizes and stages.

Nonprofit executives across the Philadelphia area attended Orr Group’s “Staying Ahead of the Curve: Elevating Campaign Success” dinner on September 14th, 2023.

Below were the top themes we collectively identified and explored during the insightful roundtable conversation.

Everyone is in a campaign!

It came as a bit of a surprise that every nonprofit representative was in some stage of a campaign. We discussed broader implications for this around engaging volunteer leaders and donor fatigue. The consensus was campaigns are going to keep launching, and organizations need to prepare accordingly to effectively fundraise. Ideas included ensuring you develop a campaign roadmap and make the appropriate internal investments to support the efforts, recruiting passionate volunteer leaders who have the capacity to partner in leading a campaign, and being mindful of donor fatigue by utilizing campaigns to build your donor pipeline.

Milestones are the same, no matter what the size of the campaign.

Attendees discussed the most important campaign milestones and shared experiences with some of those hurdles. We shared notes on $1B+ comprehensive campaigns, as well as smaller, more discreet capital campaigns, noting the shared steps and time it takes to progress through campaign stages. Critical steps included: finalizing campaign goals, recruiting campaign leaders, and securing lead gifts.

Blended gifts are the best.

We discussed how to structure and motivate teams to make blended asks, and explored what that actually means within the context of a campaign. Attendees shared challenges with gift acceptance policies and motivating frontline fundraisers, in addition to requiring more resources and training for building their base of knowledge on planned giving. We also discussed strengthening a culture of blended giving, and shared opportunities to blend in other ways including restricted and non-restricted gifts. Attendees agreed that blended gifts were a powerful accelerator for their campaign goals.

The conversation generated an overwhelming sense that campaigns are continuing to be a mainstay in the world of fundraising as a tool to reignite commitment to your mission, drive increased investment in your organization, and build upon (or forge new) relationships with constituents. Whether your nonprofit is tackling a major $1B+ effort, a smaller-size capital campaign, or anything in between, the same best practices – and the same challenges – will still apply. Further, the increasing focus on planned and blended giving vehicles will continue to allow organizations to dream bigger and set loftier goals for their campaigns and beyond.

Have a unique vision for change? You need a unique plan to make it a reality. Orr Group can support your organization by crafting and implementing a custom campaign strategy that is both ambitious and achievable. Get in touch to learn more.

Amanda Nelson

Amanda Nelson is a Vice President at Orr Group. Amanda has 15 years of professional fundraising experience with a background in higher education and provides nonprofits with expertise in development and strategy implementation to drive growth.

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