[Previously posted on advocace.com]
The key to your successful capital campaign is sitting in your boardroom.
However, I cannot tell you if they’re ready.
Sometimes I meet with ministry leaders that have forgotten the incredible opportunity the board has to impact their organization in tangible and profound ways. Many times, our boards get so focused on the day to day and other board duties. And we forget they were assembled to protect the mission and lead your organization to its fulfillment.
Have you forgotten what a practical and influential role the board could play in helping your organization see its vision become a reality? If so, that’s ok!
Start where you are now and begin asking the right questions.
Realigning the board’s activities for the best of the mission won’t take much, and you are likely already taking most of the necessary actions.
Prepare for Capital Campaign Success
Whatever your starting point, focus on making necessary changes and allowing board members to understand the serious role they will play in the capital campaign’s success.
Here are 5 ways to prepare for capital campaign success. After working through this list, you can make a healthy and effective plan to get where you want to be before your next capital campaign kicks off.
- Strategic Planning—Does the board play a significant role in creating the strategic plan for the capital campaign? If not, correct this. Remember that people invest in what they own. When the board gets involved, they will also own the process and see it through.
- Giving Generously—Are board members giving significantly to the campaign? If not, this is an important thing to explore. Is there a passion and a commitment from the board to make the campaign successful? Where a person is giving is a sign of what is in their heart. Not only the campaign, but the organization, will experience something completely different when the board is leading by example.
- Serving Generously—Does the board willingly, easily, and quickly volunteer with campaign teams? Your volunteer teams need the passion and leadership the board members bring. Further, don’t underestimate what board member involvement communicates to other significant donors. The board member’s time says that the ministry is serious about its vision.
- Everyone on Board—A capital campaign takes a lot of energy and focus. It is so important that your board understands the process and the ups and downs that come with a capital campaign effort. Are your board members prepared to maintain momentum and passion for the duration of the campaign? If the board second guesses the strategy of the campaign, the whole campaign could be in serious trouble. Make sure that everyone is on board and ready to do what it takes to make it a success. Do not shy away from hard conversations on the front end. If there is not commitment, find out why. On the other side of that conversation there could be a better plan, a stronger vision. Gain commitment at the beginning or address the issue if it’s waning in the middle. There is too much on the line for the campaign to fizzle out because of lack of commitment.
- Wholly Willing—Finally, does your board willingly offer their talents, skills, and resources for the sake of the campaign? There are other ways to participate besides donating money that can make a significant impact. Maybe an even better question is: do you know the talents and skills of your board members? If not, I would strongly encourage you to get to know your board and learn what they have to offer. Then, when you know, find a way to let them use this gift for the greater good of the mission.
Everyone needs to remember that the campaign is not really about the building or the project you are trying to fund. It is about building a bigger community of people who understand and are passionate about your vision. Every capital campaign effort allows us to walk alongside people as they steward God’s resources and invest in His Kingdom.
Keep fighting friends. Your work is important; don’t stop now!