The Campaign (Annual, Endowment Or Capital) Is Over And The Goal Has Been Achieved — Life Is Good!
Issue a press release and a final newsletter thanking campaign leadership, volunteers and the donors. Single out people who should be commended, and praise the campaign chair. Then, be sure to convene a meeting of the campaign leadership for in an-depth, no-holds-barred, assessment and review of what was accomplished and what was learned.
Follow the First Rule in evaluating a completed campaign: Don’t wait! The Second Rule is to get the evaluation done quickly. That way, knowing all that is important about the finished campaign, leads to helping the next campaign to be an even better one.
The Campaign Is Over And The Goal Has Not Been Achieved — Life Has Been Better!
This has happened to me more times than I like to admit. Goals and resources do not always match, campaigns do develop insurmountable problems, and sometimes you just can’t pull it off. Fundraising professionals have to be prepared for the occasional failure.
Bear in mind, however, that a campaign can come up short of its goal and still have demonstrated a lot of accomplishment. You may still be able to say congratulations to volunteers and donors. Though not enough, the money raised may be an all-time high for the organization’s annual fund.
You’ll still be able to build or renovate … perhaps reduced degree. You’ve raised a goodly amount of endowment funds, enough to help safeguard your organization’s future. More donors than ever before may have given. More volunteers worked the campaign than any before. The campaign may have come within 10 percent of a goal we knew to be very ambitious.
It is the rare campaign in which you cannot find a positive accomplishment to call to the attention of volunteers, donors, and the public. Make lemonade from lemons.
So issue a press release and a final newsletter thanking campaign leadership, volunteer solicitors, and the donors. Single out people who should be commended, and praise the campaign Chairperson. Thank-you functions are still appropriate. Donors still need to be told how much they are valued and appreciated.
With the people who worked on the campaign, you need to be practical and honest about the disappointment, but don’t let words of regret, frustration, and unhappiness get to the ears of those who gave.
If you become preoccupied with the shortfall and forget all the good things that happened, you do a disservice to those who worked a campaign and to those who gave to it. They should never be left to think their efforts were a waste.
I liked to host a thank-you function or functions for my volunteers and major donors. The format should be in tune with the organization and the community — a cocktail party, picnic, or open house, for example. Don’t forget to seek underwriting for this event. Board members may contribute food and drink at their home, country club, yacht club or even in their corporation’s board room.
Editor’s Note: As has been emphasized so often in these postings: Goal setting is not an arbitrary process!! If adequate research and planning precede goal setting, the risk of not attaining the goal is reduced dramatically.
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