Campaign Readiness Assessment

Has the possibility of a campaign come up in discussions with the president/CEO and the board? Are you wondering “What do I need to do now to prepare?”

Are you already in the process of planning for a campaign and wondering if you are really ready? Do you feel you are ready?

Are you coming out of a campaign and trying to determine the next steps to leverage your success?

Do you want to explore opportunities for growth? Or do you need a plan for scaling back that makes sense, but allows you to maximize gains from a campaign?

We provide an in-depth evaluation of the advancement program prior to a capital campaign to assess the organization’s internal ability to support and sustain a capital campaign, at the conclusion of a campaign to realign the organization to meet post-campaign challenges and opportunities, or at any time an organization may need to strengthen fundraising or prepare for change or transition.

In addition to the traditional written report providing observations and recommendations, we develop suggested plans of action specific to your organization’s current situation and needs. We design plans that focus on the essential steps for the greatest impact that can be reasonably executed by your organization, and provide ongoing counsel to support your implementation. Our comprehensive internal assessment consists of an in-depth evaluation of the entire program and is conducted by examining four key areas of performance:

Previous fundraising initiatives and results:

The consultant will request, review, and evaluate information about donors; donor relations; all fundraising materials including printed, web-based and e-communications; and past fundraising performance and strategies.

Staff capacity:

The consultant will interview the vice president and/or director of development, senior development staff including program directors, senior staff in other key program areas that play a role in the success of the fundraising program, and volunteer leadership where appropriate. Following the interview process, the consultant will review the roles of members of the development team and evaluate the current staff’s capacity to fulfill the goals for the fundraising effort.

Program organization, planning, and integration:

The consultant will review all written plans and all current planning initiatives and processes to understand how the organization uses data to drive decision-making, anticipates and prepares for programmatic changes or new initiatives, and works across program lines to maximize both investment in and return on programmatic activities.

Support Systems:

The consultant will evaluate the organization’s systems that support fundraising including prospect management tracking and reporting, donor research capacity, database management, donor screening and rating initiatives, procedures for gift processing and acknowledgement, and policies on gifts and investments.

At the conclusion of the study, a written report will be presented that lays out the findings and makes recommendations about approach, any internal structural or operational changes needed, and, as appropriate, recommendations regarding a timetable and steps for a campaign.

What can a pre-campaign assessment do for your organization?

  • Help articulate an exciting vision for what a campaign might accomplish for the community served by your organization
  • Help clarify objectives and refine the preliminary case for support
  • Evaluate internal advancement staffing, systems, and capacity against the needs of a campaign
  • Help prepare director, board, advancement staff, and others for their roles in a forthcoming campaign
  • Test the case and the preliminary campaign goal with potential donors and volunteer leaders
  • Test the readiness of top prospective donors to give to the campaign
  • Analyze the potential for meaningful support from other donors and prospects
  • Identify and cultivate potential campaign leaders, volunteers, and donors
  • Develop strategies for preparing and conducting a successful campaign
  • Identify policy or public relations issues to be addressed

What can a post-campaign assessment do for your organization?

  • Develop a strategy for maintaining the momentum generated by your campaign
  • Determine what projects might be appropriate for a fundraising focus post-campaign
  • Evaluate internal advancement staffing, systems, and capacity in a post-campaign environment
  • Identify stewardship opportunities to maximize donor relations potential and return on investment from the campaign
  • Identify additional pockets of opportunity to grow support post-campaign
  • Work with the president/CEO, board, advancement staff, and others to develop post-campaign strategy
  • Continue to develop donor relationships and donor recognition to serve as the future of your philanthropy
  • Develop strategies for engaging new donors who joined your campaign effort or increased their support
  • Develop strategies for continuing to engage campaign volunteers in meaningful leadership roles