Some campaigns manifest success right from inception. However, sometimes an organization has a strategic campaign vision but requires assistance with its execution and to build momentum. In this article, we share an example of how a Catholic institution partnered with us at CCS Fundraising to reinvigorate their campaign. Ultimately, they surpassed their initial goal of $70 million by an impressive $20 million.
Our Approach to an Effective Campaign
Launched in 2018, this diocesan campaign aimed to raise $70 million to support Catholic education and formation, clergy and seminarians, evangelization and discipleship, and charity and justice. Despite a well-defined strategic vision, the campaign needed help gaining traction. By the end of its first year, it had only achieved 40% of its multi-year fundraising goal. Recognizing the need for expert support, the organization sought assistance from CCS.
A Comprehensive Assessment
Upon the engagement’s commencement, CCS comprehensively evaluated the campaign’s foundational elements through an intensive two-month rapid assessment. We used our tried-and-true method to enliven a stalling campaign, in which we focus on and analyze five crucial areas:
- Assessing the feasibility of the identified goal: CCS diligently examines whether the established goal remains attainable within the prevailing circumstances.
- Evaluating the case for support’s reception and articulation: CCS meticulously appraises how the campaign’s rationale resonates with stakeholders and its communication effectiveness.
- Identifying potential opportunities at the lead gift level: CCS explores the potential for substantial contributions at the highest giving tier. This helps to overcome any initial setbacks or limitations.
- Gauging engagement levels of organizational, volunteer, and donor leadership: CCS assesses the enthusiasm and commitment of key individuals and groups responsible for driving the campaign forward, determining their willingness to undertake the necessary efforts to achieve the established goals.
- Conducting a comprehensive audit and review of campaign methodology: CCS conducts an exhaustive examination of the campaign’s strategies and tactics, aiming to identify any missteps or inefficiencies. Subsequently, we devises a clear plan of support that collaboratively aligns leadership and operational organization.
Unleashing the Power of Clarity
Through strategic interviews and diligent efforts, CCS helped meticulously redesign the case for support. This ensured effective communication of the campaign’s significance, its profound impact on local churches, and the specific areas to benefit from the funds. Refining the message resulted in a newfound clarity. Additionally, it instilled a renewed sense of purpose that resonated deeply with donors and volunteers, igniting their passionate commitment to the cause.
Achieving Operational Excellence
CCS also streamlined campaign operations to achieve success. With meticulous attention to detail, we formulated a comprehensive week-by-week plan encompassing well-defined fundraising benchmarks. Every campaign facet, from strategic considerations to implementation procedures, underwent thorough standardization. Thoughtful reevaluation and redesign of campaign materials ensured clear and concise communication with donors and volunteers. This methodical approach instilled a profound sense of organization and cohesion, fostering confidence and bolstering engagement levels.
Embracing Multiculturalism for Campaign Success
Recognizing the dynamic demographics of the Catholic community in the US, we place great significance on a multicultural approach. Clear and effective communication emerged as a priority in this diocese, where nearly half of the priests were foreign-born. Additional fundraising training resources addressed potential language and cultural barriers. By bridging gaps, fostering trust, and developing campaign materials in multiple languages, we effectively engaged the burgeoning population of Spanish-speaking Catholics and foreign-born priests in the Green Bay area. The result was an elevated level of participation and enthusiastic contributions as fundraisers approached these families for the first time to contribute to a capital campaign.
Captivating Donors With a Compelling Message
In the face of the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we supported remarkable resilience and adaptability across parishes. Recognizing the prevailing circumstances, we urged parishes to perceive the campaign as an opportunity to foster reconnection with their parishioners in the aftermath of the global crisis. Emphasizing the utilization of campaign funds to restore Mass attendance to pre-pandemic levels, we underscored the urgent need and the substantial impact on local communities. This poignant narrative struck a deep chord with parishioners, reigniting their faith and rekindling their commitment. Remarkably, more than twenty parish communities experienced a revitalization in Mass attendance. In turn, this infused renewed vitality into their faith communities and reaffirmed the profound impact of the campaign.
A Winning Campaign Strategy
Revitalizing a challenged campaign necessitated a strategic assessment of its shortcomings, rallying support from parishes, and effective communication with stakeholders. CCS Fundraising’s comprehensive approach, encompassing a range of strategic initiatives, played a pivotal role in the campaign’s resounding success.
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