Is your chapter in need of a better living and learning environment? Do you wish to award more scholarships to chapter members? Are you looking to fund leadership development programs? If so, are your chapter’s leaders thinking about launching a major fundraising campaign to meet these wishes?
We regularly learn about fraternity and sorority chapters pursuing major giving campaigns to fund capital, endowment, and program initiatives. Many of these chapters are not well-positioned for large-scale initiatives, which require significant planning and execution. Whether they’re for specific projects or annual operating needs, organizing major funding campaigns can be complex, challenging, and time-consuming projects.
How do you know when your chapter is ready for a major campaign?
Answer the following questions to help determine if your chapter is ready to begin the conversation of a major campaign.
- How long has the chapter been in existence?
- Does the chapter boast a sufficient base of alumni/ae?
- Do you have strategic short and/or long-range plans for your chapter?
- Are your chapter’s key stakeholders, such as the board, key volunteers, top donors, and undergraduates committed to investing energy, time and money?
- What is your chapter’s image in the on campus, with the national organization, and in the local community?
- Does your chapter have enough voluntary leadership to handle campaign activities or will you need professional counsel?
- Does the chapter feature strong alumni/ae and parent relations programs?
- Does your chapter have a current fund development (fundraising) plan?
- Does your chapter have an engaged house corporation and an educational foundation?
- Have you considered potential expenses associated with a large funding campaign?
- How effective is your chapter’s annual giving program?
- What have you done to test your case and campaign goal and recruit campaign leadership?
- Does your chapter have communications and events plans to complement your campaign?
- Have you identified the current and potential donors who have the capacity to make significant contributions?
- Are you prepared to create solicitation strategies for each donor?
- Do you have a plan for pledge collection and donation acknowledgements?
A common mistake made by chapters is lack of preparation when it comes to major fundraising campaigns. While the questions above should be answered before nearly every funding initiative, preparation of your chapter’s most aggressive project will determine its success.