Q. We haven’t done much fundraising before, but need to raise funds for a new building. Where do we start?
A. Capital projects can seem daunting when you’re standing at the bottom of the fundraising target looking up, but the good news is that these kinds of projects often bring out your supporters, and the best in them.
While capital campaigns can be endlessly complicated, you can strip it back to the basics and still do an excellent job. The tenets of fundraising state that in order to be a major donor someone needs to have capacity to give (ability), an interest in your cause or mission (interest), and be close enough that you can reach out to them (linkage). These are commonly known as LAI, and each gets a score out of 5 based on how well they fit the criteria with 5 being the highest.
So it follows that the best place to start is by finding out which of your supporters fit these criteria! It could be volunteers, existing donors, alumni, beneficiaries, patients, parents, board members, or even corporates. Begin looking through your database to find the best matches on all fronts, and focus on the ones that come out with the highest rankings. Congratulations on your brand new top prospect list! You can now begin to hold meaningful conversations with these people, and you’ll be surprised who and what this process will turn up. Best of luck!