Raybin — A Marts & Lundy Company

We're excited to be joining the Marts & Lundy Team!

Frequently Asked Questions

As organizations work on fully realizing their potential, they inevitably come up against many of the same dilemmas. At some point in the process, almost all raise similar questions.

1.  Should we be in a campaign now?
2.  Beyond money, what would you like your campaign to accomplish?
3.  Who should lead your campaign?
4.  How do you get key stakeholders involved?
5.  How do you engage your board?


bulletShould we be in a campaign now?

The economy is terrible. We’re funding and fighting wars on two fronts. Our donors tell us they feel poor. But, we still need to raise money.

  • If you're already in a campaign, don't pull the plug just because of the economy. It will be difficult to re-start, and you'll have to re-enlist leadership, re-engage donors, re-formulate the plan. Keep going, but be patient. Solicitations and pledge decisions are just taking longer now.
  • If you've completed a strategic plan and have a good case for support, you may want to take the next campaign preparation step: Begin the campaign planning study. If the first 10-12 interviews with the key prospects and leaders are encouraging, complete the study. But if the results of those early conversations suggest a serious softness in support because of factors external to your organization, consider stopping the study and delaying the campaign. But use the time to make sure your institutional house is in order and to strengthen relationships with your friends and donors.
  • If you're thinking a campaign would be a good idea because everyone else is doing one or because it would be really nice to have more money, think again. In a tight economy with a growing number of philanthropic demands, donors are supporting those causes that can make a convincing case for what difference a campaign will make. First, focus on developing a strategic plan, strengthening management and organization, making sure the Board is functioning optimally, and building your broad-based development program.

top of pagetop of page


bulletBeyond money, what would you like your campaign to accomplish?

Contrary to popular opinion, it's not all about money. If arms were twisted, people manipulated, promises broken, and constituents alienated, what would be the long-term legacy of your organization?

Good campaign design:

  • Furthers mission
  • Enhances community
  • Attracts new constituents
  • Positions your institution for future fund raising.

The process by which money is raised is as important – or more so – than reaching goal.

It's not “beyond money.” It is, rather, that money is the end result of sensitively addressing common values and successfully nurturing relationships.

top of pagetop of page


bulletWho should lead your campaign?

Today's complex campaigns demand a synergy of skills. Rarely does one individual possess them all. So, as you select the members of your Campaign Steering Committee (ideally, a group of 8-10 people at the outset), look for a combination of the following:

  • Passionate about your organization
  • Able to make a significant gift
  • Eager to solicit or willing to learn
  • Articulate about the case
  • Available when needed
  • Well-known and liked
  • Well organized
  • Knows many prospects
  • Committed for the long haul
  • Team player

Download a form of the above (pdf)

Volunteers rise to the challenge. Leaders are made, not born.

top of pagetop of page


bulletHow do you get key stakeholders involved?

Ask, invite, include, inform and educate:

  • Ask them what they think – about the mission, vision, programs, performance of your organization
  • Invite them to see for themselves – architectural plans, newly-acquired property, proposed new programs
  • Include them in your discussions – about challenges, opportunities, planning
  • Inform them – about the ways their expertise, experience and interests complement your mission
  • Educate them – about the specifics, their possible role, and the rewards of involvement.

top of pagetop of page


bulletHow do you engage your board?

“Location, location, location” are the three most important things in real estate.
“Mission, mission, mission” are the three most important things for non-profits. Mission should be the context within which all conversations occur.

  • The budget discussion – that's about supporting your mission.
  • The capital campaign to build new facilities, advance new programs, and hire more staff – that's about advancing your mission.
  • Raising endowment funds – that's about securing the future of your mission.
  • Strategic planning – that's about continually discerning the options for the direction of your mission.

Ed Koch, former Mayor of New York, endlessly grilled the press, “How'm I doing?” If you continually query your Board – How're we doing around mission? – there will be more than enough to engage them.

top of pagetop of page