“Donors won’t be able to give because inflation is too high.”
“The stock market’s downturn will cause donors not to give.”
“There is a recession coming so this isn’t a good time to start a campaign.”
You’ve probably heard Board members, donors, or well-meaning colleagues make statements similar to these when the idea of a starting a campaign comes up.
Or, perhaps, because of current advancement staffing levels, recent fundraising results, or some other institutional issue, you, yourself, have expressed concern about whether now is the right time to start a campaign. “We just aren’t ready,” might be your hesitating lament.
Here’s a quick, campaign-planning hack:
The absolute worst time to start a campaign is when you are completely ready institutionally, when all the external financial and economic indicators are perfectly aligned in your favor, and when every planning signpost points toward incontrovertible success.
These moments rarely (if ever) happen. And, while waiting for them to come around, we will miss many opportunities to significantly impact the advancement of the institution through a thriving campaign.
Campaigns aren’t successful because of what is happening today.
Campaigns are successful because they support an inspiring vision for what will be happening tomorrow.