Campaign committees need to be given a clear description of what their committee goals and responsibilities are within the campaign structure. Remember that most campaigns are multi-million dollar projects and the members of the various committees are responsible for the success of completing the goal. The committee members should be the organizations leadership and principal and major gift donors who are willing to give of their time and money. One way to engage this group of leaders is to start with a short-term planning committee. This gives an overview of what needs to be done giving each member the opportunity to decide which committee will best suit their talents and ability to succeed.
Each member of a committee must have the “raw materials” necessary to clearly understand the goals; the money needed and learn about the case statement and what are the exact needs of the organization. This gives the chairperson of each committee a clear understanding of the needs of their particular committee. What is the chair really looking for in a committee member: generosity, access to the movers and shakers in the community and the time to cultivate the prospect and make” the ask.” If you look at the word committee – the first six words are “commit” which when defined is dedication to the cause, clear understanding of the goals and the desire to engage others in the community to give to the organization. The last three letters: “TEE” stand for “Time”: being at the meetings, being on time for you appointments and be prepared to present and be a spokesperson for the cause; “E” is for energy to seek out new prospects, know all there is to know about the needs and goals of the campaign and the energy to create success. The final “E” is for Effort that when you think you are depleted and can’t make one more presentation or one more ask – you dig deeper into your reserves and you succeed to get one more gift!
Committees cannot work in a vacuum and it is essential that staff is prepared to assist in giving the committee leadership all the tools they need to be successful:
- Excellent research materials on prospects and investors
- Materials to make them the best ambassadors for the cause
- Recognition when they have closed a gift
- Staff needs to be prepared with all the appropriate thank you and commitment letters
Working as a team gives everyone the opportunity to be successful.
Next week we will talk about making “the ask.” Please feel free to contact me with your comments.