Episode 71: Capital Campaigns Are Broken

October 4, 2018 Blackbaud, Inc.


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For many organizations, if you are not in a capital campaign then you are likely planning for the next one. But is the capital campaign as we know it working, or is broken? Today's guest is an expert in university fundraising, and has done extensive research into what's working and what's not when it comes to capital campaigns and fundraising strategies.

Andy Reeher is the founder Reeher, the industry leading provider of fundraising performance management software for higher education that is now a part of Blackbaud. Learn what Andy's research has uncovered about the evolution of capital campaigns, from being used mainly by large universities to now being run by smaller colleges and universities as well as how the age and total gift concentrations of the top 100 donors has changed over the last forty years. Andy discusses how campaigns have moved from being a concept that got donors excited to a framework that boards use to fund the fundraising organization for seven years, and why universities need to make a change and move from seven year plans to rolling needs-based approaches.

Topics Discussed in this Episode:

  • How the average age of the top 100 donors has evolved over the past 40 years, and how that has affected fundraising
  • Are operating model campaigns sustainable?
  • Staffing levels for engagement of constituents and strategic relationship building hasn't really changed over the years and hasn't kept up with technology
  • How the model of seven year fundraising strategies is at odds with lifetime value
  • What fundraisers can learn from the evolution of software development
  • How organizations can benefit from rolling needs reviews
  • What it means to look at donor development from a life stage standpoint
  • How to figure out what potential donors want, and how to then build symbiotic relationships with donors.
  • The future of capital campaigns


Capital Campaigns are Broken: What Happened and How to Fix Them 

5 Capital Campaign Myths Debunked 

"Capital campaigns have gone from a concept that motivated donors to a concept that motivated the staff."

"Even if we don't have any information about a constituent, we can make some basic assumptions about the types of things that might engage them [based on their life stage]."


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