One of our clients successfully completed a $3.5 million capital campaign to build a new clinic. The celebrations have started! Throughout the planning and initial funding program, one of our tasks was to keep volunteer leaders and staff motivated. We talked about funding examples, surprise gifts, challenge opportunities and the importance to get the message of the campaign and its outcomes in the hearts of many.
When the executive director was recently asked for her greatest campaign surprises, she described the following:
Our prospect never saw the clinic. He knew of it through his father. After completing our research, we felt we could ask for a capital gift. We were hoping the gift would be between $50,000 and $100,000.
Can you imagine our joyous shock when he committed to a $400,000 operational gift ($100,000 over four years)? This donor had some ideas of his own. He thought that making a gift to the operations fund would set an example for other donors about the importance of unrestricted operational dollars and investing in the health of an organization. He felt that we could always generate the capital support!
One of our campaign discussion points is that the sophisticated major gift donor today seeks greater involvement in the heart and soul of the organization he supports. This was certainly true here as the donor will be an active friend for many years to come.