Leadership Trumps Case…for Reaching Goals

Strategic CampaignsThe campaign landscape has never been more competitive. Nonprofit leaders expect extraordinary outcomes and donors demand greater accountability while resources are stretched thinner every year.

Structuring your campaign right the first time is central to your success. The key to campaign success is energized and committed leadership. You can have the greatest case for campaign support and weak leadership, and you are likely to fall short. With strong leadership, including board, executives and key volunteers, even run-of-the-mill campaign objectives can be achieved.

Copley Raff’s team of senior consultants has been counsel to hundreds of campaigns with goals ranging from $2 million to $200 million. We will help you develop and execute the essential elements of a successful campaign including:

  1. Create a detailed campaign blueprint tailored to your institution and your specific advancement resources
  2. Build a persuasive case for support
  3. Recruit and train your campaign leaders
  4. Build a major donor pipeline and bring focus on potential transformational donors
  5. Assist in campaign management
  6. Train volunteers and staff
  7. Participate in solicitations


Cases for Support…We Will “Right” Them for You

So why should I support you?

Why does your organization merit a gift more so than the other million+ charities registered in the United States?

Why Now?

These are questions that any advancement professional should be able to answer effortlessly and convincingly about their nonprofit organization and campaign.

An organization’s case for support should concisely and compellingly document this information. The important word here is “should.” As fundraising consultants, we often speak with nonprofits that “sort of” have a case, or seem to improvise their funding pitch based on whatever fire they are currently trying to extinguish. Are you “sort of” guilty of this as well?

Campaigns, by definition, are complex undertakings. There are many campaign elements and leadership decisions that Copley Raff can help you think through and execute. The following topics all need to be addressed in planning a campaign. The sooner they are addressed, the smoother your campaign planning and execution will be.

Campaign Fundamentals

  • Case for support
  • Campaign planning vs. feasibility study
  • Comprehensive vs. targeted campaign
  • Campaign readiness and scalability
  • Timing: campaign duration, when to go public, pledge period
  • Campaign naming / branding / positioning
  • Roles of volunteers, advancement staff, leaders, consultants
  • Staff driven vs. hybrid vs. volunteer driven solicitation
  • Campaign communications


  • Board and “nuclear family” giving
  • Prospect cultivation and engagement
  • Prospect identification, rating and assignment
  • Making the ask: triple ask, combination giving options
  • Preserving and growing of annual giving during campaign
  • Legacy naming opportunities, identification and valuation
  • Donor recognition and stewardship
  • Public phase activities

Campaign Leadership

  • Leadership availability and quality:  volunteer, executive, advancement
  • Organizational vision
  • Board approval process
  • Leadership structure