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  • Writer's pictureFrances Roen

Is Your Campaign In A Slump? Proactive Strategies to Recharge Your Fundraising

Updated: Jan 22

Campaigns are an intense effort on the part of a nonprofit organization to raise significant dollars in a specified period of time. And, like with anything that requires endurance, it’s only natural that at some point — things may start to feel exhausting, stuck, or sluggish. In the fundraising world, it’s often referred to as: the dreaded campaign slump. A period where the fundraising needle seems to have stopped moving. But fear not – a slump doesn't have to be disheartening or spell the end of your campaign. With the right strategies and a fresh perspective, you can help your campaign recover and successfully cross the finish line.

Resolicit Uncommitted Prospects

Uncommitted prospects represent untapped potential for your capital campaign. The capital campaign landscape can be complex, and prospects may need more time and information to make an informed decision. Resoliciting allows you to provide updates, share success stories, and offer detailed information about the campaign's goals, impact, and progress. Sharing the progress of your capital campaign, including milestones achieved and funds raised so far, can motivate uncommitted prospects to join in. Seeing the campaign moving forward can create a sense of urgency and excitement. As more prospects commit to the campaign, it can create a positive momentum that encourages others to get involved. People want to be part of something that is gaining traction and community support.

Resolicit Specific Donors, Such As Larger Donors

Larger donors serve as leaders and role models for other potential donors. When they commit, it sets a precedent and encourages others to follow suit. This is particularly important for inspiring individuals who may be considering larger gifts.

A donor's financial situation or priorities may change over time. Many donors may be able and interested in committing a second gift to ensure that your campaign is a success.

Resolicitation offers opportunities for larger donors to become more deeply involved in the campaign, by taking on leadership roles, participating in campaign events, or having naming opportunities. This level of involvement can further cement their commitment.

Revisit the Deadline (Extend It If Necessary)

Deciding when to revisit or extend the deadline of a capital campaign is an important decision that should be made carefully, taking into account various factors. If you decide to change the deadline, communicate the decision clearly and transparently to your donors and supporters. Explain the reasons for the extension and how it benefits the campaign.

Here are some considerations to help you determine when to revisit or extend the deadline:

Progress Towards Goals:

  • Evaluate the progress made towards your campaign goals. If you are close to meeting your fundraising target and believe that additional time could help you reach it, revisiting the deadline might be worthwhile.

Donor Engagement:

  • Consider the level of donor engagement and interest in the campaign. If donors are still showing enthusiasm and willingness to contribute, and you still have donors you haven’t had a chance to solicit yet, it may be a good sign that extending the deadline could lead to more donations.

Unforeseen Challenges:

  • Assess any unforeseen challenges or obstacles that may have affected the campaign's progress. External factors such as economic downturns or natural disasters can impact fundraising efforts and may warrant an extension.

Feedback and Input:

  • Seek feedback from key stakeholders, including donors, board members, and campaign volunteers. Their insights can provide valuable perspectives on whether an extension is advisable.

Financial Projections:

  • Reevaluate your financial projections and budget to ensure that an extension is financially feasible. You should have a clear understanding of how much additional time and resources you'll need to reach your goals.

Campaign Fatigue:

  • Be mindful of campaign fatigue among your team and supporters. Done correctly, extending the deadline can provide a breather for everyone involved and re-energize efforts.

Create Leverage And Urgency With A Match

Creating leverage and urgency with a matching gift campaign is an effective strategy to encourage donors to contribute to your capital campaign. A matching gift campaign involves a generous donor or group of donors who pledge to match donations made during a specific period, effectively doubling the impact of each gift.

Tailor your fundraising appeals to convey the urgency of the matching gift opportunity. Use compelling storytelling to illustrate how their contributions can make a difference before the deadline. Keep donors informed of the progress of the matching gift campaign. Share updates on the total funds raised and how close you are to reaching the matching gift threshold. This can motivate donors to give and see their donations matched.

When All Else Fails, Lower The Goal And Adjust The Plans

Unexpected challenges, such as economic downturns, natural disasters, or a major donor withdrawing their support, can significantly impact your campaign. In such cases, revisiting the goal might be necessary.

Involve your board of directors and key stakeholders in the decision-making process. They should be aware of the campaign's progress and provide input on whether changing the goal is in the organization's best interest.

Seek Professional Help

If your campaign slump persists or you're facing challenges that seem insurmountable, Fundraising Sol is here and ready to help you. Fundraising Sol can offer you services ranging from mid-campaign help to strategy calls. To learn more or to schedule your free 30 minute consultation, click:


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