Williams wrote in her book, "Big Gifts," that the first year of a fundraising campaign can determine the overall success of the project. A rousing first year will boost the morale of your fundraisers, whereas a lackluster performance will cause concern. To ensure you get off to a good start, Williams recommended making use of schedules. These will help organize your campaign so you know by when you need to accomplish certain goals (i.e., X amount of dollars should have been raised by X date).
For the first year of your campaign, Russell V. Kohr wrote in the “Handbook of Institutional Advancement” that the following goals should be accomplished:
- Complete the first draft of the long-range plan;
- Share plan with trustees and selected potential benefactors;
- Revise plan as necessary;
- Trustees approve plan and campaign goal;
- Development office prepares statement of gift opportunities;
- Development office drafts case statement that is then shared with key people in the organization, trustees, and selected friends;
- Survey various constituencies intensively;
- Research prospective donors of major gifts;
- Begin solicitation of major gift, corporate, and foundation prospects;
- Increase annual giving solicitation;
- A group -- such as the president, chairman of the board of trustees, and the chairman of the trustee committee on development -- enlists a national campaign chairman and members of the major gifts committees;
- Role of the president and other administrative officials in the campaign is determined; and,
- Begin solicitation of trustees.