© Orier Digital Limited 2012 Major Campaigns How do you go about holding a major campaign? Legions of books have been written on this subject (check out our book shop for ideas), but here's a rough guide to the steps involved in running a major campaign. 1. Planning and Ideas 2. Feasibility Study 3. Silent Phase 4. Public Phase 5. Campaign Close 6. Stewardship Planning and Ideas Quite simply, this phase is dedicated to brainstorming ideas for projects that you would like to raise money for.  This may be primary driven by your organisation’s senior management team, governing board or trustees. The Feasibility Study Development offices should run a feasibility study to answer two vital questions: 1) How much can we raise? 2) What projects will (major) donors support? You need to be able to answer the first question so you that don't end up leading your institution on a wild goose chase towards an ambitious and totally unrealisable campaign (or to underestimate the giving potential of your community).  The second question is a slightly different one.  It may be that your senior management team passionately believes that your institution needs a new swimming pool.  That is all well and good, and you may have donors who have the capacity to give gifts big enough to buy one.  But!  Do your major donors want to give to a swimming pool?  It is the job of the development office to know (or find out) what interests donors, and to which projects they are most likely to give.  If your research demonstrates that no-one of significant means is interested in swimming, this may indicate it is the wrong project for your major campaign. It's called being donor-led. Does this mean you don't get a swimming pool?  No!  If you can raise money for another project (e.g. a library), this may free up funds which you can then spend on the swimming pool. Ok, so how do we know how much we can raise? Again, there are numerous ways of going about it, but here's one method that can be helpful: 1) Think about how much you would like to raise.  Imagine it's £2million.  You now need to create a hypothetical giving pyramid which tells you how many gifts at what level you would need to raise that amount.  For example, you might assume that to raise £2million you would need: 1 gift of £750,000, 2 gifts of £250,000 5 gifts of £100,000 ...and so on, down to 100s of gifts of £50.  Not sure how to create a campaign pyramid?  Try this campaign pyramid designer tool. 2) The next step is to ask yourself how many prospects you require who have capacity to make a gift at each level to find one who will actually be persuaded to make that gift.  For example, you might estimate that you need 5 prospects for every 1 gift you need.  You then need to scour your database and try to list the names of actual individuals who have the capacity to give at each level, and see if you can find as many prospects at each level as you need.  As an example, in our imaginary giving pyramid, you need to name ten prospects who can give £250,000.  Can't find enough people?  You either need to do more research, or accept that the £2million target may not be realistic.  How do we know what projects donors might support? Quite simply, you need to ask them.  You may already have met them and know their interests.  If not, this is where the silent phase comes in... The Silent / Invisible Phase The silent phase is a period of the campaign during which you need to get out and meet as many of your potential major donors as possible and ask them for their feedback on your campaign ideas, and ask them to indicate whether they might be inclined to support, and if so at what level.  t this stage, you don't need to ask for cash gifts - it’s more important to secure pledges (preferably in writing).  The idea is that you can gather enough pledges that when you launch the public phase of the campaign, you can shortly thereafter announce that you have already raised a significant proportion of your total total.  This gives momentum to your campaign.  Development offices may aim to raise between 40-70% of their campaign total during the silent phase. The Public Phase The public phase of a campaign is where the campaign is formally launched to the whole of your community, with publicity, brochures, events, the works.  You will have used the silent phase to sound out support, check that your campaign ideas resonate with your community, and have secured pledges for a substantial amount .  Now, you need to fill out the bottom of the giving pyramid, and encourage lots of people to give.  Small amounts can add up to a lot! Books on major campaigns See our suggestions for the best books on holding major campaigns in our book shop.