We spend a lot of time aligning teams around the campaign concept. The concept of a ‘campaign’ means different things to different people. So to start, I’ll ask a board or a team, “What is a campaign?”
The word association shows the varied images people have.
- “Asking our friends for money!”
- “Kickoff events!”
If the ‘Capital Campaign’ had a brand, it would be a bad one. So, the first thing I often do is take control of the word.
A Campaign is…
- When an organization gets very serious about building and maximizing relationships.
This begs a question – When would we NOT want to be building and maximizing relationships? This is all. it. is. By this definition we should ALWAYS be in a campaign.
- A defined initiative with a goal and a plan. The first notion of a campaign I can find goes back to the Roman days – targeted initiatives with an objective and a plan (and then a celebration.)
- A story!
The campaign is a time for us to tell our story! And, in fact, the campaign itself is a story. What’s the story we want to be telling about the next chapter in our impact?
The story is not about ‘a capital campaign’ or ‘a building.’ Instead, what if we built a focused story around what we want to accomplish in the next 1000 days? Some examples:
- “We want to be there when people need us!”
- “Advancing care for vulnerable populations.”
- “Scaling our impact on a national level.”Each of these examples were very successful campaign initiatives. They provided the focused narrative for a 1,000 day WHY/WHAT/HOW.
- A catalyst.
For telling our story. For engaging others. For change. For results. For Impact.