Several times each month I visit with boards and leaders. These thoughts represent a lot of the conversations I’ve been having on the subject of “campaigns”.
“What is a campaign?”
I often engage a board with this question. The word-association is something about which we should to be mindful.
- “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…
- A time when we (The Suddes Group) see organizations getting 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’. Those are traditional capital campaigns. 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 defined very successful campaign initiatives. They provided the focused narrative for our 1,000 day WHY/WHAT/HOW.
For telling our story. For engaging others. For change. For results. For impact.