This morning I had the honor of partnering with Shannon Hair, VP of Advancement at Danville Community College in Virginia, to present at this year’s CRD Conference. We had a wonderful conversation with a group of 35 college leaders about the good, the bad and the ugly parts of crafting and managing a college campaign. If you were not able to attend this year’s conference (which I highly recommend) or you were in another session, here is the take away:
The last time you will have a completely organized campaign is on the day you develop the campaign plan. After that, everything is subject to change – most of which will be out of your control.
In most cases, circumstances will arise that challenge your ability to successfully complete the campaign. A few of the common challenges include the announcement of a competing campaign, a lead donor prospect falling through or an unexpected change in college or board leadership.
If your foundation has quality campaign council and an advancement officer that maintains flexibility, then all of the bad and the ugly can be turned around.
The key is to recognize that campaigns are about much more than raising money. They are also about building relationships, expanding visibility and engaging the community in your college’s vision for the future. Think of your campaign as the launching pad for the revitalization of the critical role your college plays in the community.
Despite the challenges your staff and volunteers will inevitably face, a well-run campaign is an opportunity to turn the bad and the ugly into the good.