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Campaign Readiness Study; The Role of the Study Summit

Updated: Sep 27, 2022

In preparation for a Capital Campaign, Crescendo Fundraising Professionals consultants first need to complete a crucial planning step called a Campaign Readiness Study Summit.

The Study Summit is typically a one-day event that gathers feedback via interviews, focus groups, and on-line surveys to guide and inform the financial support, interest and capacity to support the proposed campaign goal. This innovative approach has been created and repeatedly tested over the past several years by Crescendo’s consultants to curate impactful results in the most efficient manner.

Prior to Crescendo’s Campaign Readiness Study Summit, a Study Committee identifies potentially dozens of community members to be involved in the interview and focus group process. The Study Committee is made up of influential supporters or key individuals i. the community with whom Crescendo advisors will be working.

This group is recruited by the client to serve on a short-term committee to help determine the direction and strategy for the campaign. Committee participants are asked to attend three meetings to review the project summary and provide feedback, brainstorm interviewee and focus group members, interview, and finally hear the report to determine and approve next steps for the campaign.

The committee then chooses individuals based on their involvement or interest in the community. For example, they may own a business or firm, are influential in civic or cultural endeavors, have served on a board for a non-profit, or have held any major role in other fundraising projects. Other identifiers may be personal and family ties in the community of 20 to 30 years, a history of volunteerism and activity in community life, or have given charitable gifts to organizations, universities, or churches.

Once the interviewees and focus group members are chosen, the Study Summit is ready to commence! This exciting day consists of a project overview by the client, consultant meetings with 20 or more interviewees, and conducting other interviews to gather information. During these individual interviews, consultants ask a series of questions to determine the benefiting factors along with questions or concerns of the project, economic impact and state of the community, and more! Consultants also gauge the individual's interest in volunteering on a campaign leadership or volunteer committee and willingness to contribute financially with a pledge or gift over several years. This question helps not only to gauge interest in the project overall, but also identifies potential lead gifts, donors, leaders and volunteers for later down the road when the project comes to life!

This one day event also includes three or four focus groups, consisting of influential community members. Questions during these focus groups are similar to the individual interviews, including benefits, questions, concerns, and challenges that they may see arise during the project. In addition to their time and input in the focus group, these individuals are asked to complete an online survey to address any other concerns that they may not have felt comfortable sharing publicly.

The final piece of the Study Summit includes conducting an ongoing, public survey to those in the community who will be affected by the project but were not asked to participate in the in-person, confidential interviews or focus groups. The questions included in these surveys again cover benefits, questions, and challenges, along with asking community members to help identify financial contributors in the community, and if they may be interested or know of somebody who would be a good candidate for a leadership role in the campaign committee, or would have input to identify potential volunteers.

Crescendo Fundraising Professionals, LLC utilizes a number of proven techniques for a successful Study Summit. Please contact us today for a free consultation about fulfilling your mission-driven dreams to support an inspiring capital campaign process.

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