There’s one universal thing we never seem to have enough of… time.
Nonprofit leaders are especially strapped for time because they are generally understaffed. In “normal” times, development professionals and executive directors are doing the job of more than one person.
Add a capital campaign on top of your regular work and you are truly strapped for time.
Managing Your Time During a Capital Campaign
Because time is of the essence, anything that saves you time becomes a life raft. As the saying goes, time is money. When you save time, you also save money — another invaluable resource at most nonprofits.
In this post, you’ll explore several ways you could save time and money for your campaign. Of course, sometimes time savers have a price tag. A campaign is an opportunity for the leaders at your organization to truly consider the notion of penny wise and pound foolish.
If you’re going to be raising millions of dollars, doesn’t it make sense to spend some money to ensure the success of the campaign? It’s also important to consider the sanity and potential burn-out of those who are putting in the work.
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4 Tips for Capital Campaign Time Management
We couldn’t have a modern conversation about time management without turning to the topic of technology. How and when are you using it effectively to boost efficiency?
Ask yourself these two questions:
- What are you spending the most time on each week?
- Is there a technical solution to help you become more efficient in that area?
Here are some tips and considerations to better manage your time, particularly during a capital campaign.
1. Schedule Meetings with Ease
If you’re going back and forth via email to schedule most of your meetings, technology is available to save the day. Both for individual and group meetings, there are services and apps to help save time.
For more than 90 percent of the meetings I schedule, I use Calendly. It eliminates the back and forth. There are still a few people I need to coordinate scheduled in a more personal way, and when appropriate and necessary, I do.
2. Consider a Your Filing System
How much time do you spend time searching for something, like a piece of paper or electronic file every day or each week? Those frantic minutes of not being able to find a file, a list, or a document, add up. A good filing system is critical during a campaign.
Filing systems — both electronic and paper — can be lifesavers. In some ways I’m extremely organized, but I’m not great with paperwork. Last year, I hired a personal organizer to help me create a system. It was expensive, but the time and anxiety (when I can’t find something) it has saved me has been worth it.
It’s critically important to be organized during a campaign. You want to keep track of donors and the journey they are on with your organization. If there’s a staff or leadership change, new people should be able to come in and get up to speed based on files and documents kept in an organized system.
3. Manage Your Donor Data Efficiently
Data can help or harm your campaign in serious ways. If you’re not sure who your biggest or most loyal donors are, getting started on a campaign will be exponentially more difficult. Data is also crucial for proper donor recognition and stewardship.
If you spend time and energy generating thank you notes and lists of donors, there’s probably a better system available. You might try a donor management suite like Bloomerang to better keep track of your donors.
4. Save Time and Money on Travel
How long do you spend in the car each day or each week? It’s time to start thinking “virtual.” In the end, you want time-saving solutions:
- Are there certain days you could work from home and save time on your commute?
- Are there certain meetings you are going to which could be done virtually?
- Are you picking up office supplies or even lunch, which could be delivered?
While it might seem a little crass to promote ourselves here, one of the primary advantages of working with Capital Campaign Pro is that we work virtually with our clients, saving them time and money. Our virtual meetings are both effective and efficient.
Instead of flying or driving to meet clients and sit with them all day around a conference room table, we Zoom in for an hour at a time and are available to Zoom with a client whenever the need arises.
Experiment to Find the Best Tools for You
Leveraging technology to help save time gets easier every day. New services and apps arrive in the marketplace constantly.
Try experimenting with one or two new services every year to make your life easier, more efficient, and effective.
Nonprofit Staffing with Regard to Time Management
A campaign is a unique an opportunity to increase staff. There’s no way to expect current staff to take on an entire new, full-time role (running a campaign is a full-time job). A campaign is a great time to consider your current staffing structure and decide where you really need help.
On Hiring Help
This might be an opportunity to hire a development director, but it’s more likely you’re looking to add administrative support and development assistance to your team.
At Capital Campaign Pro, we work with the most amazing virtual assistants in the Philippines. They are effective, efficient, and affordable!
You should also outsource tasks, which I’ve seen many nonprofit leaders struggle to do in-house. For example, we outsource graphic design and even stuffing envelopes.
Take a little time to identify tasks you and/or your staff are doing which could be done better by an outside service.
Don’t Be Afraid of Change
A campaign is an opportunity to make changes at your organization. Don’t do things the way you’ve always done them, simply because that’s the way they’ve always been done, just to save a few pennies.
During a campaign, you’ll want your top leadership team focused on the campaign — not designing newsletters or entering data.
No Need to Reinvent the Wheel
Capital Campaign Pro saves clients time and money. By leveraging technology and providing tools and templates, we offer the best capital campaign support available efficiently and effectively.
There’s no need to recreate the wheel. Everything you need for your capital campaign is inside our Capital Campaign Pro toolkit:
- Wish you had sample campaign policies? We’ve got that!
- Looking for a case for support template? inside the Capital Campaign Pro toolkit too.
- Want a campaign plan checklist, budget template, and campaign timeline? They are all inside the Capital Campaign Pro toolkit.
If you’re looking for a partner to help support you through your campaign, schedule a free strategy session to talk with us.
Take a serious look at your team and brainstorm ways to improve efficiency. Time is of the essence. Don’t waste another minute!