What to Expect

With Hammond you get experience.

We have been in your shoes – the CEO, the Chief Fundraising Officer, the Annual Fund Director, the Major Gifts Officer.  We have developed annual fundraising plans, Capital Campaign plans, solicited gifts, presented to Boards, crafted Cases for Support, stuffed the envelopes and made sure the gift bags are put together for the major event.  We know what you are going through, we know what your challenges are – because we have been there, too.

With Hammond you get strategic thinkers as well as hands-on partners.  Engaging prospects takes real strategy and with us, you get customized action steps designed to bring a prospect to solicitation readiness.  You get the right sequence of activities that brings a campaign from idea to implementation.  And you get perspective when it comes to dealing with a tough situation.  If a simple thank you letter or annual fund solicitation needs to be produced and you and your team are engrossed in the details of the upcoming annual dinner, Hammond will be there to write the letters for you.

At Hammond, we want you to succeed, because your success is our success.  We will be your cheerleaders, coaches and mentors to help you become a better professional, so that you can solicit and close the gifts you seek.

With Hammond, you get a holistic approach to your particular problems and needs.  You can expect us to treat the cause, not the underlying symptoms.  This can sometimes be painful, but you can expect Drs. Hammond and Fallis to be there to deliver the medicine.  If you’re not careful, you’re likely to find that it tastes good and is fun in the process.

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Virginia’s 5 Things You Need for Success,

by Virginia Fallis with much nodding and concurring from Chuck Hammond

Our experience of over 25 years has taught us that there are five undeniable, non-negotiable elements that must be in place for campaigns to be successful.  These elements may take unique shape at each organization, but they are, in spirit, fundamental to fundraising success:

  1. A compelling vision and well constructed Case for Support.  The Case for Support must include an articulation of the undeniable community need for the project, evidence of thoughtful, detailed and believable budgets and timelines, and endorsements from recognizable community opinion-makers willing to provide leadership for the project.
  2. A Board of Directors that endorses the vision and are willing to provide the following:  early personal financial support; a willingness to solicit gifts for the project;   leadership in identifying and recruiting others to join the effort; leadership in identifying and cultivating campaign prospects; and oversight for the campaign.
  3. Visible, credible and engaged Campaign leadership consisting of an individual or individuals with the access and influence who are engaged in soliciting major leadership commitments.
  4. Sufficient prospects, each of which has been cultivated and stewarded over a period of time, to provide major leadership commitments during the early stages of the fundraising effort.  A multimillion dollar campaign will be successful only if there is a sufficient number of donors at the six or seven figure levels.
  5. A well-staffed, well-organized development department that provides the infrastructure necessary to support volunteers and manage the day-to-day activities of a fundraising program.

Six Principles of Successful Campaigns*

Supporting Virginia’s 5 Things You Need for Success are the following principles for successful campaigns:

  1. Positioning Relative to the Competition.

    The most attractive charitable organizations stand out from the crowd. They know how to distinguish themselves as philanthropic investment opportunities and set themselves apart from others which compete for the attention of donors and volunteers.

  2. Creating Authentic Involvement.

    If an organization wants people to invest their time and resources in a program, it must give them authentic involvement in the cause. The best way to develop that sense of involvement is to invite a person to do something important for the organization – something he or she is especially qualified and suited to do. The donor/donor prospects will then become an insider(s). Once that happens, he or she will have a greater stake in the success of the institution – and a greater willingness to contribute to that success.

  3. Importance of the Planning Process.

    The primary benefit of the planning process is the process itself, and not the plan. If an organization’s leaders are alert to opportunities, they will use the planning process to get people involved in mapping the organization’s future – especially those people who have the power to help bring about the future. People are simply more motivated to work for, and invest in, the realization of plans they themselves have helped to develop.

  4. A Handful of Leaders Will Do Most of the Work.

    A small number of prospects will produce the greatest results. In most successful campaigns, 90% of the funds come from about ten percent of the donors. Moreover, the best prospects for the immediate future are those that have already given.

  5. People Give to People.

    People don’t give to an institution. They give to the person who asks them. They may give for people, but a contribution is often made because of how one person feels about another. Real money cannot be raised without people. Even in the case of corporations or foundations, people ultimately make decisions about giving.

  6. Someone Must Set the Bar – Early.

    Those who give early must also give at the highest levels. They set an example for those donors who follow. Campaigns should be structured so that the very first prospects to be solicited are those closest to the cause and most likely to contribute at the highest levels.

*Adapted from “The Raising of Money” by James Gregory Lord.