Are You Ready?

The great hope for a return to the “old normal” arrived this month in the form of the first COVID-19 vaccines. Frontline medical workers, assisted-living residents, and individuals age 75+ appear to be the first recipients.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the now well-known infectious disease expert, has predicted that enough doses of vaccine will be available for all Americans as early as late March/early April 2021.

As you wind down 2020 and begin to chart a course for 2021, are you ready? Is your institution ready for a strategic transition to a campaign? Did you shelve those plans last spring as the pandemic shut things down? Or lose momentum in building toward one?

It’s truly anybody’s guess what post-pandemic life will look like. Using history as a guide, some are pointing to the possibility of a repeat of the roaring ’20s.

Timing the launch of a campaign at the outset of this potential growth period could be transformational in advancing your organization’s mission.

Acknowledging that “readiness” can be a tricky and sometimes subjective benchmark, you may have more questions than answers. To help with that, here are some common questions, paired with resources you can utilize to answer these questions.

How is “campaign readiness” defined?

When determining an institution’s level of campaign preparedness, our firm considers ten proven areas that help assess overall readiness to launch and sustain a successful campaign effort. These elements are summarized in this Bulletin on Advancement (which we distribute free of charge – let me know if you need to be added to the distribution list).

How do we know if we’re ready?

Take this simple quiz to see where you stand. If you find yourself scoring 44 or higher, your organization might be ready to launch a campaign within the next six months.

If you prefer a more in-depth, step-by-step guide to campaign readiness, sign up for our one-day virtual workshop happening on January 29.

How do we know if our donors are ready?

How are your donor cultivation meetings going? What do your contact reports say? What about your institution’s top 100-250 donor pipeline report? Many of the answers to this question are likely within your reach.

Even so, numerous organizations engage in a campaign readiness study (sometimes referred to as a feasibility study) to be even more fully informed and prepared for a campaign launch. There are many benefits of doing so, including having a third party engage with your top prospective campaign donors to gain their feedback and insight on your institution’s preliminary campaign plans and their potential support.

Our firm has been conducting such studies since our founding in 1950. Here is more information about the Gonser Gerber approach to a campaign readiness study. Feel free to contact me if you’d like to know more.

As we bring a challenging and difficult year to a close, the upcoming year is full of hope for new beginnings. More so than any year in recent memory.

Are you ready?


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