Featured Expert   
Susan Love
August 2000

How do you keep momentum going?

"It is essential to plan, to organize and to figure out who you will approach in what sequence during the campaign. It's important to build your case statement, analyze your constituencies, and talk to your major donors. Then, once you've got a large % of the money in- perhaps 60% (some people say 50%; some say 70%) then you announce your campaign. The momentum that you have initially is behind the scenes. Then after the public announcement you have a flurry of activity, which you have organized before hand.

In Millbrook, we had 50 or 60 canvassers who went out on three consecutive weekends and canvassed their neighborhoods. Some people spoke to 30 or 40 households about the library and the need for a new building. We sold bricks, on which you could have your name inscribed.

Before the launch we had a very good press campaign, there were many articles in the local newspaper, the Millbrook Roundtable, week after week. This kept the excitement up. We also put up the classic thermometer up in front of the library. Week after week, it inched up.

We had a kickoff parade with the local children walking down the main street from the bookstore to the library - complete with fife and drum and children dressed as Harry Potter, or their other favorite book characters! The list goes on and on,- all the wonderful little things one can do.

It's also important to have regular meetings with your volunteers. They have been broken down into different groups: canvassers and solicitors who will focus on specific constituencies such as major donors, foundations and corporations. (Don't be fooled into thinking that you are going to raise a lot of money from corporations.) Keep having meetings with your volunteers and tell them how well they're doing and help them to do even better. I send them little cartoons, notes and faxes all the time to keep their spirits up and to encourage them. You want to keep everyone excited and believing that it's going to happen. You need to have someone to keep the momentum going. The chairperson needs a call every other day to back them up!"


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