Congratulations to DB&A client Christian Aid Center (CAC) of Walla Walla, Washington for passing 85% of their $4.85 million capital campaign goal.  There were many strategies and tactics that helped the CAC reach this milestone.  One strategy in particular has been a main stay of the campaign:  Minimize the Goal to Maximize the Gift (MTG2).

I first learned the MTGstrategy from DB&A founder, Clark Dickerson. The MTG2 has three primary benefits:

  1. Motivate Donors:  Clark pointed out that in capital campaigns, the big campaign goal can be daunting, even to the largest donors.  Thus, minimizing the big goal into multiple sub-goals can make the achieving the sub-goals more achievable.  Honestly, $30,000 does very little to move the needle on a $5 million goal.  However, giving $30,000 toward a $125,000 sub-goal can feel both achievable and satisfying.
  2. Secure Larger Gifts: MTG2 has another important benefit though: it leads to larger gifts.   Donors are more willing to stretch their gift to meet the sub-goal presented.
  3. Reduces the Fear Factor: Working with sub-goals is not only helpful to the donor, it can help fundraising teams as well.  Jason Wicklund, executive director at CAC, shares that:

“Minimizing the goal helped our team focus on something that felt more achievable and immediate.  It was easy to get overwhelmed when thinking about a multi-million goal in Walla Walla.”

We applied MTG2 multiple times in multiple different ways in the Christian Aid Center Campaign.  For example, just weeks before publicly launching the campaign CAC was at 72% of goal.  Looking forward to the campaign announcement, we felt it would be so much stronger to share that we were at 75% instead.  Thus, we reached out to prospective donors asking them to help get $145,500 to reach 75%.  The sub-goal was achieved in just a few weeks!

We then used the MTG2 strategy as we approached the $4 million mark.  In an update email, the team let donors who already gave to the campaign know that we were “only $30,000 from raising $4 million!”  Within two days, one of the major donors dropped off an unsolicited $40,000 check so that the campaign was, as the donor said, “well over the line.”  Sub-goals can also tie to things beyond arbitrary numerical milestones.  Setting goals based on a matching challenge, to underwrite a wing or an area of a building, or for constituent groups (e.g. the board, downtown businesses, or leadership donors) are also valid applications of the MTG2 strategy.

Regardless of how you apply MTG2, breaking your larger goal into sub-goals will make motivate your donors, secure larger gifts, reduce the fear factor, and ultimately, lead you to campaign success.

Overwhelmed by your multi-million dollar goal?  The DB&A team has successfully led hundreds of clients to capital campaign success.  Contact us today to learn more.