More About Budgets and Fundraising

How do I pay for it?

Please Note: Although Monument Arts does not raise funds, we can assist you in your fundraising efforts. We offer information, resources, and consulting advice uniquely designed for you to successfully raise the funds necessary for monument completion.

Question 1: How much money do you already have or can you have committed to the project?

You might think that there is no money at all, but this is where your homework begins. Has someone else wanted to do this project or a similar project and raised money, but never got the project off the ground? Could that money be applied? Does your city or county have funds for beautification projects? How much are they willing to earmark for your monument project? Who benefits the most from your monument? If it is in a shopping center, for example, many times there is a fund paid into by the constituent stores for upkeep of grounds, etc. Can some of those funds be accessed? Be detective-like in your diligence to make sure that you have left no stone unturned in finding money already in place. Believe it or not, some of your funds are already in place, but if you have trouble identifying these resources, you may choose to work with a professional in tracking down this money.

Question 2: Who, or what individuals, companies, organizations or groups benefit from the project?

Make a list of all these names. You will find that it is helpful to get a group of supporters to your project and do some brainstorming on this subject. Once you have generated this names, keep the brainstorming going by sorting these names. Place the names of those gaining the most at the top of the list and work your way down to those who benefitting the least. Do not contact anyone just yet.

Question 3: Is there a charitable organization on the list, meaning one that has 501 (c)(3) status from the government?

If so, will that organization be willing to “adopt” this monument project as one of their programs? If you can get a charitable organization to agree to this, it will allow tax-deductible donations to be contributed to the charitable organization and passed on to your project. You want to make sure that the charitable organization will not take a fee from your campaign for this service. This enables you to say to a potential donor that “ . . . 100 percent of your money will go to the monument without any administrative or fund-raising costs.”

Question 4: Who will be my chairperson?

Careful! It may not be who you have in mind right now. Yes, there is a wonderful volunteer in the community who spearheading this work so far and no matter how much energy and affability this person possesses, selecting him/her to be the chairman may literally kill your project.

There are seven qualifications for chairperson. All seven attributes are critical for your success. If the best person you can find only has six, keep looking for one who has all seven. It is just that important! If you are ready to get serious about finding this person, click here:

Seven Qualities in Your Chairperson will Guarantee a Successful Campaign

Here are the seven qualifications for chairman. Do not skip any qualification listed below.

1. Financial Ability. Can this person write a personal check for at least 1/10th of the entire cost of the project, more if possible?

2. Friends of Means. Does this person have a circle of friends and associates who can make a gift of similar size?

3. Ability to Recruit. Can this person recruit those same friends and associates to serve on the board, and only people with the capacity of making this size of gift?

4. PR Skills. Is the chairperson willing to be the spokesperson for the project, to be interviewed by the press and to present the project with enthusiasm and clarity? If not, keep looking; this is not a place for introverts!

5. Linkage, Interest, Ability. Can the chairman pass the LIA test, that is, does he/she have Linkage to the project, Interest, and Ability? Linkage means the strength of his/her connection to the project. Interest means simply, is this a bona fide area of interest for the individual? And ability means the capacity to write a large, sacrificial if needs be, check, at least 1/10th of the total, remember.

6. Board Financial Leadership. Here’s the big question: Can this chairperson and his/her friends and associates give or get enough funds to pay for at least 50 percent of the project?

7. Ability to Ask for the Gift. Are all the individuals, chairman included willing to ask others for a gift, at least five others apiece?

If you can answer all seven of these questions yes, you are ready to recruit your Chairman.

A Final Thought on Campaign Planning

Here’s the reality: At this point you may have recruited a chairman who has served on other fundraising projects and is familiar with what has to be done. If the chairman can plan out a campaign from now through the end of the project, you are on your way. However, if there is some uncertainty of how to conduct this campaign, this is where your fund-raising professional can be valuable to you by providing training and support for the chairman and tested ideas of what will work.

Once in play, this powerful committee can ask for money from people and organizations in large amounts with relative ease. When asked how much the leadership gave, they will have an impressive answer, such as “I gave $15,000 to the monument, and I thought you might want to give $10,000.” If it is a colleague doing the asking, and not a stranger, it is pretty hard to say no.

Best wishes for a successful campaign! And contact us if you need help anywhere along the way!