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Step 4 (continued). Capital Campaigns

A capital campaign is a one-time fundraising initiative over a long time span to raise significant funds for a specific purpose, such as:

  • Purchasing or renovating a building
  • Buying a major piece of necessary equipment
  • Building an endowment.

There are five general steps to executing a successful capital campaign.

  1. Assess the readiness of your organization to carry out the campaign. Determine the level of support you will receive from your board and volunteers and what outside expertise you might need (e.g., marketing, consultants, or Web designers). Develop a preliminary budget and plan. Capital campaigns require a lot of time, planning and commitment from your staff, board, and volunteers.
  2. Conduct a feasibility study. The goal of the study is assess the amount that your organization might expect to raise during the campaign and to identify potential campaign leaders and donors.
  3. Prepare for the campaign. Develop your case statement (more on case statement development in Step 6) and marketing materials, train leaders and volunteers, and assess major donor prospects.
  4. Target large funding sources. The majority of funds, from 50%-80%, can be raised from major donors.
  5. Focus on known donors. While general gift fundraising can occur through direct mail campaigns, phone solicitation and larger fundraising projects always start with donors who have given before. The cost-effectiveness of a capital campaign decreases dramatically after known donors are solicited.

Additional Resources on Capital Campaigns

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