Capital campaign

From CEOpedia | Management online
Capital campaign
See also

A capital campaign bases on fundraising and outreach activities that involve raising money from donors for a particular need or even set of needs.

The aim of most capital campaigns is to construct or renovate a building or facility. However, a lot of capital campaigns these days seek to raise funds for capital, endowment, program, and operations all at once. In other words, capital campaigns collect money for a new building, including funds for another spending which will appear in connection with the relevant undertaking, such as furnishings, landscaping, equipment, exhibits and technology support. Furthermore, capital campaigns may be used when there is a need to pay staff, support programs or cover ongoing maintenance costs for a new facility (J. I. Walker 2004, p. 2).

Characteristics of capital campaign

Most capital campaigns have the following characteristics:

  • a defined set of needs, stating the goal of the campaign,
  • an identified financial goal, determining the campaign's size,
  • a specified timetable for meeting the goal which is normally longer than one year,
  • a determined group of volunteers that help in raising the required sum of money,
  • a concentration on collecting gifts which are greater than the normal annual fund support that the organization receives,
  • a prepared plan for public recognition of donors who support the organization by proffering gifts (J. I. Walker 2004, pp. 2-3).

Main stages of capital campaign

Capital campaigns are one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to raise money for a nonprofit organization. Nevertheless, such a campaign requires a lot of planning, preparation and the total commitment of every people who work at the project. That is why each successful campaign should be based on six different but complementary phases, such as:

  1. Preparation - this stage contains: defining mission and vision, determining the campaign's need, strengthening staff and board, finding donors and volunteers, selecting consultants and elaborating prospect lists.
  2. Planning - it involves: conducting a feasibility study, creating a steering committee and subcommittees, stating campaign timetable, establishing campaign policies, identifying the campaign's goal, determining campaign leadership and enlisting volunteers.
  3. Lead-gift phase - it includes among others: reviewing prospect list for lead gifts, assessing prospects, elaborating solicitation strategy for each gift, preparing proposals, training volunteers and collecting gifts.
  4. Advanced-gift phase - it contains for instance: evaluating prospects, developing solicitation strategy for each category of prospects, training volunteers, preparing proposals, collecting gifts, enlisting volunteers for the general phase.
  5. General phase - it involves mainly beginning the campaign and soliciting gifts.
  6. Cleanup and celebration - the last stage includes writing reports to volunteers and rendering thanks to volunteers and donors (A. Kihlstedt 2005, pp. 7-8).


Author: Klaudia Nycz