How To Plan a Capital Campaign

Fund-raisers have their work cut out for them these days, as getting sizable and steady donations of money to fund capital campaigns is more challenging than ever before.

A capital campaign is usually undertaken by an educational institution, a hospital or other non-profit foundation as a way to raise funds for such purposes as new construction, renovation of current facilities, the addition of a new service to benefit the entire community, or upgrading existing operational services. Capital campaigns are usually designed to raise a minimum of half a million dollars and may even have millions of dollars as its ultimate goal.

First, have the Board of Directors outline both short and long-term goals that make raising this money a priority and a necessity. Develop a case statement that outlines your organization's history, current profile, the proposed project and its objectives, a challenge offered to a prospective donor, the levels of contribution and contact information for contributing and further questions.

The most successful capital campaigns organize this information into a brochure or informational booklet that contains contact information for your Board of Directors, architectural drawings of the proposed project, a clear outline of how the money will be used to reach the specific goal, how reaching the goal will best service the local community, as well as any legal information such as statements of non-profit status and tax deduction information for interested donors.

In order to make your capital campaign as attractive as possible, it's important to generate excitement and enthusiasm for the proposed project or goal that will entice prospective donors to feel motivated to partner with your organization in order  to achieve it.  The use of professional fund raising copywriters to produce your informational material using the right type of emotional copy can prove very lucrative.

Compile of list of potential capital campaign donors, drawing people who are local philanthropists, alumnae or past employees of your organization, or those companies and businesses that would benefit from joining forces with your organization to see the goals realized.  Start to develop a corp of volunteers who will be charged with personally contacting potential donors under the guidance of your board of directors.

Establish a timetable and calendar of events for your capital campaign, including a well-publicized kick-off and news leads to encourage local and national media to give coverage to your campaign, its goals and outcome. Be sure to have a secure system of accounting in place to accept donations, record donations, deposit donations and access donations so that your organization is always above reproach when it comes to accounting for any and all funds raised throughout the capital campaign's duration.


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