What’s a Capital Campaign?

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The best thing a nonprofit can do is bring in diversified capital and donations. At the core, a capital campaign is a drawn-out extensive fundraiser. On a complex level, a capital campaign is a concerted effort to raise a substantial amount of money for a specific program in a specific time frame. They require support from board members, staff, and individuals in the community. Capital campaigns are often used to raise money for space or a new building but they could also be for the acquisition of land, expansion of an existing building, or the purchase of large-scale operating equipment or supplies.

When planning a capital campaign you want to make sure to map out the scope and size of the funding for the program or project. One of the ways you can do this is by developing a strategic plan and having several strategy sessions with your fundraising committee or other consultants on your team. You should arrive at a number after careful calculations and accounting for hidden costs. Your target deadline will depend on your financial target and the pool of donors you expect to donate. Again, this is typically a long-term campaign and could range from 1 year to 5 years but may also be over a shorter term with a prime fundraising goal. Take into account also how much running the capital campaign will cost. You’ll need to account for marketing materials, costs for events, and other fundraising expenses that may occur.

People you should consider for your capital campaign committee:

  • Board Members
  • Staff Members
  • Major Gift Donors
  • Volunteer Leaders
  • Community Leaders

Keep in mind, that capital campaigns are for large projects and most nonprofits that take on such projects are clear and confident in the support they have in the community. They are strategic and often require a feasibility study that brings input from several community leaders, such as mayors and local representatives; staff, that may have valuable insight and reservations you hadn’t thought of; and key volunteers or board members, to make for a successful campaign.

Many times, nonprofits need help from an outside source during their capital campaigns. Make sure to find the best fit for your organization.

Need guidance on finding the right supports and strategies for your nonprofit? We are here to help!

Thanks for reading!

Published by The Empowerment Center LLC

We are a business empowerment consulting firm located in Cleveland, Ohio. We provide economic empowerment services to nonprofit and public sector businesses to include grant writing, development and consulting.

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