Over the years your organization has continued to grow and develop, and the time has come to expand your physical space. New hospital wings or school libraries are costly ventures, but a capital campaign can make achieving your goals easier.
Various factors come into play when crafting a successful campaign, so you want to make sure you’re entering this venture with a solid plan. iWave is here to help you establish a detailed timeline.
Before you get started on your capital campaign, you need to do the proper planning to ensure every aspect of your campaign goes smoothly. This is the most extensive and most important part, so you want to take your time and make sure you’re following every important step.
The first step of planning your capital campaign is to get the right people on board. Look within your organization for people who share your values and care about the success of the campaign. Some of the positions you’ll want to fill include:
These are respectable and well-connected people within your community who will serve as the face of your campaign.
Assemble various people who work for your organization on different committees to delegate tasks to and organize events.
No nonprofit is complete without volunteers, so rely on your trusted community to assist where needed.
There may be times when you feel the need to form smaller subcommittees as well. These should be highly specific to the task at hand and can be comprised of as many staff, faculty, and/or volunteer members as needed.
Additionally, there are times you may want to rely on outside consultants such as grant writers and finance experts.
You don’t want to go into fundraising blind, not knowing where you’re headed or what you need to accomplish. Sit down with your team and discuss how much it would cost for construction. Make sure you’re considering every aspect and also building in a buffer to account for any issues that may arise along the way.
With a clear fundraising goal in mind, you’re ready to set your deadline. This is the date when you need to have all your fundraising completed by. Set smaller milestones along the way as well to keep you and your team on track.
In order to raise money, sometimes you need to spend money. From events to marketing materials that raise awareness about your campaign, there are various items you will need to spend money on throughout your campaign.
If you think you may need to hire outside consultants to help with various tasks such as building your website, make sure to build their costs into the budget. After establishing your budget, make sure to build this into your end fundraising goal.
With your end goal in mind, you’re ready to complete a feasibility study. This type of research will help discover if you have the support you need to launch your campaign. Members of your team will interview potential or past donors in the community to learn if they would be willing to offer their support.
Your research will let you know if you have the right donors by your side to eventually reach your goal. If the results of your feasibility study are not what you were hoping for, there’s no need to worry. This just means you may need to consider other donors, and this is where wealth screenings can help you.
Wealth screenings are ways of searching for potential donors for your campaign. By browsing through information like home ownership and past charitable giving, wealth—also known as prospect—screenings can provide you with insight into who is most likely to support your cause.
These can be conducted by a member of your team by combing through personal documents, or you can save valuable time by investing in fundraising software. A highly advanced platform can do the hard work for you, so you can spend more time crafting ways to make your capital campaign a complete success.
After thoroughly preparing for your capital campaign, you’re ready to set fundraising into motion. What makes capital campaigns so unique is that they split into two stages of fundraising:
The initial private—or quiet—phase is where you’ll raise about 50 to 70 percent of your total goal amount. Reach out to the major donors you identified in the planning phase when conducting wealth screenings.
To ensure this is as successful as possible, make this process extra personable. Schedule an in-person meeting with potential donors or send personalized letters.
You’ll also want to kick off this phase by having every member of your board make a donation of their own. This shows the community that your team personally believes in your mission and encourages others to follow in their footsteps.
Once the private phases closes, you’re ready to open up to the public phase of fundraising. This portion essentially fills in the gaps and raises the rest of the money needed to reach your goal.
In this process, you’re asking a larger audience to make smaller donations. For example, if you’re building a new science wing at your university, you may want to seek out former and current students to pledge donations or conduct personal fundraising campaigns.
At the close of the public phase, you will still have some work to do to guarantee your capital campaign is a success overall. Down the line your organization will continue to need support for various fundraising events and projects, so you want to make sure you’re staying connected to your donors.
Send every major donor a personalized thank you letter to maintain a strong relationship. You’ll want these letters to be as personable as possible and tailored to each donor.
Some aspects you’ll want to mention include:
Whether they donated in the private or public phase you want to make sure all your donors know the results of your capital campaign. It’s important to keep them thoroughly updated throughout the campaign. Upon completion of your project, you’ll want to let your supporters know and extend another thank you.
It’s important to remember that every capital campaign is different, so your timeline is bound to fluctuate and change. If you’re looking for the best support possible during the planning phase, consider a fundraising platform.
iWave is proud to offer a next-generation platform designed to help uncover the right donors for your mission. We’ll not only show you who would make a good donor, but how much to ask for as well, so you can feel confident your campaign leaves no money on the table.