By Whitney Anderson, Lead Consultant
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
As the calendar year comes to a close, many organizations are setting goals for 2019. “Launching a capital campaign” is an ambitious goal requiring significant planning. Before pursuing a capital campaign, consider the following questions:
Has our CEO/Executive Director been in place long enough to know our key prospects?
Is our strategic plan is completed? Does it articulate our outcomes?
Has our organization established a positive reputation for its programs?
Do our campaign goals address the most critical needs of our organization?
Is our fundraising staff ready for the challenge of a capital campaign? Do they have the capacity for and interest in pursuing this effort?
Are our major donors and board members ready to make leadership commitments? (Note: Leadership commitments are six- and seven-figure gifts.)
Does the board and staff have ideas for passionate, committed individuals to serve in campaign leadership roles?
Does our organization have a donor constituency large enough to support the campaign?
Does our organization have a compelling written case for the campaign?
Has our organization done a successful campaign before?
Does our organization know what other campaigns are happening right now and understand the competitive fundraising landscape in the Twin Cities?
If the answer to most of the questions above is “yes,” the organization is likely ready to move into a feasibility study for a capital campaign. A feasibility study is an important first step to a capital campaign as it invites an organization’s donors to provide critical feedback on the proposal goals. The feasibility study will offer concrete recommendations on an achievable campaign goal, who to approach for charitable gifts and leadership roles, and the appropriate staffing model for the campaign. As your organization considers a capital campaign, be sure to start the process by collecting the information needed to achieve your goals.