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Monday, September 25, 2023

A Quick Introduction to Capital Campaigns


Are you or someone you know gearing up for a fundraising effort for a nonprofit organization?

What is involved when you take on the responsibility to plan a fundraiser or host a fundraiser?

These are all part of capital campaigns.

Are you wondering, “What are capital campaigns?” Are you interested in learning more about them and how they work? Keep reading this quick introduction to the basics of capital campaigns.

What are Capital Campaigns?

A capital campaign is just what the term implies. It’s a campaign or effort to raise capital. The goal of a capital campaign is to raise large amounts of money for a specific reason or purpose in a certain time frame.

Most nonprofits are continually looking for charitable donations. This is different. This is a campaign with a goal to bring in a high dollar amount to fund something like a building project or some type of equipment.

What Makes Capital Campaigns Unique?

Capital campaigns have a very specific goal. The campaign is designed around this goal and donors know exactly where their money is going. Other types of fundraising campaigns have general goals and benchmarks and the goals are sometimes abstract.

Capital campaigns start by targeting private donors before appealing to the public. These campaigns can take years to accomplish the end goal.

2 Phases of a Capital Campaign

There are two distinct phases of a capital campaign. It’s important to treat each phase differently and realize that each has its place in a successful campaign.

Quiet Phase

The first phase is dubbed the quiet phase because organizers solicit major gifts from a few large donors without publicly announcing or soliciting gifts from the public.

It is during this phase that the campaign brings in anywhere between 50 and 70% of the overall monetary goal. Organizers hit up large corporations, wealthy people in the community, wealthy individuals with an interest in what the nonprofit is doing, and governments.

Public Phase

After getting large donations in the quiet phase, the campaign moves to the public phase. This is when it’s announced to the public and moves from a few large donations to a lot of gifts and smaller donations.

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Capital Campaigns

Once you analyze the needs of your organization and determine if you need some capital to achieve your goals, make sure you plan your capital campaign accordingly. Understand your timeline and be sure to include planning, implementing, and follow-up. Each campaign will have a different number of steps depending on how much money you need to raise.

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