Are you ready for a diocesan capital campaign?


Diocesan capital campaigns are a big undertaking. They require time, energy and often years of planning. They require strong leadership, capable volunteers, competent staff and lots of coffee.

Here are five questions to gauge if your diocese is ready to take the next step towards a diocesan-wide effort:

Are these really needs? Do we have a pool of capable volunteers and possible donors?

  • YES: Proceed to the next question.
  • UNSURE: A campaign planning study will unlock that knowledge. Proceed to the next question.
  • NO TO BOTH: You are not ready for a diocesan campaign.

Can we present a compelling case?

You’ve already discerned that your needs are in fact needs. But are those needs compelling enough to inspire your community? This is important for all campaigns, but especially diocesan efforts.

  • YES: Proceed to the next question.
  • UNSURE: Use the campaign planning study to find out. Proceed to the next question.
  • NO: Why not? How can you improve the case before moving to the next question? Figure out what is missing and make necessary changes before proceeding.

Is our database in order?

Don’t make the mistake of starting a campaign with an incomplete or disorganized database. You’ll raise less money and have less fun doing it.

  • YES: Proceed to the next question.
  • NO: Read our article about the power of data in a campaign. Organize your database and then proceed to the next question.

Do you have the staff and technology for a successful campaign?

If you are short staffed or in need of technology upgrades, that could present a challenge for a capital campaign. Your team must be firing on all cylinders, even with the help of a fundraising firm.

  • YES: Proceed to the next question.
  • NO: Make any necessary hires or technological upgrades. Then proceed to the next question.

Should we hire outside counsel for a diocesan capital campaign?

  • YES: The Steier Group would be happy to present your diocese with a proposal for a campaign planning study or capital campaign. Contact president Matt Vuorela.
  • UNSURE: Speak with your peers at other dioceses and ask for proposals from three reputable fundraising firms. Weigh the benefits and costs so that you can make an informed decision that is right for your diocese.
  • NO: While campaigns that use professional counsel typically raise 2-3 times more than those that are conducted in-house, we know that some dioceses prefer to staff their campaigns internally. If you change your mind at a later date, don’t hesitate to call the Steier Group for a mid-course correction.
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