Why run a capital campaign?


Your board members are in agreement: It’s time for a capital campaign.

For many nonprofit CEOs, the thought of launching a capital campaign is a daunting one. You know there will be months of hard work ahead. There are volunteers to recruit, donors to evaluate, a communications plan to implement and special events to host. The list goes on and on.

With so many moving parts in a campaign, it can be easy to lose sight of the benefits to your organization. It begs the question, why run a capital campaign? 

A recent study conducted by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative shows that 56 percent of all United States nonprofits are either engaged in a campaign or planning one. Plenty of organizations see the value in running a campaign. That’s because a successful capital campaign can shape the future of your organization for years to come – in ways that reach beyond simply raising money.

Here are five key ways a capital campaign will strengthen your organization:

Engagement: No matter what projects you want to accomplish, a capital campaign is the perfect opportunity to engage with your organization’s donors, volunteers and clients. Whether it’s through a campaign brochure, video, special event or personal appeal, you have a special vision to communicate, which will draw your supporters more deeply into the mission of your organization. 

Leadership: Your campaign will need many volunteers willing to help with special events, mailings and donor appeals. With so many people assisting, it will be easy to identify and groom the next generation of leaders for your organization. A campaign provides a perfect training ground for a committed volunteer to gain the experience needed to become your next steering committee or board member.

Support: A campaign is a time for your donors to consider meaningful and sacrificial gifts that go beyond the annual appeal. We’ve found that asking your supporters to increase their charitable giving during a campaign can have a positive effect on your annual appeal. Many donors continue giving at increased levels long after the campaign is over. In addition, new donors often become annual fund supporters in the years following a campaign.

Community: If you establish ambitious but achievable goals and set a reasonable timeframe in which to accomplish them, your community will rally to the cause. Special events and personal appeals will make your organization seem like more of a family. Volunteers and donors will strengthen old friendships or forge new ones, which will build unity and help you achieve your mission. 

Planned giving: A capital campaign presents a great opportunity to find and inspire planned gifts. That means that hard work now can pay off with the current capital campaign and, years down the road, with a planned gift.

So why run a capital campaign? With a clear vision, committed supporters, and a strong strategic plan, a capital campaign can help your organization take its next leap forward. 

The Steier Group is a dedicated team of campaign managers, grant writers, planned giving experts and graphic designers ready to help you make that leap. I encourage you to contact me if you have any questions regarding a proper capital campaign or the professional services of the Steier Group.

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