Capital campaign fundraising costs explained


Warning! This Steier Tips article is laced with clichés and overused statements – but they all are purposely included to make the point that partnering with a professional stewardship, fundraising and development firm to run your capital campaign is a wise investment.

Don’t go it alone (cliché No. 1)

Launching a capital campaign is important, serious business. Some nonprofits are equipped to run their own – if they have a team of professionals on staff who have the experience and time to manage it. Keep in mind, running a campaign is a full-time job – which is why we assign one manager to one client and support that manager with a team of graphic designers, foundation researchers, grant writers, communications specialists, planned giving attorneys and data analysts. This means we’re with you every step of the way (No. 2). For most nonprofits, running a campaign in-house will cost you more in the long run (No. 3) – as the total funds raised are likely to be less. That makes the capital campaign fundraising costs worth it.

Not our first rodeo (No. 4)

Think about this: Your organization seeks to construct a new building. Do you draft the blueprints yourself? Not likely. You will hire a professional with the architectural and engineering expertise to design your new facilities. The same mindset should apply to raising the money to pay for that building. The Steier Group has managed more than 1,500 campaigns during our 24-year history. Each one is unique, but each is grounded in our model that giving is personal. We constantly evolve and improve our methods, a skill which was especially useful throughout the COVID pandemic. We understand all the current trends in fundraising, and in many instances, our firm is a leader in developing those trends.

You must spend money to make money (No. 5)

A capital campaign is an investment. There are costs involved. Capital campaign fundraising costs include professional fees for the feasibility study, fees for the capital campaign, and campaign related expenses, including printing, postage, and events. When you partner with the Steier Group, the return on that investment is high. You will raise significantly more money with a professional team of development professionals leading the way.

Return on investment (No. 6)

The Steier Group works to keep costs low. We routinely fall below the industry standard of under 10 percent of costs when compared to funds raised. This also speaks to the Steier Group’s track record of success (No. 7). To date, our clients have raised more than $2.2 billion. One key point when considering capital campaign firms – ethical fundraisers charge flat fees instead of taking a percentage of the funds raised.

So my final phrase to share is this: Let’s talk turkey. We would love to visit with you about how the Steier Group’s goal is to help you achieve yours. We can customize a plan that helps you maximize your results while strengthening your relationships with your donors and expanding outreach to new ones. And that’s no tall tale. (Had to sneak one more in!)

If you are interested in learning more about the Steier Group’s approach to planning studies and fundraising campaigns, please contact me.

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