Is this the right time for a capital campaign?


It’s often the first question I am asked when I sit down with a potential client, “Jim, are we ready for a campaign?” The question, in theory, should be a straight forward “yes” or “no.” But as anyone who works in development knows, there are far more factors to be considered before you can make an educated answer.

As you begin to consider the possibility of a capital campaign, do a quick inventory and ask yourself a few questions, but make sure you give honest answers. It’s a simple and quick exercise that will benefit you in the long run.

To assess your organization’s readiness, ask yourself:

  • Do we have adequate internal staffing to conduct a campaign? A campaign demands an educated, dedicated staff and may require additional hiring.
  • Do we have a strong volunteer board, council or committee? It is vital that those in leadership understand how important their roles are. They must support the effort financially and assist in the identification, cultivation and solicitation of donors.
  • Do we have a compelling case? An organization must have a case that outlines the needs and clearly communicates the benefits.
  • Do we have the technology to efficiently conduct a campaign? A campaign requires a functional donor database that allows for segmentation, personal appeals, pledge management and acknowledgement, etc.
  • Do we have a successful annual fund history? Your annual fund provides you with donor history, organizational campaign experience and, perhaps, a ready-made pool of volunteers.
  • Do we have a presence and a positive image in the community? An organization is ahead of the game if it has high visibility and positive public relations.
  • Should we retain a professional firm to conduct a comprehensive capital campaign planning study? A planning study provides valuable information, i.e. public perception of the organization, validity of the case, potential major donors, potential campaign leadership, possible volunteers and a projection of dollar goal potential.

The more positive responses to the questions above, the more likely you are ready. This might be the right time to consider a planning study and capital campaign. And if that’s the case, I hope you’ll consider partnering with the Steier Group. We’d love to help you reach your development goals.

If you have any questions regarding the Steier Tips or the professional services provided by the Steier Group, I encourage you to contact me at any time.

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