How to Run a Successful Capital Campaign

When you hear the words "capital campaign," do you think about the "pain" part of the process? Yes, a campaign can be disruptive to your organization and consume a lot of staff and volunteer time. But it can be a tremendous asset to your organization in two ways. First, you are able to achieve your goal of a new building, an expanded facility, an endowment for the future. Second, a campaign, when done right, will strengthen your organization overall.

This book will guide you every step of the way to assure a successful campaign, starting with getting the basic infrastructure in place to ensure that your campaign will be run efficiently and effectively. Then we move into the role of the board, staff, and volunteers in your campaign. We also answer the tricky, and sometimes debatable, question:


Do we need to do a planning/feasibility study, or not? (The answers to this question might surprise you.)

We also talk about the importance of a campaign plan, how to develop one, how to be sure the plan gets implemented, and how to adjust it when necessary.

We will talk about the role of a consultant in the campaign. The consultant is not the magic bullet that will go out and raise the money for you. A campaign is a team effort, but most campaigns require some level of help from an outside consultant. We’ll cover what level of help your organization needs from a consultant and, if you decide to engage a consultant, we’ll show you how to find right one.

Also, one of the keys to a successful campaign is finding donors to support your campaign, and how to solicit gifts that meet the needs of the donors and the organization.

We will also talk about life after the campaign and how you can build a stronger organization moving forward.


Chapter One: What is a Capital Campaign?

Chapter Two: Are You Ready for a Campaign?

Chapter Three: What Role Does You Board Play in a Campaign?

Chapter Four: Do You Need a Feasibility Study?

Chapter Five: The Role of the Campaign Cabinet and Committees

Chapter Six: Developing Your Campaign Plan

Chapter Seven: Finding and Soliciting Donors

Chapter Eight: What Happens When Things Go Wrong

Chapter Nine: Bringing It All Together