• Linda Lysakowski, ACFRE

Planning for a Successful Capital Campaign- Part 2

Updated: Aug 24, 2019


Most charitable gifts come from individuals. The statistics show that charitable contributions in the United States typically show about 5 percent by corporations, around 15 percent by foundations, and an estimated 80 percent from individuals.

During a capital campaign, these figures often shift. Many corporations tend to support capital campaigns because of the recognition opportunities involved in naming buildings, rooms, or areas. But it is wise to keep these figures in mind when determining who your capital giving prospects will be.

How does your organization stack up against these statistics?

Last year we raised a total of $_______ from the following sources:

  • Individuals $____________

  • Foundations $____________

  • Businesses $____________

  • Other $____________

Additional Facts to Consider

  • How many of the foundations that support us annually also provide capital grants?

  • What is the typical range of these capital grants?

  • Do we have a list of prospective individual major donors who could give 10 percent or more of the goal?

  • If so, how many have we identified?

  • What is the largest corporate gift we have ever received?

  • Do we have relationships with business leaders who could influence major capital gifts?

  • Who are these corporate leaders?

  • What other sources can we expect to fund our campaign (churches, auxiliaries, etc.?)

Based on your research into current giving from various sources, try to estimate the amount of money you think you can raise from each of these sources during your capital campaign:

  • What percentage of our capital campaign do we expect to raise from foundations? And how does this translate into a dollar goal?

  • What percentage of our capital campaign do we expect to raise from corporations? And how does this translate into a dollar goal?

  • What percentage of our capital campaign do we expect to raise from other organizations? And how does this translate into a dollar goal?

  • What percentage of our capital campaign can we expect to raise from individuals? And how does this translate into a dollar goal?

You will need to do an assessment of your current fundraising before initiating a capital campaign. Here are some facts that should help:

The ratio of our campaign to our annual fundraising results is ___:____ ($ estimated campaign goal: $ annual fundraising total). Example: $350,000 annual amount raised from all sources: $7,000,000 campaign goal = 1:20 ratio.

Even if your ratio seems too high, this might not preclude a successful campaign. There are many variables to consider; these will be discussed in future blogs. It will, however, be good to weigh this ratio along with all the other pros and cons we will uncover.

For more information, pick up my book, Are Your Ready for a Capital Campaign on Amazon.

Take my eight-lesson capital campaign online course at

https://www.lindalysakowski.com/capital-campaigns-course