Categories: Industry Insights

How to Improve Your Capital Campaigns by Focusing on the Basics [Webinar]

Published On: Oct 3, 2022

What does it take to make your capital campaign a success?

Amy Eisenstein, Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive (ACFRE) and CEO and Cofounder of Capital Campaign Toolkit, joined the NAYDO webinar series to share how to plan a successful capital campaign.

If you’re prepared and focused on the right donors, your capital campaign can bring in a game-changing amount of funding. In her presentation, Eisenstein shared which campaign basics you should focus on and how you can elevate them with technology.

Read on for the highlights:

Breakout quote: “We want to be more effective and efficient in our fundraising and in our day-to-day activities because we’re all strapped for time and resources…When you’re embarking on something like a capital campaign it’s really important to be as resourceful, effective, and efficient as you possibly can.” – Amy Eisenstein, CEO and Cofounder of Capital Campaign Toolkit

Start with Your Campaign Basics

A successful capital campaign starts with a solid foundation. Before you get too far into planning, you need to answer three important questions:

  1. What are you raising money for?

What are your campaign objectives? Clarify what you want to do with the money you raise.

  1. How much do you want to raise?

How much will your campaign objectives cost? This working goal should include all the hidden costs of reaching your objectives, such as staff costs, training, and fundraising costs.

  1. Why should people give to your campaign?

What’s the story behind your organization and campaign objectives? You need to be able to share your story in a way that will make donors want to give.

Focus on Your Top 20 Donors

More than 50% of your campaign dollars will come from your top 20 donors, yet many campaigns make the mistake of focusing elsewhere. These donors will give the vast majority of your goal, so your early planning should revolve around them.

To reach your 20 major donors, you’ll first need to create a list of at least 50 prospects that are the most likely to give. When building your list, try approaching:

  • Individuals, foundations, and corporations
  • People who are already giving to you
  • Major donors in your community
  • Current and former board members

Out of those 50 prospects, aim to raise 70% of your goal from 20 of them. Prioritize donors that have the ability to give, belief in your mission, and contact with your organization. The remaining prospects will help you cross the finish line.

Don’t Skip Your Feasibility Study

Have you ever avoided doing a feasibility study because you were afraid of what the results would be? It happens more than you’d think.

It’s not uncommon for organizations to skip a feasibility study because they’re afraid it will tell them not to run a campaign. However, when they jump into the campaign process without a feasibility study, they actually make it harder for them to succeed.

“Feasibility study” is a bit of a misnomer: it’s more similar to a campaign planning and readiness study. Rather than dictating whether or not you can run a campaign, feasibility studies tell you which goals are reasonable and what steps you need to take before starting.

By doing a feasibility study before your next campaign, you can:

  1. Create a clear campaign plan
  1. Engage prospective donors
  1. Clarify your strengths and weaknesses
  1. Give your board more confidence in your plan
  1. Gain an outside perspective

Want to learn more about capital campaigns and dive deeper into the campaign phases? Be sure to watch the full webinar below.

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