The three most essentials requirements for capital campaign are a compelling case for support that clearly demonstrates impact, has a very strong and efficient infrastructure and a very high powered volunteer structure in place. Capital campaigns should raise money from the top down and from the inside out. Your top leadership should be the first to be solicited giving a substantial part of the overall campaign. The next group to be solicited is the organizations board, staff and campaign volunteers. Remember all solicitors should solidify their own gift before they start making any “asks” to prospects or investors.
Capital campaign usurp staff time especially that of senior staff, development staff, the board and your volunteer committee members. It is important that staff is prepared for the volume of additional work that will be required to keep accurate records of gifts and payments as well as general information on each investor for knowledge that is essential for a stewardship campaign to be created. As the silent phase is rolled out, remember the goal is to raise 40-60% of the goal before going public.
Capital campaigns often run for three to five years. For years pledge payments could be paid over a three to five year period of time. However, since 2008, many organizations have asked their investors to complete their pledges in two to three years. Clearly the organization can make exceptions if necessary. Staff must be prepared to have all gift acknowledgement processes in place such as gift postings and accurate invoices be sent to the investor. Staff should also be posting notes on each investor for future events or campaigns. The quickest way to annoy an investor is not be thanked within 48 hours or receive an reminder of payment that is inaccurate. As the campaign winds down, staff will also need to start planning the thank you event and the necessary stewardship plan for each investor.
Next week we will talk about why campaigns succeed.