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5 Questions To Ask Before You Start A Capital Campaign

Your organization is interested in launching a capital campaign … but are you ready?

Capital campaigns are intense fundraising efforts designed to raise a specific amount of money within a defined time period to build an organization’s assets and capacity. They typically raise much more than an organization has ever raised in a single campaign. To be ready for such a large undertaking requires partners who are experts at navigating the fundraising landscape and can help prepare and set your organization up for campaign success.

When working with clients, we’ve found there are five critical questions to ask yourself and your organization to gauge campaign readiness.

1. Do you have well-cultivated, involved donors? This is imperative to donor-capacity and success. The more intertwined donors are to your organization, its mission and values, the more likely you will be to receive their financial support and interest in your campaign goals–and for the long term. If you could use help in the area, the Crescendo-led campaign management process is chock full of cultivation and involvement opportunities to inspire your donors with big impacts for your campaign success.

2. Is the need well established, urgent, and understood? Having all three is a must to establish alignment and interest in your campaign in order to draw in new and existing donors. Urgency is key to leading a transformational effort like launching a capital campaign. Without an acknowledged, identified need that is communicated to both the community and high-potential donors, gift commitment can falter. We have tools to create the story telling experience so your donors fully understand the goals, objectives and specific use for their investments.

3. Is there confidence in your organization and leadership? Have you ever heard confidence is key? Fundraising is no exception to this, especially when leadership is tasked with such a transformational effort for their organization, and community. A lack of confidence in the organization or the leadership's ability can weaken commitment from the community and its donors, ultimately impacting the ability to achieve the campaign goals in a limited time. Our leadership development process helps ensure your leaders help execute their roles effectively – and have fun at the same time.

4. Is your organization visible and respected in your community? What do members of the community say about your organization? Do you have a positive following, or do you have a reputation as something else entirely? These are tough questions to ask, but taking an honest look will help you become aware of existing perceptions and inform actions to take in order to shore up any detractors or barriers you might face if seeking to launch a capital campaign.

5. Are your board members excited about your plans for growth? Leadership from the highest levels have to be in line with your organization’s mission and vision for the future, and how this campaign propels you toward your future state. Without mission-vision alignment championing a capital campaign, you’ll likely encounter barriers, at one point or another, to achieving campaign success.

Whether you answered “yes” confidently to each question or likely have a few you’re uncertain about, asking yourself and key decision makers these questions is a great first step to gauge how prepared your organization is for a potential capital campaign, and where gaps might exist that you can focus on shoring up ahead of launching into the endeavor.

Once you’re ready to move forward due to a need for a new building, expansion or special project, a campaign readiness study will be needed to further identify other opportunity areas and validate if your organization is ready for a capital campaign. At Crescendo, we have over 25 years of fundraising consultant experience in helping clients successfully navigate a successful campaign. A study is the first step toward launching a capital campaign. Working with experts who specialize in fundraising is most often necessary for organizations to fully realize their goals. Working with Crescendo will help provide confidence and security your efforts maximize effectiveness, efficiency and enjoyment along the way!

Interested in furthering the conversation? Email today to schedule your free consultation, and we’ll help you determine if now is the right time for you.

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