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Five Reasons Not to Manage a Capital Campaign Yourself



Let's set the scene - You’re a non-profit organization and your team has a big expansion plan in mind. You recognize there’s a lot of work to be done to complete this lofty goal, but your team can probably handle it, right? There are meetings to plan, money to raise, volunteers to organize, and events to be held. Then you realize that although it may seem manageable, that’s a lot of extra work on top of your already busy daily work. Should we consider hiring a professional? Yes! There are many reasons not to take your campaign in-house and complete your project yourself. Of course, consultants cost money, but the tradeoff far outweighs the risk when working toward a once-in-a-generation goal!


One of our past clients said it well:

“They[Crescendo] are the real deal, and they helped us understand that yes, we would need to spend money to raise money. We have not regretted it for a minute. Not only have they helped us raise the funds in record time, but we exceeded our goal! They use their time-tested method and engaging personalities to bring in the whole community.”

-Beth Arneberg, Chippewa Falls Park Board President, Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin


Let’s dig into some important information and reminders as to why you should hire a consultant:

  1. If your campaign takes three to four years or even more than Crescendo’s typical 12-16 month timeline, your construction costs will likely increase 10-15% per year. On a $7M expansion or renovation campaign, that’s an additional $3M that you’ll now be required to raise.

  2. There will be no one on your team, regardless of size, that will be able to give the capital campaign the focus it needs. It’s just the reality - and that’s ok! You have an organization to run! The people on your team should maintain their focus and work on the activities most aligned with their gifts and talents.

  3. It’s important to note that based on the AFP Code of Ethics, Crescendo Fundraising does not charge based on a percentage of the total funds. Consulting billable time is added to the campaign goal. Yes the total increases, but compared to the broader goal, Crescendo’s fundraising costs will be less than many typical consultants and always below industry standards. Our costs are typically less than 5-7% of the total goal. It takes a dime to raise a dollar in the industry, so if your consultant charges less than 10 percent of the total goal, you are receiving great value for your money.

  4. When you hire consultants and reach your capital campaign goal, you set your organization up for an incredible shift in growth. And vice versa, if you do not reach your goal and the campaign is drawn out, you can quite literally set your organization back many years with projects that cost far more than initially planned.

  5. Last but certainly not least, find a team of consultants that never give up, even when there are huge challenges, because your project is important.


Are you interested in learning more about Crescendo Fundraising? Let's connect.

At Crescendo, we’re experts in this space. We have proven strategies and knowledgeable, credible people to help your organization achieve your fundraising goals in 2023.


Reach out to brianna@crescendollp.com to see how Crescendo can help you today!



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