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What is a Capital Campaign?

By definition, a capital campaign is an organized effort to raise a large amount of money, typically from private donors, within a predetermined time frame. Capital campaigns essentially raise the funds you need to tackle big projects like new buildings, expansions or renovations for non-profits and municipalities.

Capital campaigns are unique since they occur in two different time segments, the first which is the private or “silent/quiet” campaign phase and final public phase. During the private phase, typically over half of the funds are raised trough major gifts strategies. During the public phase, the remaining funds are raised by soliciting donations from a larger population of donors.

Capital campaigns are always highly specific in their end goals and thoroughly planned beforehand. Organizations are typically continually looking for charitable gifts to help improve the mission overall, but capital campaign fundraising is for those massive goals or undertakings needed to grow and thrive. Before donating, supporters know exactly what it is they’re helping to accomplish.

Regular fundraising activities by organizations have general goals and benchmarks for which to aim, which are typically referred to as Annual Fund campaigns. However, the goals of a Capital Campaign are more specific and clearly laid out as the campaign progresses through its phases. The end goal of a capital campaign is rarely an abstract change; it is almost always something concrete, like a building or equipment. The most effective capital campaigns combine the power of traditional fundraising methods with the incentive of an immediate and tangible need.

Any organization—no matter how big or small—can utilize a capital campaign as a source of fundraising for important investments to reach long term goals to best serve missions.

Crescendo consultants have an extensive track record working with non-profit organizations serving a variety of needs but also municipalities. Examples include youth centers, libraries, humane societies, aquatic centers, recreational centers, bike trails, veteran centers, and many more!

Are you interested in learning more about the capital campaign process? Contact Ellen at 507-459-1989.

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