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Where to begin? The next steps toward completing a Campaign Readiness Study

Your municipality or board has determined a capital campaign should fundraise private dollars to better meet quality of life needs of your community for a new facility (library, aquatic center, recreational center or park) to better serve the mission and purpose of your non-profit organization. Now what?


Somerset, Wisconsin Public Library $2.5M Expansion


What is a capital campaign?

A capital campaign is a targeted, intense fundraising effort taking place over a defined period of time designed to raise large amounts of money to serve human needs for major projects such as new construction, renovation, endowment or a major programming need.


What is the role of Crescendo?

Crescendo consultants bring a high level of financial development education and fundraising experience with three masters of arts in philanthropy and development as well as a masters in business administration and many years of experience managing successful campaigns to effectively coordinate hundreds of volunteers, engaging donors to reach goals which enrich and fulfill lives.


The Crescendo Fundraising Professionals team is able to assist a city or organization in navigating the steps prior to starting the campaign readiness study, often referred to as a feasibility study.


It is very likely that parts of this vision will change as the project moves forward, but there needs to be an initial plan identified to share with the community to "test" with the campaign readiness (feasibility) study.


  1. Interview architects We would suggest interviewing two to three firms who have been involved in similar projects. Look for reputable civil engineering firms or other architectural firms with experience with other multi-faceted facilities who have a focus on building a functional building to meet your needs far into the future. With your selected firm, move forward with securing rudimentary conceptual plans – it is difficult to cast the vision with donors without visuals. Most architects will work with clients for an initial first blush concept of $10,000 or so. It is important to have visual concepts to show community members during the study. Ideally, estimates (even rough estimates) of the associated costs would be known at this stage, too.

  2. Finalize the total project vision It is important that included in the project visions is input from your community’s planning committee, board or city council. The vision should include the location of the facility and every key component the facility will include.

  3. Engage additional key community leaders Be sure to encourage others to join you and participate in the campaign readiness study with the aid of consultants.

  4. Additional key questions Are there other items the planning committee needs to address before the study should start? For example, what is the anticipated estimated annual general operating costs of the new facility or expanded facility? Or what is the tax impact for residents?

After the study is completed, Crescendo Fundraising Professionals, LLC will have the information needed to adjust the vision and final project plans to meet the reality of what can be accomplished with the anticipated revenue sources. This will include a very thorough study and a range estimate of how much we should expect to raise through philanthropy.


This is a start of elements a city or organization will need for a capital campaign for a new facility or expansion. Contact ellen@crescendollp.com for a free, no obligation discussion of your specific needs.


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