Do you have big dreams for your organization but find yourself limited to taking tiny steps forward? Wouldn't you love to move forward boldly and make an even bigger—maybe even a huge—difference in the world? Are you ready to be inspired and excited by big thoughts and plans?
Yes? Wonderful! It's time for you to plan a capital campaign.
Your organization's potential is greater than you think it is, and a capital campaign can help springboard you to the next level.
Here are the 10 things that will happen once you commit to a capital campaign:
- Your board members will become more engaged. In fact, you're likely to find that your big thinking and commitment to making a transformational difference in your community attracts new, more effective board members.
- Your board members will increase their giving. The campaign will provide a bigger context for their gifts and an effective structure for asking them for larger gifts.
- You'll strengthen your board. In addition to attracting more effective board members, nothing does a better job of creating effective working relationships than facing a challenge together successfully.
- Board members will want to learn more about asking for gifts. Capital campaigns are high-stakes, public affairs that motivate board members to play a more active fundraising role.
- Your community will become more visible. Campaigns provide many opportunities for publicity and communication, and new ideas, new programs, and big gifts are natural fodder for the press.
- You'll be able to invest in your development program. Your campaign budget will cover additional fundraising staff, better communications, upgraded donor software, donor recognition, consultants. ... And better yet, you'll keep benefiting from many of these upgrades when the campaign is over.
- You'll boost your annual fund returns. Contrary to common belief, capital campaigns lead to higher levels of annual fund giving. Why? Because donors become more engaged and excited during the campaign, and thus they're willing to write larger checks.
- Your volunteers will become motivated to step up to the fundraising table. The excitement and high stakes of a big campaign will motivate your volunteers to get serious about fundraising and start asking people for gifts through face-to-face solicitation.
- You'll engage community leaders in your organization's mission. Your campaign planning committee is the perfect vehicle for inviting community leaders and local philanthropists to become more involved in your organization.
- Your campaign's success will make everyone in your organization feel great! Capital campaigns provide many opportunities for celebrating success. And, of course, nothing breeds succeeds like success.
There you are—10 great reasons to do a capital campaign, and we haven't even mentioned the fact that you'll raise more money and be able to make a much bigger difference in the world!
Given all of the great reasons to do a capital campaign, why don't you plant the seed for a capital campaign this fall?
Encourage your board to think about what your organization could do if you raised 10 times your annual fund over the next three years. That kind of thinking will inspire them, inspire you, and make your organization stronger, more vibrant, and more effective. Everyone wins!
Andrea Kihlstedt and Gail Perry, Capital Campaign Magic
© 2013, Capital Campaign Magic
Fundraising consultants Gail Perry and Andrea Kihlstedt are the founders of Capital Campaign Magic, which applies their combined 60 years' experience to the task of helping organizations prepare for successful capital campaigns.