How to make your capital campaign work

You’ve heard about the special magic of a successful capital campaign … how it can raise huge sums beyond what you’re already raising and mobilize key donors to invest in your cause.

It’s a big deal. But you have to do it right!

Here’s a help post from the GuideStar Blog, at Reasons for Having — and NOT Having — a Capital Campaign.

Here are three reasons not to have a capital campaign:

  1. You Have an Upcoming Milestone Anniversary. The said truth is, nobody cares about your anniversary. Congratulations on existing. But you need to give them a real reason to invest.
  2. You Want to Start or Grow Your Endowment. Sure an endowment is a good thing. But it’s just a tool for your real work. Let donors fund change in the world, not your internal financial tools.
  3. You Need to Reduce Your Debt. Same as above. Give donors action and impact, not balancing the books.

Like all fundraising, a capital campaign works when it’s about what donors make possible with their giving.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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