How to Broadly Solicit Donations for Your Nonprofit’s Capital Campaign
Early on, when you’re conducting the capital campaign among trustees, close friends of the nonprofit, past donors, and foundations, the campaign is in what’s called the quiet phase.
When the organization has raised 75 to 80 percent of the money it needs, the fundraising style changes. The managers are growing confident that the campaign can succeed and announce it to the general public through a press conference, tour, gala party, or cornerstone-setting event.
This is the time to seek smaller donations from lots of people — neighbors, friends of friends, and grandparents. You often can raise these contributions through special events, or mailings, to individuals and smaller foundations and businesses.
Smaller gifts from many people construct the ground-level base of the pyramid. Don’t discount these gifts. They’re important financially to close out the campaign and also to build a feeling of participation among all your donors.
Annual campaigns and other focused fundraising drives are structured along the gift table pattern. Whether you’re raising money for your child’s school, an election, or a community fair, a gift table can help to shape your plans.
A capital campaign cries out for a case statement — a brief, eloquently stated argument on behalf of the capital project. Sometimes these case statements are fancy brochures with profiles of scholarship recipients, drawings of a planned building, or clients of the future taking advantage of new opportunities. Sometimes they’re simple word-processed statements.
A capital campaign case statement should incorporate the following elements:
Mission and brief history of the organization
Compelling information about constituents served
Vision of how the mission can be served better as a result of the capital project
Vision for the results of the capital investment
The campaign’s leadership and goals
Naming and giving opportunities