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How to Decide If New Construction Is Right for Your Nonprofit

Even a small nonprofit organization with the right board and campaign leadership can manage a successful capital campaign if its expectations are reasonable. So can organizations whose projects are happening at the right place and at the right time — such as those organizations qualifying for redevelopment agency funds or low-interest bank loans for community development.

Your facility plan should ask hard questions, including the following:

  • What will the project cost?

  • Are your board members in a position to contribute to a capital campaign above and beyond their usual annual gifts to your organization?

  • Do public or foundation resources in your region support capital projects? Are they likely contributors?

  • Do you have staff knowledge and time to contribute to this effort?

Having examined these preliminary questions, organizations that are considering capital campaigns often go through a planning step called a feasibility study — research most often led by a consultant who interviews people who support the organization and other generous donors in their communities whose grants and gifts are essential to its success.

As with other types of planning, you’re gathering information from key stakeholders, but you’re focusing your attention on those who may become contributors. Through these interviews, the consultant estimates how much the organization is likely to raise with a capital campaign

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