If you’re headed into a capital campaign, it’s important to have policies in place which will guide your work and the donations you receive.
Not only that, questions will arise throughout the campaign. Having prepared campaign policies in advance will help guide your answers to questions as they arise.
9 Questions to Ask Before Writing Your Campaign Policies
The following questions are selected from a tool to develop campaign policies, found in the Capital Campaign Toolkit.
Some questions will be relatively easy to answer. Others may take time and discussion among your campaign committee and board members before coming to a decision.
Read them through quickly and then go back over them with your team and committee as you develop your own campaign policies.
1. On what date will you start counting gifts to be included in the campaign? On what date do you anticipate completing the campaign?
2. What will be the standard pledge period for the campaign? Under what conditions would you allow a donor to extend that pledge period? How large would a gift need to be to extend the pledge period?
Recently, a campaign we’re working with received a multimillion-dollar pledge. The donor wants to make a gift over a 12-year period. The normal pledge period for the campaign was 3 years. Think about what you would do if you end up in a similar situation.
3. What is the relationship between capital gifts and gifts made to ongoing operations (annual fund)? How are those gifts counted?
Are you having a “comprehensive” campaign where you count all gifts (including annual fund) or strictly a capital campaign, where only capital gifts are counted toward the campaign?
4. What kinds of gifts will not count toward the campaign, if any?
For example, are you counting bequests? If so, how old does the person need to be for the bequest to be counted? And what type of documentation will you request?
5. How will you handle gifts that have been designated for a specific use by the donor?
6. Who will be responsible for creating practices for record keeping, billing and accounting for campaign gifts?
7. How will planned gifts be counted, if at all?
8. How often will the campaign steering committee and the board receive up-to-date reports on the progress of the campaign?
9. What procedures will you need in place to change any of your campaign policies?
Use These Questions as a Foundation
I realize that this post provides more questions than answers. But that’s really the point. These questions should stimulate a discussion between you, your campaign committee and your board as to how you will handle your campaign.
Capital Campaign policies matter!
Campaign policies are a key component of a campaign plan. It’s critical to develop policies for your campaign before you start soliciting gifts.
If you’d like to see a sample campaign policy, plus other campaign tools that can you help you answer questions like the ones in this post, check out the Capital Campaign Toolkit. It’s got everything you need to conduct a successful campaign.
What questions do you ask as you develop your campaign policies? Let us know in the comments.