The Capital Campaign Toolkit was recently featured on the Nothing But Major Gifts podcast by the Veritus Group.

Today’s post includes highlights from that podcast in the form of four questions to ask BEFORE you start on a capital campaign. But be sure to give the full recording a listen (about 25 minutes) to hear all the questions and answers:
 

Highlights: 4 Questions to Ask BEFORE a Capital Campaign

Below are just a few of the questions Richard Perry and Jeff Schreifels asked me about capital campaigns. Abbreviated answers appear below (you’ll hear more detailed answers in the podcast).

1. What do you see nonprofits doing wrong when they get ready for a campaign?

The most common mistake is thinking a campaign is all about the money. A campaign is about taking a big step or leap forward for your organization. It’s important to think about how you’re going to get closer to accomplishing your mission.

  • The wrong question to ask is: How much can we raise?
  • The right question is: How much impact can we make?

2. What’s the first thing you would ask a nonprofit leader who wants to start a campaign?

My answer: What are you raising money for?

And the very next question I ask is: Do you know who your top 20 donors will be?

Those top 20 donors will make or break a capital campaign. I also ask if they’ve spoken with those 20 donors about the vision for the organization.

3. Do you feel like a major gift program needs to be set up and running well before a campaign?

It is great when organizations have successful major gift programs before they start a campaign.

And yet, if an organization doesn’t have a major gift program, a campaign isn’t a terrible way to start one. But their campaign is going to take a lot longer to ramp up. Conversely, if they have a major gift program already set up, their campaign will go faster and smoother.

4. Should organizations leave campaign donors off a major gift caseload?

A campaign is an opportunity to build your donor base and support level. As soon as donors finish paying their campaign pledges, they should be rolled right into a major gifts program.


Remember — what I’ve shared here is just the tip of the iceberg. To benefit from the full discussion, scroll up and give the entire podcast a listen.

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