Capital Campaigns — A Two Minute Feasibility Study

How to know if your organization is ready for a capital campagin

Are you:

  • Ready to expand your programs?
  • Out of space?
  • Seeing for sale signs all over town?
  • Experiencing a resurgence in giving?

Maybe you are ready for a capital campaign…. or are you.  Normally you would do a feasibility study. There are 3 reasons to do a feasibility study: 1. To determine your campaign goal or how much money you can raise 2. To evaluate the strength of the case for support  3. To identify major potential contributors.

I am getting a lot of calls from organizations who are thinking of sticking their toes in the campaign waters. Here is my quick and dirty two minute test. You can try it yourself. Let’s say you want to raise $750,000 for a piece of property. Go to this website and insert your goal.

Have a box of tissues, a stiff drink or the carbohydrate or your choice ready. This can be a devastating experience.

I recently walked a client through it. Her largest donor was at $5000. We are both optimists. We are both realists. Finding 5 prospects at $187,500 was not in the cards. I then redid the chart again for a down payment of $150,000. Once again, not in the cards. We are now talking about rental options until she puts a board in place that could work with her to raise the visibility of her organization to warrant the community support to raise major dollars.

  • What needs to be in place to have a successful capital campaign:
  • Great leadership with access to affluence and influence
  • A history of giving
  • A case for support that is both touching and quantifiable
  • Good fundraising council
  • An in-house team dedicated to the campaign

Final thoughts:

I don’t do capital campaigns. I work with boards to get them ready to raise major dollars, to put the leadership team in place and to train them in fundraising. Please feel free to call me at 314-863-4422 or e-mail if you need help in putting your team together or if you want the names of great consultants to help you with your campaign.


I need Carol to