Here are five things every nonprofit must have in place before they launch a capital campaign if they want to achieve success and meet their fundraising goals:
Strong Volunteer Leadership —The success of any capital campaign is dependent upon strong volunteer leadership. If you truly want to achieve your goals, your capital campaign needs to be supported by leaders outside the organization who can help you as you work through the various stages of strategic planning, cultivating engaged and committed followers, and driving action. Look for opportunities to turn those influential and respected leaders into active champions in the campaign.
A Compelling Case for Support—The case for support must be an emotionally compelling and persuasive demonstration that the campaign is absolutely necessary, one which highlights the unique qualities of the organization. The only way you’re going to get your potential donors to take your fundraising effort seriously is by convincing them the need is valid, urgent, and compelling.
Validation of your Goal and Case for Support — One of the biggest mistakes an organization can make is to launch a campaign without verifying they can actually meet their goal. Before you launch a campaign, your organization should take the time to assess the number of prospects needed to meet your goals and validate that the proper proportion of prospects relative to fundraising capacity is available. Once you’ve evaluated your data, interview prospective donors to ensure that campaign goals are targeted to donor interests and are realistic.
Adequate Resources —Making sure your organization has adequate internal resources is a prerequisite for conducting a successful campaign. Allocating sufficient resources before you launch a key strategic initiative such as a campaign is vital to success. Your organization should take time to make sure you have the right staff, skills, structure, systems and processes, and even volunteer support in place before you launch.
A Well-Organized Campaign Cabinet—Beyond recruiting strong volunteer leadership, the manner in which leadership members are identified, enlisted, expanded, and managed is vital to success. Creating a well-organized and well-managed campaign cabinet that will lead by example is one thing that will help you keep your organization on-track to fully-funding your campaign and achieving your goals.