Capital campaigns are a journey. Like most expeditions, there will be difficult times and unexpected challenges along the way. Many nonprofits have faced recessions, natural disasters, and acquisitions during the course of a capital campaign. While they might not have necessarily been able to predict or control, there are several common challenges that arise over the course of a campaign that can (and should) be considered.
7 Unexpected Issues that Could Sabotage Your Capital Campaign
There are several things that have the potential to impact your capital campaign that are beyond your control. However, here are seven issues that might arise that you can prepare for in advance:
- Donor fatigue – How will you sustain momentum throughout the campaign?
- Volunteer fatigue – How will you keep key volunteers engaged?
- Staff/leadership turnover – How will you maintain relationships?
- Shifts in the financial market – How will you adapt your strategy?
- New competing campaigns in the community – What is the unique value you are bringing to the community through your campaign?
- Alienation of broad base donors while focusing on bigger gifts – How will you intentionally cultivate and steward general fund donors during the campaign?
- Decreased significance assigned to the sustained discipline – How can you position your campaign as something that supports your organization as a whole?
Organizations committed to early planning, who anticipate course corrections, may pause to adjust to changing conditions periodically, but rarely do their campaigns stall to early termination.
How can you overcome these challenges and achieve your goals?
Whether you’re in the middle of the capital campaign or considering one in the near future, it’s important to recognize and plan for the unexpected challenges that could prevent you from reaching your goals.
What are some other “unexpected” challenges you have faced in the past during a capital campaign?