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Focus for a Capital Campaign

As nonprofit organizations grow, opportunities for services grow. Many times an agency will feel the need for building financial resources through special financial commitments from among its members or service constituencies. When the groundwork has been laid over the years in developing a spirit of generosity within the organization's donor base, a nonprofit agency periodically should boldly launch a special campaign "over and above the usual levels" to expand and enhance its programs and service. The campaign experience allows an organization to define a goal for new growth and expanded outreach that signals suspension of "business as usual."

A campaign provides synergy for program growth. The essential element is a shared Vision. This Vision must be grounded in the agency's core mission and values, and when the Vision takes shape, the new challenge emerges out of a consensus concerning the opportunity for service that represents a step into the future.

A Capital Campaign creates a new challenge for giving. The emphasis shifts from the "need" to the "opportunity" for new programs and services. The leadership of the organization should expect to make its own financial commitments, and then others will join the challenge with pledges (usually over three years) to make that Vision a reality.

A Capital Campaign is much more than financial goal setting. There should be two simultaneous and concurrent benefits of a Capital Campaign:

  • The missional goal encourages every member of the organization's leadership team to make new personal volunteer commitments to the common mission of the agency.
  • The financial goal is to raise as much money as possible over and above regular budget requirements (which must be sustained), to meet the special or capital needs that enable the organization to seize it's opportunities in the future.

 

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