Your capital campaign will require significant investment of time, energy and funds. The money is not going to walk in the door without additional staff, work, counseling, materials, events and communications.
All of this overlay costs an organization extra. And it is on top of all your normal fundraising activities.
The typical capital campaign costs about 8-15% of its overall goal. For example, a campaign for $10 million would cost the organization about $800k – $1.5 million to run.
Many board members have difficulty with the idea of campaign expenses. They wince at spending all that money. Some say “we can’t possibly spend all that.” But there is no way around it if you want to raise big money.
You’ll have to ante up and make the appropriate investments if you want to be successful. Entertaining major donors can be expensive. So can nice-looking campaign materials. You’ll need competent, experienced staff who can cultivate major donors.
Best to start your budget conversation and be really explicit about capital campaign costs. But be sure to couch it in terms of ROI- look at the return on your investment. The money will be paid back with a huge multiple return.