Every successful capital campaign has several phases with specific strategies for each one.
If you go step-by-step through the correct sequence of each phase, you’ll set up your campaign so it’s most likely to reach (and even surpass) the goal.
Each step in these processes is essential. You can’t rush them. You can’t shortcut them. And you can’t skip over any of them.
In the illustration above, you can see the phases of your campaign. This post specifically highlights the two planning phases — the red boxes above. Think of it as a step by step checklist, laid out in the logical order that will lead you through both the pre-planning and planning phases.
Each item is linked to other posts that will give you more information on on that particular step, so you can learn more and in greater detail when you need it.
The Need for Separate Planning Phases
Capital campaigns are big, complex systems and a plan will be essential to keep you on track. You’ll use the process of developing your campaign plan to engage and draw closer the people who will help make it successful.
When you take your time to lay the groundwork early, you’ll…
- Build confidence
- Engage powerful people
- Develop a clear plan that others can help you execute
We’ve separated the planning phases into two parts, Pre-Planning and Planning (creating the plan).
Pre-Planning Phase: Early Exploration
Determine your campaign objectives — What do you want to raise money for?
- Develop a preliminary “working” goal for your campaign that reflects all of the things included in your campaign.
- Draft of your preliminary case for support.
- Starting with your board create a list of your potential lead donors.
- Engage your potential lead donors in visioning conversations about the project to get them on board.
- Create a realistic gift pyramid that reflects the gifts you need at what level.
- Inform your board and leadership about your capital campaign plans and strategy.
- Educate your board about their role in your capital campaign.
Planning Phase: Creating the Capital Campaign Plan
- Create a Campaign Planning Committee.
- Engage a capital campaign consultant.
- Plan and execute a Campaign Planning (Feasibility) Study.
- Refine your preliminary Case for Support based on study results.
- Research your prospects to figure out how much you can raise.
Your Written Campaign Plan
In addition, you’ll need to create all of the elements of your written campaign plan.
- Campaign timetable
- Organizational structure
- Communications plan
- Campaign budget
- Campaign policies
- Donor recognition plan
Final Planning Phase steps
- Enlist your Campaign Chairs.
- Evaluate your staffing needs and hire additional campaign staff if necessary.
Help Us Help You
We are building these “checklist” posts for every phase of your capital campaign. You will be able to use them as your guide through your campaign, providing you with more, clickable information about each topic on the list.
As you explore this post and the many linked posts, please leave a comment about what you find helpful and what you’d like more of in the comments section at the bottom of the post. Your questions and topics provide the fodder for our posts! Thank you.