Capital Campaign Q&A

Capital Campaigns have been at the core of the fundraising mix for many years now and it’s not hard to see why. Capital campaigns turn dreams into reality and enable you to raise serious money in a relatively short period of time. While there is a lot to gain, the prospect of embarking on a capital campaign can seem daunting. So today, we answer some of the most common capital campaign questions in the hope that it will give you the confidence to take the plunge.

Q. How is a capital campaign different to a major gift program?
A. Capital campaigns are major gifts programs with attitude and a sense of urgency. A capital campaign sets out to raise big money for a specific cause or purpose in a finite time frame. Generally we are talking six, seven, eight figure goals: often for building or ‘capital works’ but it may also be for other purposes such as to establish an endowment fund, to underpin future growth, fund scholarships or to fund a community program or service. The distinguishing marks of the capital campaign are that: it has a fixed lifetime with firm deadlines; a singular focus; a dedicated belief in the value of ‘in person’ presentation and asks for outrageous generosity from its donors.

Q. Do capital campaigns benefit from leadership involvement?
A. Absolutely…YES! However, not all organisations have an established executive or volunteer leadership team. For many organisations, recruiting volunteer leaders forms part of the establishment phase of a capital campaign. A ‘text book’ campaign is one with a committed executive leadership group. However, it’s important to recognise capital campaigns and major gift appeals can still be successfully conducted without leadership involvement.

Q. What makes a capital campaign successful?
A. Creating a successful capital campaign is rather like cooking a winning dish on Masterchef… where a unique blend of quality ingredients, combine with passion to produce something irresistible! Some of the top ingredients for a winning campaign include;
A united, positive team
A goal that is defined, realistic, costed and believable
A carefully crafted game plan
An organic framework that can respond to changes along the way
A compelling case that inspires interest and action
Leadership endorsement and/or involvement

Q. Is there anything we need to do before embarking on a campaign?
A. At OKP we always recommend conducting a feasibility study before launching a campaign. A feasibility study generally involves an examination of your campaign goals, organisational capacity and key environmental factors impacting the proposed project. It often looks at how your organisation is viewed by its stakeholders and identifies potential donors, their inclinations and their capacity to contribute. Conducting a feasibility study provides valuable intelligence that not only lets you know if you should proceed, but how you should proceed.  It will help you to get all of your ducks in a row and design a campaign that minimises wasted resources and maximises contributions.

If a capital campaign is on the cards for your organisation, why not contact OKP for a confidential, obligation-free chat.  We will be happy to point you in the right direction and answer any more burning questions you may have. For more information please call on 1300 721 799 or email

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