The Nonprofit Leaders Guide for a Capital Campaign Volume 8: Who Will Make the Asks
No series on capital campaigns can ignore the topic of the volunteer leaders who will be required to raise the funds.
Who should be on a capital campaign development committee?
You. Yes, you, the person reading this article. How do I know that you would be a valuable asset to the development committee? Because, you are already willing to invest your own personal time to learn about the process. But, one person cannot do it all.
If you are ready to begin making capital campaign asks, there is probably a group of people who have been voicing their opinions and organizing the first steps. Skip the sub-group who have clearly stated, from the very beginning, that they will not ask anyone for money. There are some people who are willing to step outside of their comfort zones and some who stand firm. Don’t try to move the rocks.
Where else can you find solicitors? Your standing development committee is a good place to start. People who have been working on your annual fund will know a lot of the donors/prospects. And, they will understand the reasoning behind building or renovating the facilities or creating or enhancing an endowment.
Did you perform a feasibility study? If so, get in touch with the interviewees who said they would consider soliciting for the campaign. It will show that you are taking the results to heart.
Don’t forget the major donors! Major donors make excellent capital campaign development committee members. They understand the importance of financial support for your nonprofit and can ask others to join them in making this “once in a lifetime” gift.
How many people do you need?
Every situation is a bit different but, between 10-15 is a good place to start to make the capital campaign asks. You have to assume some will have to step off of the committee due to unforeseen circumstances and you want to be able to spread the work among at least 8 people. Capital campaigns take time to achieve their goals and you need a committee that is large enough to deal with the ebb and flow of committee member’s lives outside the committee.
No experience necessary
Training can, and should be, a part of a capital campaign development committee. Volunteers will come in with vastly different experience but a bit of training can give everyone the confidence they need. Some may choose to use outside consultants like Mersky, Jaffe & Associates or an in-house staff member with experience, but make sure everyone has the opportunity to feel like they will be successful in soliciting donations.
If you have more questions on capital campaign fundraising, consider signing up for the upcoming webinar, “How to Ask Someone for $1,000,000: and How Rejection Therapy Can Help” on September 15th. Click here to sign up.
Read the rest of the series:
Last Month: Capital Campaign Marketing Materials
Next Month: Who To Solicit First