About Capital Campaigns

What is a Capital Campaign?

Capital Campaigns are an intense effort on the part of a non-profit organization to raise significant dollars in a specified period of time in order to fund a one-time need, in most cases buying or renovating a building that meets the needs of the community served by the organization.

How much do capital campaigns in Berks County typically raise for agencies running a campaign?

Past CCRB-approved capital campaigns have ranged from $250,000 mini-campaigns upwards to campaigns of $2.5 million. A mini-campaign ranges from $250,000 to $500,000 and is typically for renovations/improvements to an existing facility.

Types of Campaigns - Qualifying capital campaigns coming before the CCRB committee can include the following:

  •  Purchase of real estate for the purpose of building or renovating new facilities
  •  Construction or renovation of facilities on real estate already owned by the organization
  •  Renovation or additions to existing property
  •  Any fundraising efforts, including those seeking Endowment Funds, that fit the definition of a major campaign as described.

Those organizations not generally eligible or required for review include hospitals, universities or colleges/higher education centers, churches, synagogues, mosques and/or affiliated organizations, public education institutions/government entities.

Common Campaign Characteristics:

  • A narrowly defined need or focus of campaign
  •  A specific financial goal
  •  A timeframe for meeting the goal
  •  An identified group of volunteers
  •  A focus on raising major gifts
  •  A plan for recognition of major gift donors

Phases of a Capital Campaign

  • Typically, there are two overarching phases: the quiet phase and the public phase.
  • During the quiet phase, funds are raised through major gifts strategies, and usually 50% – 70% of the total goal is attained during this period. The quiet phase can range from 3 – 12 months depending upon the amount being raised and the agency goal during that time period.
  • During the public phase, the remaining funds are raised by soliciting donations from a larger population of donors. The public phase is between 6 months to a year (or more), also depending upon the goal, the campaign cabinet, and the current economic environment.

What is the role of…?

Board Members – Every board member should make a meaningful campaign gift, help identify major donors, and meet with these supporters to secure substantial contributions.

Staff Members – The staff assists with the day-to-day tasks of planning the capital campaign and they bring their expertise to the table by helping out with various parts of the capital campaign.

Volunteers – Many of the team members will be volunteers, and their responsibilities vary from leading a committee to soliciting gifts. Volunteers provide skills, leadership, and the manpower to help a capital campaign succeed.

Campaign Chair – This position may be assigned to a single person or many people to lead different areas of the campaign. Campaign chairs attend monthly meetings and ensure the success of the campaign. The campaign chairs lead committees and direct the volunteers throughout the campaign.

Planning committee and steering committees – The planning committee makes sure that everything is in order to move onto the quiet phase, and the steering committee oversees the campaign from the quiet phase throughout the public phase.