Generally speaking, successful capital campaigns will go through five distinct phases, usually in pretty much the same order.
While not all prospects will be solicited in one phase, the following description outlines the basic phases and what is
accomplished in each.
Individual financial goals, and specific objectives, should be established for each phase in order for campaign leaders to
evaluate whether the campaign is on target.
Most capital campaigns consist of five specific phases with specific goals. These phases are:
Phase One – Pre-Campaign Planning
This phase allows the volunteer and staff leaders to seriously evaluate their commitment to a campaign – as opposed to their
commitment to a new building or equipment – and start to develop the basics in preparation of conducting a successful campaign.
Included in this phase is a careful internal evaluation of needs, discussion of whether or not campaign counsel is needed, and an
honest appraisal as to whether the organization is ready for such a major undertaking.
Phase Two - Pre-Campaign Planning and Feasibility Study
This initial phase, usually conducted in six to eight weeks, allows an organization, with the aid of counsel, to objectively evaluate:
its image in the community
how its case for fund raising is viewed by leaders and donors
whether quality leaders are available to help in the campaign
prospective donors and potential giving levels
whether proper resources are available to conduct a campaign
Additionally, a detailed, comprehensive fund-raising plan is developed. The campaign plan includes lists of prospective donors and
leaders, timetables, job descriptions for leaders, commemorative opportunities, an education and public relations plan, a table of
gifts and other necessary ingredients to a successful campaign.
A thorough Case Statement is prepared for initial review by the Board of Directors.
Phase Three - Organization Phase
This phase creates the tools necessary for fund raising.
Leadership Plan Book
Fund Raising Prospectus
Fund Raising Brochure
Develop Campaign Theme
Public Relations Effort
Detailed Corporate and Foundation Research
Phase Four – Solicitation Phase
This phase is the central phase of the campaign and focuses on the actual cultivation and solicitation of major and advance gift
prospects. Additionally, proposals to regional and national foundations and corporations are prepared and submitted. The full public
information and public relations plan is implemented.
Phase Five – Post-Campaign
This phase is a "catch all" for outstanding solicitations remaining from earlier phases. Many of the decisions will actually be
made in this phase, so effective follow-up and public relations efforts are critical here.
All prospects are encouraged to make their decision during this phase if they have not yet responded.
A comprehensive pledge redemption system is also recommended.