Key steps for launching a successful capital campaign: Set a deadline, a financial goal and a budget

24th July 2017

Once you have created your campaign team and have conducted a feasibility study to determine whether there are enough current and potential funders and funds available for your campaign it is time take the following steps:


Set a realistic deadline for your capital campaign, but be aware that there will be unexpected events that could slow or stall your fundraising efforts.

In my experience, a capital campaign can last anywhere between one year to several depending on your fundraising efforts and your financial goal. So, make sure you set a deadline that makes sense with regard to your project and how long you think key fundraising initiatives will take.


One of the most important planning components of your capital campaign is setting your financial goal.

Naturally, this will depend on the scope of your project, but make sure that you are accounting for hidden costs as well as obvious expenses.

Hidden costs that you might not initially account for in your capital campaign goal include:

  • Fundraising costs.
  • Donor attrition costs.
  • Inflation.

Make sure that you accurately calculate all costs associated with your capital campaign. The financial goal will be integral when making your donation appeal to major gift donors, corporations, and other individual supporters.


As mentioned earlier, capital campaigns are designed to raise money for a particular venture, but they also require the spending of funds. Before you launch your campaign, make sure that you have a designated budget set aside for fundraising costs and other expenses.

Potential costs could include:

  • Fundraising events. Depending on the type of event, you might need to pay for or rent certain services.
  • Major gift donor cultivation and trust fundraising. Asking major donors for contributions requires more than a simple phone call.
  • Marketing materials and support documents. Your capital campaign will have to have various materials available for donors to learn more about the campaign.

You might find that your capital campaign has other associated costs not listed here. Make sure that you account for all of the expenses that you might incur during the planning and implementation process.