Printer Friendly
The Free Library
22,725,466 articles and books

Pay it forward: advice for launching and administering a capital campaign.

A STATE-OF-THE-ART HEADQUARTERS BUILDING, INCREASED reserve funds, or premier research programs. It all comes down to money and how apt your association is at raising the funds needed to spearhead these kinds of initiatives. An increasing source of funding is the association capital campaign. Not just for foundations any more, capital campaigns are providing associations with a much-needed source of nondues revenue. And organizations of all staff and membership sizes have raised millions of dollars to fund projects, from supporting operations In amphibious operations, those operations conducted by forces other than those conducted by the amphibious force. See also amphibious force; amphibious operation.  to awarding scholarships.

If they did it, certainly your association can, too. Right? Maybe not. Fundraising
"Contributions" redirects here. For information about the Wikipedia user contributions log, see .
 experts caution that launching and administering capital campaigns may look easier than it actually is.

Plan for the payout pay·out  
1. The act or an instance of paying out.

2. A percentage of corporate earnings that is paid as dividends to shareholders.

When it comes to capital campaigns, there is definitely something to be said for having a plan of action in place. "Many associations will leap into a capital campaign without being fully prepared. They have no fundraising staff and have not identified a donor base," says Paulette V. Maehara, CAE (1) (Computer-Aided Engineering) Software that analyzes designs which have been created in the computer or that have been created elsewhere and entered into the computer. , president and CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board.  of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Alexandria, Virginia Alexandria is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 128,284. Located along the Western bank of the Potomac River, Alexandria is approximately 6 miles (9.6 kilometers) south of downtown Washington, DC. . "You have to have a specific structure in place to be successful. Capital campaigns are a great opportunity to raise awareness of an organization and obtain more resources without using member dues, but you should always conduct a feasibility study "A Feasibility Study" is an episode of the original The Outer Limits television show. It first aired on 13 April, 1964, during the first season. It was remade in 1997 as part of the revived The Outer Limits series with a minor title change.  first so you understand your marketplace."

William B. Hanrahan, CEO of the Community Counselling Service, New York City New York City: see New York, city.
New York City

City (pop., 2000: 8,008,278), southeastern New York, at the mouth of the Hudson River. The largest city in the U.S.
, couldn't agree more. CCS (1) (Common Channel Signaling) A communications system in which one channel is used for signaling and different channels are used for voice/data transmission. Signaling System 7 (SS7) is a CCS system, also known as CCS7. See SS7.  has conducted feasibility studies The analysis of a problem to determine if it can be solved effectively. The operational (will it work?), economical (costs and benefits) and technical (can it be built?) aspects are part of the study. Results of the study determine whether the solution should be implemented.  for more than 100 associations and similar organizations in the past 10 years. "Capital campaigns give associations a great mechanism for raising money to support their goals and missions," he says. "But you have to do your homework. A campaign is going to either succeed or fail in the beginning." So the planning phase In amphibious operations, the phase normally denoted by the period extending from the issuance of the order initiating the amphibious operation up to the embarkation phase. The planning phase may occur during movement or at any other time upon receipt of a new mission or change in the  of a campaign is critical. "Campaigns begin with an idea from the CEO or the board," says Hanrahan. "Then you have to develop a case--a rationale for the need and use for the money." The CEO should be very much involved in developing the case because it is the CEO who must tell the association's story and communicate why the funds are needed.

Then, you are ready to talk to potential donors and test your campaign goal. "You'll need to survey the potential for raising money at specific levels using a gift table that lists different dollar amounts," Hanrahan advises. "Doing so will help you determine where you fall in the potential donor's--individual or corporate--spectrum of giving."

Along with surveying potential donors, he offers these rules of thumb for planning successful campaigns:

* Make a full commitment. If you are not ready to get behind the campaign 100 percent, keep working on the background research until you feel comfortable moving forward.

* Understand the motivation for giving. For most associations, donors are giving in a falling inwards; a collapse.

See also: Giving
 support of the profession. They do not view themselves as supporting a capital campaign or foundation per se; that's just the vehicle for supporting the vision of the organization.

* Raise money in a positive environment. The emphasis should always be on the positive outcomes for the association. Avoid launching a save-the-association campaign.

* Don't kid yourself. Be reasonable and realistic about how much money you can actually raise.

* Recruit key people early in the process. Capital campaigns can help associations attract new volunteer leaders or better engage their current ones.

Consider the CEO's role

Once a campaign is officially launched, the chief staff executive's full participation is synonymous with synonymous with
adjective equivalent to, the same as, identical to, similar to, identified with, equal to, tantamount to, interchangeable with, one and the same as
 the campaign's success. Members and other potential donors must feel that the CEO is fully behind the campaign. "The campaign has to represent the CEO's vision," says Hanrahan. "It's his or her reputation that's on the line." The CEO also must be highly visible throughout the campaign so that it maintains its momentum. "Members look to the association's leadership for direction," says Karen Ribler of KJR KJR Kiski Junction Railroad  Consulting, LLC (Logical Link Control) See "LANs" under data link protocol.

LLC - Logical Link Control
, Washington, D.C. "If they feel that you are not fully behind such a large endeavor, they will not invest in it."

Most associations will need to prepare for the fact that the campaign will take up a significant amount of the CEO's time. "When we get hired, I tell the CEO and his or her board that it's their campaign. They have do it," says Hanrahan. "This is not something that you can delegate A person who is appointed, authorized, delegated, or commissioned to act in the place of another. Transfer of authority from one to another. A person to whom affairs are committed by another.

A person elected or appointed to be a member of a representative assembly.
 to someone else to do." Your association must have the internal resources to get the job done while the CEO's focus is directed to fundraising for the campaign.

This dynamic differs from that of the fundraising required to fund an association's related foundation--a situation in which the board takes the lead. (If your association is considering launching a foundation rather than an in-house capital campaign, see "How to See Through Launching a (c)(3)" in the March 2005 issue of ASSOCIATION MANAGEMENT.) "Typically donors want to see the CEO," says Maehara of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. "They want to assess that person's competency COMPETENCY, evidence. The legal fitness or ability of a witness to be heard on the trial of a cause. This term is also applied to written or other evidence which may be legally given on such trial, as, depositions, letters, account-books, and the like.
 to carry out the vision of the organization."

Launching a capital campaign may also require CEOs to step outside their comfort zones. "Most CEOs need some coaching before they start visiting donors," says Hanrahan. "Fundraising is not necessarily what they are used to doing, but once they understand how to go about it, they're great to work with." Most fundraising consultants will concede con·cede  
v. con·ced·ed, con·ced·ing, con·cedes
1. To acknowledge, often reluctantly, as being true, just, or proper; admit. See Synonyms at acknowledge.

 that no one likes hearing "no." At the same time, peer-to-peer fundraising is usually the most successful method for raising money in a capital campaign. "It's a good idea to pair the CEO with the board chair, a volunteer, or a fundraising staff member if the CEO or volunteer is uncomfortable asking for money," says Maehara. "They can support one another during the process."

Get the board involved

Identifying and pursuing donors is the cornerstone cornerstone

Ceremonial building block, dated or otherwise inscribed, usually placed in an outer wall of a building to commemorate its dedication. Often the stone is hollowed out to contain newspapers, photographs, or other documents reflecting current customs, with a view to
 of capital campaigns. However, the most important caveat in working with donors is that you can't ask someone else to give if you haven't given yourself. In some instances, associations have difficulty reinforcing this point with their board members.

"The board needs to be giving and getting money. It's critical that the board support the campaign with 100 percent participation," says Maehara. "You need to make sure that board members understand that they have to support the organization financially. Many association boards weren't built with this in mind, and some members may have to leave during the course of the campaign."

Full participation from board members (and other donors) will not be a problem if you've done a good job of developing your case and are able to articulate it. "Don't assume that everyone wants to give," says Ribler of KJR Consulting. "And don't think that everyone understands the minutia mi·nu·ti·a  
n. pl. mi·nu·ti·ae
A small or trivial detail: "the minutiae of experimental and mathematical procedure" Frederick Turner.
 of the association's decision to launch a capital campaign. Sometimes we forget to romance our givers by articulating a vision that they can relate to and feel good about. For example, the association is not just building a headquarters building or renovating the office, it is raising dollars to provide a working environment reflective of the membership to ensure its ability to carry out its mission in alignment with its members' priorities."

Follow the leaders

If you're prepared to undertake all of the steps outlined so far, perhaps your association is ready to launch a capital campaign. ASSOCIATION MANAGEMENT asked three association CEOs to discuss their experiences with launching their organizations' capital campaigns. While all of these associations are 501(c)(3) organizations, anyone can use their lessons learned as a guide for building a campaign.

Taking Small Steps

Campaign launch date: March 2003

Campaign goal: $200,000

Funds raised to date: $44,700

OUR ORGANIZATION--THE AMERICAN Society for Pharmacy Law The American Society of Pharmacy Law (ASPL) is an professional organisation of pharmacist-attorneys, pharmacists, attorneys, and students in schools of pharmacy or law who are interested in the law as it applies to pharmacy. , Springfield, Illinois--was struggling from year to year, existing on dues and conference revenues until one of our board members suggested that we launch a capital campaign. The Next Steps Campaign was announced at our 2003 annual meeting in New Orleans New Orleans (ôr`lēənz –lənz, ôrlēnz`), city (2006 pop. 187,525), coextensive with Orleans parish, SE La., between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain, 107 mi (172 km) by water from the river mouth; founded . It is a three-year campaign designed to help the association take the next step as a national organization by raising funds to maintain and improve existing services as well as to develop new ones. The funds raised will be allocated to four major strategic areas: operations, resources, scholarships, and programming. Since the launch, 10 percent of our members have given and pledged contributions totaling approximately $50,000.


We are a small association with 400 members who are pharmacists This is a list of notable pharmacists.
  • Dora Akunyili, Director General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control of Nigeria
  • Charles Alderton (1857 - 1941), American inventor the soft drink Dr Pepper
  • George F.
, attorneys, and students of pharmacy law, and running the campaign has been an interesting process for us. Our main goal was to get ourselves on solid financial ground and work within our annual operating budget Noun 1. operating budget - a budget for current expenses as distinct from financial transactions or permanent improvements
budget items, operating cost, operating expense, overhead - the expense of maintaining property (e.g.
 of $125,000; we've achieved this. At the same time, the campaign has helped us raise awareness of the association and pharmacy law. We've found that once you are out there making yourself more visible, members participate more in other programs as well. Our members are more engaged and involved than they were prior to the campaign.

We've had 100 percent financial participation in the campaign by our eight-member board, whose gifts ranged from $300 to $10,000. Board participation is, of course, important, since you have to give before you can ask others to give.

Our next step is to do more reaching out to members--and potential members. We know that our members are committed to the organization, and we believe that they will give because they want the organization to succeed. The whole process has just been amazing a·maze  
v. a·mazed, a·maz·ing, a·maz·es
1. To affect with great wonder; astonish. See Synonyms at surprise.

2. Obsolete To bewilder; perplex.

. We've had a major financial turnaround Turnaround

A situation where a company that has had poor performance for an extended period of time experiences a positive reversal.

A speculator may profit from a turnaround if he or she accurately anticipates the improvement of a poorly performing company.
. Here are some of the lessons we've learned along the way:

Don't think small. Small associations can launch effective capital campaigns, and they have to dream big. The hardest thing for my members to realize was that people would step up to the plate and give if we asked them to.

Ask for the money. We have received $1,000 and $5,000 pledges from members. You never know what resources are in your membership until you ask. On the other hand, be realistic. Break your contribution amounts into bites that make it easy for people to say yes.

Build a structure for giving. The work doesn't end when you get the pledges. You have to send your contributors pledge reminders and remain in ongoing communication with them.

Acknowledge contributors as much as possible. We communicate about the campaign and our contributors in our newsletter, on our Web site, and at conferences. We also send a progress report to all members once a year. When we receive a contribution from a member, we may even send an e-mail message to the membership so that everyone is aware of how active members are in the campaign.

My primary role throughout this process has been to set benchmarks and be the cheerleader for the campaign. Of course, the hardest part is asking for the contributions, but peer-to-peer solicitation solicitation

In criminal law, the act of asking, inducing, or directing someone to commit a crime. The person soliciting another becomes an accomplice to the crime. The term also refers to the act of obtaining bribes, as well as to the crime of a prostitute who offers sexual
 works the best. When we first began the campaign, the $200,000 seemed like $2 million to us, but we feel it's achievable if we continue working as a team.


Pamela J. Tolson, CAE, is executive director of the American Society for Pharmacy Law, which is one of the associations managed by Management Resource Specialists, Inc., Springfield, Illinois Springfield is the capital of the U.S. state of Illinois and the county seat of Sangamon County. As reported in the 2000 U.S. Census, the city was home to 111,454 people. The land on which Springfield is today was first settled in the late 1810s, around the time Illinois became a . E-mail:

Breaking Ground

Campaign launch date: 2001

Campaign goal: $10 million

Funds raised to date: $4 million

AT THE ASSOCIATION OF BLACK Cardiologists, we believe that good health is the cornerstone of good communities. Particularly in the African-American community, we need the elders--the grandparents--to help us solve problems and carry on the legacy and culture of the community. Our campaign goal is to build a physical place where people will come to interact with one another and to learn about and participate in the good health practices that will help ensure the longevity longevity (lŏnjĕv`ĭtē), term denoting the length or duration of the life of an animal or plant, often used to indicate an unusually long life.  of our community elders--those most at risk for early death from cardiovascular disease Cardiovascular disease
Disease that affects the heart and blood vessels.

Mentioned in: Lipoproteins Test

cardiovascular disease 
. The Association of Black Cardiologists' International Library, Research, and Conference Center will fulfill ful·fill also ful·fil  
tr.v. ful·filled, ful·fill·ing, ful·fills also ful·fils
1. To bring into actuality; effect: fulfilled their promises.

 this vision.

We currently own a smaller building, which houses our staff of 24. But we have run out of space, and our projected growth in the next 10 years justifies this campaign. I believe that we need bricks and mortar A store (shop, supermarket, department store, etc.) in the real world. Contrast with clicks and mortar.  to accomplish anything. Last year we broke ground for the new building, which will house a library, a fitness center, and research facilities. With the construction of the new building, our offices will be located in the center of the community as a recognizable landmark to residents and visitors to the Atlanta area.

There are only 500 black cardiologists in the country, so we do not have a large pool of members to draw from for donations. But so far we've raised $2 million from the membership and from corporate donors, and another $2 million from a major donor, for a total of $4 million toward our goal. Fortunately, our board of directors has been supportive and active in fundraising.


Initially, the board was concerned about overextending the organization's resources. They wanted to be sure that we weren't getting distracted dis·tract·ed  
1. Having the attention diverted.

2. Suffering conflicting emotions; distraught.

 from our ongoing programs. While running the campaign is time consuming, we have not made any reductions in programming or services to members. Certainly, risks are involved with any capital project, but I believe that providence Providence, city (1990 pop. 160,728), state capital and seat of Providence co., NE R.I., a port at the head of Providence Bay; founded by Roger Williams 1636, inc. as a city 1832.  rewards the bold. Our team is working hard to achieve our goals and make the new building a reality. If your association is considering a capital campaign, I offer these suggestions:

Involve the staff and the board of directors in planning the campaign. We did not work with an outside consultant to develop our capital campaign. The board and the staff worked together to generate ideas for the goals and action plan. We developed our campaign by brainstorming together. And this is an ongoing process as we continue to build the campaign. We are constantly receiving and trying new initiatives.

Be visible during the campaign. Personal contact with the CEO stimulates an increase in donations. You have to be able to concentrate on the light at the end of the tunnel and continue to motivate everyone else involved in the campaign.

Get help when you need it. We wasted time and energy because we were not sophisticated about the nuts and bolts nuts and bolts
pl.n. Slang
The basic working components or practical aspects: "[proposing]
 of a building project. We worked with three different architects before we finally approved a design for the building. In retrospect, we should have hired a professional to manage that portion of the project.

Despite some setbacks, we have broken even in terms of the time lost during the design phase. We are continuing to work toward our goal. We are confident in the ultimate success of this campaign. The whole process has been a daunting daunt  
tr.v. daunt·ed, daunt·ing, daunts
To abate the courage of; discourage. See Synonyms at dismay.

[Middle English daunten, from Old French danter, from Latin
 one for the board, but stress motivates us into action.


B. Waine Kong is CEO of the Association of Black Cardiologists, Inc., Atlanta. E-mail:

Leading the Way

Campaign launch date: December 2002

Campaign goal: $3 million

Funds raised to date: $2.9 million

THE IDEA FOR OUR CAPITAL CAMPAIGN, The Leadership Campaign, was born shortly after the Diabetes Association of Greater Cleveland Greater Cleveland is a nickname for the metropolitan area surrounding Cleveland in Ohio.

Northeast Ohio refers to a similar but substantially larger area as described below.
 commemorated 45 years of service to the community. (For a detailed description of the launch of this campaign, see "Building Up to a Capital Campaign" in the April 2002 issue of ASSOCIATION MANAGEMENT.) The chairman of our board expressed concern that with diabetes on the rise, we would need to significantly increase revenues to meet the needs of people with diabetes and increase our visibility.

Before launching the campaign, we conducted a community needs assessment and an environmental scan to identify the key issues that we wanted to address through the campaign. The information gathered from focus groups and surveys informed our decision to focus on increasing education for children with diabetes and those at risk for diabetes, expanding management and public education initiatives, and increasing our involvement in local diabetes research. We felt that we had a good case to support our campaign. Then we conducted a feasibility study to determine if we would be able to raise the amounts needed to address these issues.

Prior to making the The Leadership Campaign public, it was critical that we have the full support of our board. Some board members were philosophically opposed to the giving of financial donations to the association. Some of the physicians on our board, and other professionals, felt that their extensive volunteer time and pro bono Short for pro bono publico [Latin, For the public good]. The designation given to the free legal work done by an attorney for indigent clients and religious, charitable, and other nonprofit entities.  assistance were sufficient contributions to the organization. Though we did not care about the amount of individual board member gifts, we did insist on 100 percent board participation. A few of our board members made the initial gifts and then recruited their fellow members to do the same. Unfortunately, we lost three board members in this process, but we learned an important lesson about making sure that future board members completely understand our expectation that they give financial gifts.


Working on the campaign was a great learning opportunity for me in general, and we learned some specific lessons:

Don't go with your first choice. We got off to a slow start because we had concerns that the goals set in our first feasibility study were unrealistic. My intuition intuition, in philosophy, way of knowing directly; immediate apprehension. The Greeks understood intuition to be the grasp of universal principles by the intelligence (nous), as distinguished from the fleeting impressions of the senses.  told me that the numbers were too high. A local consultant did the first study, and we ended up having to do another one. Make sure you interview more than one person and carefully check credentials CREDENTIALS, international law. The instruments which authorize and establish a public minister in his character with the state or prince to whom they are addressed. If the state or prince receive the minister, he can be received only in the quality attributed to him in his credentials.  before deciding upon a consultant to assist with your campaign.

Get educated about fundraising. My board chair advised me to take a crash course in capital campaigns. I attended a four-day, hands-on course at The Fundraising School at Indiana University Indiana University, main campus at Bloomington; state supported; coeducational; chartered 1820 as a seminary, opened 1824. It became a college in 1828 and a university in 1838. The medical center (run jointly with Purdue Univ. . It gave me the tools to understand the hierarchy of fundraising activities. There's definitely a science to it.

Learn the art of delegation. I had to devote time to the campaign every day. Some days it took up 50 percent of my time. As a result, operations management Operations management is an area of business that is concerned with the production of goods and services, and involves the responsibility of ensuring that business operations are efficient and effective.  was removed from my plate. We promoted internally and gave staff members additional responsibilities, reducing the number of people reporting directly to me.

The lessons that I learned during the campaign will serve me well as I transition to the next phase of my career. (I'm retiring this year.) The biggest frustration for me during the campaign was people not being up front about saying "no." They would not return my calls or messages. The most exciting part of the campaign was receiving pledges. It made me feel wonderful that people were so generous. Fulfilling the goal of a capital campaign is a tremendous responsibility, but we made it through.


n. 1. Father.

Harriet L. Fader, CAE, is president and CEO of the Diabetes Association of Greater Cleveland. E-mail:

COPYRIGHT 2005 American Society of Association Executives
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2005, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

 Reader Opinion




Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Motley, Apryl
Publication:Association Management
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2005
Previous Article:Welcome to the blogosphere: get the skinny on Web logs from an association's perspective.
Next Article:Merchants of change: they're gutsy, determined, and outcome-oriented. What can turnaround artists teach you about leading the way? Plenty.

Related Articles
New phrase becomes the hook to sell expensive fax & e-mail advisory service.
Ontario family physicians organizing for political action. (Reports For Romanow).
Audit finds accounting problems at United Way of National Capital Area.
Ralph Reed made big bucks from Enron, FEC report unveils. (People & Events).
No monkeying around in NZNO'S year of fair pay.
Child advocate agency seeks lasting haven.
Coming soon.
Fiji nurses prepare for their own fair pay campaign: improving nurses' pay and conditions is the key to stopping the migration of nurses from Fiji to...
Research shows Hubba campaign a success.
Western Banks Seek Islamic Scholars.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters