Is your nonprofit considering a capital campaign in the next two to three years? That is, will you be purchasing a building, renovating a building, acquiring land or purchasing large pieces of equipment? If so, you must do a feasibility study before you decide to launch the campaign. Why bother with a feasibility study? Why not simply announce the campaign, raise all the money you can and the devil take the hindmost? There are five critically important reasons to conduct a feasibility study: 1. It offers an opportunity to determine how your organization is viewed in the eyes of prospective donors and other important
The University of California, San Diego is a public university with an enrollment of 27,500 students. It recently announced that it surpassed its seven-year, $1 billion fundraising goal — and did it with more than a month to spare. The university’s capital campaign kicked off in 2000 with a $20 million gift from University of California regent John Moores and his wife, Rebecca, for the Rebecca and John Moores UCSD Cancer Center. The campaign closed this summer with the single largest planned gift in the university’s history: $34 million for cancer research given to the School of Medicine by physician George Ury.
It’s not often that any capital campaign gets four $300,000 gifts simultaneously — never mind a capital campaign for a community college.
But that’s what happened when Mount Wachusett Community College in Gardner, Mass., ran its first-ever capital campaign.
It was rigorously orchestrated, at times quite colorful and, in the end, a thing of beauty.
A performance by the world-renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater? Sort of. But it didn’t involve a mastery of modern movement or a cadre of exquisitely muscled artists.
This one took place behind the scenes and, ultimately, rendered a result that deserved a standing O or, at very least, a thunderous round of applause.
Many organizations understand a feasibility study in terms of the campaign goal. “How much can we raise?” they ask. “How long will it take?”
While a good study will answer these questions, it also can answer a host of others and serve as a catalyst for development success on all fronts. The key to maximizing your feasibility study is asking the right questions.
Sometimes, seeing means believing. Other times, seeing means writing. Writing checks, that is.
Such was the case for donors who rallied recently to contribute more than $7 million to a capital and endowment campaign for The National Dance Institute-New Mexico in Santa Fe.
Fundraisers who think that donors to a capital campaign wouldn’t be interested in supporting their organization otherwise often are missing out on a valuable funding source. Development personnel are finding that, like the old adage says, all ships do, indeed, rise with the tide.