Capital Campaigns: It’s Not Just Bricks and Mortar

Al Harsar, CPA has experience with many avenues of fundraising for a non-profit organization, and he’s happy to explain:



Did you ever wonder what it takes for a non-profit entity to get the momentum rolling to fund a capital project?

It starts with the Board’s desire to follow through on a plan, raise funds, and to set out a timeline. The plan is the seed that starts it all.  The plan could be for the expansion or renovation of a current piece of property owned, or perhaps the purchase of a new building.

The campaign could include additional requests for funding to establish an endowment fund, which helps perpetuate the operations of the organization or the property. It could also include additional funds for “special purpose” situations. Recently, a Historical Museum that I am affiliated with had a capital campaign for all three: renovation of a piece of property, establishment of a related endowment fund for operations, and to help pay for the setup and design of exhibits.

The funds needed have to be carefully budgeted and an additional plan of how to raise the funds needs to be established.  Normally, a large capital campaign will ask donors to consider giving a pledged amount. This is done in conjunction with marketing brochures, tours of the facilities, and gatherings to promote the cause.

The donations are normally asked to be pledged over a certain number of years. This allows for the total donations to be higher than a single donation and helps cash flows during the project period.

You see, there is a great deal of coordination needed to pull off a capital campaign. Non-profit organizations are a special kind of entity. If you want to talk more about the nuances of non-profits, give me a call.