May 18, 2021
Consultant-approved strategies for capital campaigns in 2021
by Sandra Davis, founder and president, Donorly
By their very nature, capital campaigns are challenging to plan and execute. After all, there’s a reason nonprofits only conduct these campaigns once every 10 to 15 years: They require a significant amount of time, resources and manpower to execute successfully. Still, the benefits they can provide should make them an essential aspect of your long-term fundraising strategy.
From new facilities and equipment to critical infrastructure, these years-long campaigns can provide the funds necessary to grow your nonprofit’s capacity and make even more impact to your community and constituents.

In our years of experience in data-backed fundraising, we’ve learned the dos and don’ts of capital campaigns, and we’re here to share five top strategies. We recommend that you:

  1. Consult with fundraising experts. 
  2. Plan extensively. 
  3. Make the most of your campaign’s quiet phase. 
  4. Provide regular campaign updates. 
  5. Thank your donors for their support. 

A capital campaign may seem like a daunting undertaking, but with adequate preparation and research, you’ll be able to make the most of your investment of time and resources and ultimately achieve the results you need to expand your nonprofit’s programs. Let’s get started.

1. Consult with fundraising experts
Nonprofits of all shapes and sizes can benefit from consulting with outside fundraising experts to guide their capital campaign efforts. It’s a fairly standard practice for capital campaign planning, and for good reason.

Growing nonprofits may lack the staff and resources to be able to fully invest in the success of their capital campaigns. Capital campaigns require more research on the frontend than typical fundraising campaigns, and your staff will obviously need to keep up with the day-to-day operations of your organization in addition to capital campaign work. Your development team may not be able to sacrifice their attention to their regular duties to solely focus on capital campaign planning.

In this case, we’d recommend seeking assistance from an outside fundraising consultant or agency that can supplement your team’s efforts, essentially filling in as extra researchers and fundraisers to guide and support the campaign.

Even if you have a large organization with the infrastructure established to support a capital campaign, it could still be beneficial to seek assistance from fundraising experts who specialize in more specific fundraising activities, like prospect research and major donor solicitation. Input from teams that specialize in these areas could make your campaign more efficient and help your team target their efforts in the areas most likely to increase your ROI.

This guide can guide your decision-making process if you do decide to seek outside help for this essential component of capital campaign preparation.

2. Plan extensively
In general, capital campaigns follow a standard timeline that begins with a planning phase. It’s important not to put off any essential aspects of your campaign strategy until later in the campaign development process, as you’ll need a strong foundation to guide your efforts all the way through to the end.

Racial inclusion in the workplace
CHAMP Camp has promoted Brittany Sichting-Midyette to the newly created role of director of administration development. Sichting-Midyette has served at CHAMP Camp since 2019. — Inside Indiana Business
Indiana University has promoted Dr. Tyrone McKinley Freeman to associate professor of philanthropic studies at Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. McKinley Freeman previously was assistant professor.
The Indiana Conservative Alliance for Energy has hired Kacey Crane as executive director. Crane previously served as legislative affairs director for the Indiana Department of Transportation. — Inside Indiana Business
Anderson Community Schools Corporation has hired Brad Meadows as director of district and community engagement. Meadows previously served as marketing/ communications director for the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority.
Indianapolis Mayor Joseph Hogsett's office is accepting applications for the 2021-22 Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council to amplify youth voices and perspectives on issues that impact youth and strategies to improve their communities. Applications are open until June 18. Apply

With a commitment to empowering organizations serving the community, Central Indiana Community Foundation and its affiliates, The Indianapolis Foundation and Hamilton County Community Foundation, have partnered with CauseImpact to offer a premier cohort consulting package to a select number of agencies to develop new, more sustainable initiatives. The Innovation Catalyst program begins in August 2021. Applications are due on June 11. An informational session on the program is May 20 and May 27. Register

Midtown Indy has received funding from the Indianapolis Neighborhood Development Initiative to transform the former United Way Building at 3901 N. Meridian St. into affordable housing for seniors. The newly transformed developed complex, Parkside at Tarkington, also will be designed to provide space for a senior healthcare service provider. Read

After an extensive fundraising campaign, the Indianapolis Opera has secured the historic Basile Opera Center at 4011 N. Pennsylvania St. as its permanent home. The opera company had rented the building, a former Greek Orthodox Church, for nearly a decade. The campaign also was launched to cover expenses for building improvements and sustainable operations.

Indiana Evaluation Association is seeking proposals from a diverse group of presenters who will share their knowledge for the organization’s Building Evaluation Capacity for a New Age on Oct., 1, 8, and/or 15. Submit a proposal about evaluation-related skills to Tessa Skidmore.

Indianapolis Cultural Trail Inc. has launched a fellowship program to help engage people from under-represented communities in discussions about the development of public spaces in the city. The nonprofit is taking applications for its first cohort of Public Space Fellows through May 23. Learn more

The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority is accepting applications from Indiana-based 501(c)3 not-for-profit organizations to fund five COVID-19 Impact Grants of up to $100,000. A question-and-answer informational session will be held on May 20. Read
DONATION: Office furniture, including two L-shaped desks, two desk chairs, a small conference table, filing cabinets, rolling file carts, and conference table chairs. Contact Erin Trisler
A report by GivingTuesday estimated that overall giving in 2020 increased 5.2 percent from 2019. However, it’s unclear if that trend will continue.
Board participation to create goals, objectives, and project plans is the key to ensuring your organization and its staff stay focused on community benefits with clear direction.
Our sponsor marketplace serves to further connect our readers with our advertisers who are focused on serving nonprofits. To learn about each sponsor's nonprofit services, click on its logo.

Office Space in Children’s Bureau, Near Northside of Indianapolis

More than 3,000 square feet of unfinished rental space available for a nonprofit. Build-out allowance based on lease terms. Rent includes utilities, cleaning, maintenance, building security, parking and access to common areas (including restroom, kitchen, and conference space). Less than ½ mile from several bus stops. Contact Lewis Rhone at (317) 264-2700.
Office/art space available in the heart of Fountain Square

Office rental space available on Indianapolis’ Southeast side. Up to 1,970 square feet of office space, including five rooms for office/studio and a kitchenette. The rental also includes paid utilities, installed security system, parking and more. Contact Bradley Keen at (317) 634-5079, ext. 101.
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