As the new year begins, are you thinking about the possibility of a significant project that would require a capital campaign? If so, you are likely pondering how much you might right raise in a capital campaign.  Here are some considerations.

For congregations, the most reliable gauge of what might be raised is to take a look at the annual stewardship giving.  In a 3-year capital campaign, congregations typically raise two to three times their annual giving.  For example, a congregation with annual stewardship giving of $750,000 has the potential to raise $1.5 to 2.25 million over a three-year campaign. The outcome is greatly impacted by the number and size of larger leadership gifts in the $20,000 to six-figure range.

For non-profit organizations, closer attention needs to be paid to your potential gift leaders. Again, gift leaders are those who give $20,000 to six-figures.  Past campaigns have taught us the following:

  • That the top donor will typically represent 15% – 20% or more of the overall campaign result.
  • That the top 10 – 15 donors will likely represent 50% or more of the overall campaign result.
  • That 10 – 20% of the donors typically represent 80 – 90% of the overall campaign result.

To assess the potential for a capital campaign, a non-profit needs to begin identifying their gift leader prospects, and create a gift chart like the one below.

Gift Levels $1 million Outcome $2 million Outcome $3 million Outcome
$250,000   2 4
$100,000 1 3 5
$50,000 2 4 6
$30,000 3 9 15
$20,000 8 9 10
$10,000 20 20 20
$5,000 30 30 30
$2,500 43 43 43
$1,000 93 93 93

It is important to remember that the success of any capital campaign depends on pre-campaign planning and preparation. A feasibility study is often part of this preparation phase, helping you get a better grasp of how much may be raised in a capital campaign.  Need help? Give us a call!

Fred Stoltz, Sr. Program Director
The James Company
(414) 690-3426