It’s hard to believe, but we’ve nearly reached the end of another year! With a new calendar year about to begin, your mind might be on new initiatives and new goals, including fundraising.

Capital campaigns are critical to the success of nonprofit organizations, including educational organizations. It is important for alumni associations to find and connect with the right donors.

Here is a quick look at the seven steps that you should take to help set your capital campaign up for success.

  • Determine your capital needs: Examine your needs and the various opportunities that exist to help you reach your campaign goals in the coming year. Get members, school board, community members, school staff and any other invested parties involved in brainstorming and goal setting so you have a wide range of players aboard.
  • Determine the next steps: Schools must determine if, when, and how they will move forward with a campaign after they have set goals and determined needs. Districts should make adjustments to that campaign early on to align with community feedback and potential funding limitations, which will help guide how the campaign will get started.
  • Set your strategy: Before you officially launch the campaign, you should take another couple months to make sure everyone is on the same page regarding the strategy for your campaign. This can include prioritizing potential donors.
  • Soliciting your leadership gifts: Leadership gifts are the largest gifts your organization will take in. These often help set the tone for other gifts that follow from supporters in the community. This process can take several months. Focus on wealthy potential donors and organizations that have some connection to your organization already.
  • Seek out major gifts: After the leadership gift phase, you can seek out major gifts. Major gifts are still quite large, but they’re not the massive tone-setters that leadership gifts are.
  • Solicit all other gifts: Most gifts you get from the community at large will be much smaller, but these are the kinds of gifts that really can make a difference. A larger number of smaller gifts means you have greater investment from the community.
  • Implement the project: Once you’ve completed your fundraising, you can get going on the project for which you have been raising capital!

Follow these steps and you will find it much easier to succeed in a capital campaign!