Florida Atlantic University
Nonprofit Resource Center
Capital Campaigns

The Case Statement

What is a Case Statement?
Summary: The Case Statement is a document written to justify and explain a major fund-raising campaign by a non-profit organization. It can take several forms, but there are two main concepts: the large, internally oriented case, and the smaller, externally oriented case.

Developing a case statement
Summary: One of the hardest things for nonprofit fundraisers to learn is developing and stating the case for funding for their organizations. It is surely a skill that we must develop, however. If we who are closest to the situation can’t make the case for support, we can hardly expect the community to make it for us.

Is your case statement doing its job?
Summary: Does your organization have a case statement (also referred to as a case for support)? It may be the most important document of your nonprofit organization.

Proposal writing (the case statement)
Summary: The proposal does not stand alone. It must be part of a process of planning and of research on, outreach to, and cultivation of potential foundation and corporate donors.

Articles about the case statement
Summary: This site provides a list of 8 articles available from CASE about developing a case statement for capital campaigns.

Strategic Planning for Nonprofits

Business Plans for nonprofits
Summary: Business plans are maps in a sense. They plot out the journey you need to follow to get to your final goal. The process of creating a plan can also point out false assumptions and, perhaps, point out why your idea may not be successful. Business plans are also the way to funding. In the for-profit world, they are needed to interest and convince investors; for nonprofits, they constitute the bones of your first grant proposal or case statement.

Preparing a Business Plan for nonprofits
Summary: Creating business plans has not been one of the routine tasks of non-profit directors or boards as it is in the for-profit sector. As non-profits are forced to model themselves more and more after for-profits, it is not a bad idea to look at and perhaps follow some of the standard for-profit strategies.

A Stitch in Time
Summary: A helpful article on how to use a feasibility study to prepare for a capital campaign.

Strategic Planning
(in nonprofit or for-profit organizations)
Summary: Strategic planning determines where an organization is going over the next year or more, how it's going to get there and how it'll know if it got there or not. Far more important than the strategic plan document, is the planning process itself. This topic in the library provides overview of many of those perspectives and approaches and also includes guidelines for the reader to carry out planning according to the nature and needs of their organization.

Strategic Planning for Nonprofits
Summary: Where do you go from here? Your organization has reached a point at which you don't have to scramble for next month's funding, your board is committed and staff morale is high. But you know in your heart that trouble always lurks just around the corner. Are your programs still serving your constituency? Should your programs be expanded? Does your mission need be revised?

The Campaign

12 Things You Should Know About Setting A Capital Campaign Goal
Summary: A capital campaign raises money that will be spent to acquire or improve a physical asset. The most common use of a capital campaign is for the purchase, construction, or renovation of a building (commonly referred to as "bricks and mortar"). However, an organization can conduct a capital campaign to purchase machinery, equipment, furniture, fixtures, or any physical asset that can be reflected on its balance sheet. The amount needed (the goal), can be readily translated into printed specifications, drawings, slides, photographs, models, etc. These explicit and physical "goals" are fixed and unyielding.

Capital Campaigns: Building For Now
(includes related links and resources)
Summary: A capital campaign raises money that will be spent to acquire or improve a physical asset. The most common use of a capital campaign is for the purchase, construction, or renovation of a building (commonly referred to as "bricks and mortar").

Ready or not
Summary: A Top 10 list of questions to ask--of yourself and your institution--before plunging into a capital campaign.

Organizing a Capital Campaign
Summary: Planning is crucial to the success of major capital fund raising campaigns.  Such campaigns typically involve many different interest groups, and it is especially important that all parties agree on the "big picture" plan for the campaign early in the process.

Key elements help ensure successful capital campaign
Summary: The National Society of Fund Raising Executives Institute defines it this way: "a capital campaign to [intended to] establish a fund for improvement in the recipient organization's or institution's services, which might include acquisition of property or equipment, construction, renovation, endowment, special projects and programs." Capital campaigns are an occasional necessity in the life of an institution, particularly when there is a documented long-range institutional plan.

Developing and conducting a successful capital campaign
Summary: A capital campaign is an effort to raise funds for the capital needs of an organization or institution. This includes acquisition of property or equipment, construction, renovation, endowments, special projects and programs. Capital campaigns are an occasional necessity, from time to time, in the life of an institution especially when it is part of an institution’s master or long-range plan. The efforts of a capital campaign are of major proportions usually taking place over several years.

Are you ready for a capital campaign?
Summary: If you're considering purchasing or leasing a building, acquiring a piece of land, or buying a large piece of equipment worth at least $50,000, you're in the market for capital grants and donations. For those nonprofits that haven't conducted capital campaigns, the prospect can be daunting. This article will help you determine whether you're ready to compete for capital funds.

A Tour of Capital Campaigns
Summary: This web page provides a well-rounded overview of how a successful capital campaign might be undertaken. Each section explains a different phase of the campaign and at the end of each page you will have the option to continue to the next phase, return to the main directory, or learn more about Capital Quest, or visit Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

Capital Campaign Software
Summary: DonorBase Services is a full service consulting company that specializes in the maintenance of your existing databases so that you can save time and raise more money.

Where can I find information about capital campaigns?
Summary:  Online outlines of the process from campaign consultants and contract managers.

Articles about capital campaigns
Summary: This site provides a list over 60 articles available from CASE about developing a capital campaign.

Campaign Fundraising
Summary: Campaign fundraising is basic fundraising. You need money; you ask people to give it to you. What could be more simple?

Know your organization
(includes related links and resources)
Summary: You start the process of becoming a fund-raiser for an organization when you first become involved with the organization. That's when you begin to acquire knowledge about an organization, and acquisition of knowledge is the first step in preparing to raise money. To sell any product, it is important to know just what the product is and what it does.

Check Out Your Organization's Fund-Raising Readiness And Learn The Secret Of Fund-Raising Success
(includes related links and resources)
Summary: A successful fund-raising campaign is not magic. It is a straightforward, concise process of executing well-defined components arranged in a step-by-step progression.

Fitting Annual, Endowment, Capital, and Sponsorship & Underwriting Campaigns Into Your Organization's Plans and Then Making Them "Sing"
(includes related links and resources)
Summary: Faced with the dilemma of growing financial need outstripping static resources, officials of nonprofit organizations will turn to one another and say, “I know, let's put on a fund-raising campaign.” Too often the campaign fails, the problem is still there, nobody has a good time, and love isn't exactly what the campaign managers are feeling for one another.

Affinity Resources
Summary: Preparation is the key to Capital Campaign success. While the steps may vary from one institution to the next, these four phases of preparation should part of your campaign:

      • The Exploratory Phase

      • The Feasibility Study Phase

      • The Quiet Campaign Phase

      • The Public Campaign Phase

Affinity Resources is a capital campaign consulting firm. It subscribes to the NSFRE Code of Professional Ethics which prohibits development professionals from raising funds on a percentage basis. Affinity Resources charges for its campaign services based on a fixed project fee that includes transportation and expenses.

A Development Director Needs More Than "A Smile And A Shoeshine," But It's A Good Start
Summary: This is the era of high-tech delivery of information in an instant. The Internet is accessible from any telephone line, and lap-top computers let us take the facts and figures -- all the facts and figures -- to wherever they're needed. Development professionals must master this technology which lets us massage estate planning scenarios, target solicitation mailings, and develop campaign giving plans. But, we must also remember that no matter how high-tech the tools, funds are raised person-to-person.

Access Point
Summary: Commercial site offering free and fee-based information on nonprofit fund raising, foundations, and corporate giving. For a fee, clients can search through the Foundation Database containing information on more than 12,000 private and corporate foundations; the Corporate Giving Database, housing information on 4,000+ corporate giving resources; or the Federal Domestic Assistance Database, a directory of Federal funds.

Cultural and Nonprofit Facilities Funds
Summary: Summary: In some communities, revolving funds exist to assist nonprofits with financing construction and upgrading of facilities.

Some Blunt Talk About Fundraising
Summary: How campuses must change their campaign methods to maintain credibility with the public in an age of billion-dollar goals.

Improving our Prospects
Summary: A helpful article on how to use peer screening to identify new major-gift prospects.

Thirty Years of Fundraising
Summary: A thoughtful article on how to approach your major gift prospects.

The Ultimate Gift
Summary: How to encourage once-in-a-lifetime gifts from your institution's closest friends.

Fundraising info member service
(this site requires a membership)
Summary: Get fund-raising ideas and advice and submit questions about the process by email. Check the list of prospective philanthropists.

Capital Assistance Funding: A Rural Health Resource Guide
Summary: Finding funds to expand or renovate a building, purchase major equipment or construct a new facility can be challenging for a rural health provider. Funding for capital expenditures usually needs to be secured from a variety of sources, both public and private. This guide is designed to help hospitals, clinics, community health centers, and other rural health providers learn more about various funding options to meet their capital needs.

How do you ask for a "major" gift?
Summary: Many people have discovered that doing face-to-face fundraising reminds them of the true depth of their commitment to the organization. They remember why they became involved in the first place and why they think the work is important. Occasionally, people discover that their commitment is not that strong and they would be happier in another organization.

Annotated link guide prepared by Randy Goin, Jr.