A capital appeal is an appeal to raise a capital sum rather than an appeal for revenue costs which are the ongoing expenses of running an organisation such as the salaries, rent, heating and lighting etc.
Often the money raised is to fund the acquisition, construction, or renovation of a building. Sometimes capital campaigns are used to build an endowment for the future. In other cases, capital campaigns fund an extraordinary expenditure such as an expensive piece of equipment.
It is important that you and your organisation are ready for a capital appeal. It can be an arduous and challenging exercise that can last 2-3 years or more.
Everyone needs to be behind the capital appeal and you will need the energy and resources to see it through.
But with the right advice, knowledge, experience and support it can be achievable
The best time to consider engaging fundraising consultants for your capital appeal is once you have proven the need, shown that a building is what will achieve the results you are looking for, have already had (at least preliminary) architect's plans drawn up and had the project fully and professionally costed. Then a good fundraising consultant will bring these things together and show you how you can achieve a successful capital appeal.
The capital appeal starts with the Preparatory Phase which last usually
for 4-6 months. It is always a good idea that we prepare a Feasibility Report after this phase, so that we know where we are with the appeal and where it's going - and, more importantly, if it's going to be successful. Quite often we will propose that we work together up to the Feasibility Report and then you can consider your options at that time.
Much depends on the relationship between client and consultant. If it's a good working relationship and if the organisation already has a fundraising team and a list of donors to start with, then the capital appeal, will take less time. Generally speaking, in our experience, a capital appeal with these things in place, of let's say £3 million will take 2-3 years.
This is difficult to answer as there are so many variables. In very general terms it was said that costs total about 10% of the appeal total. We believe this is vastly overestimated and should be halved to 5%. Therefore for a £5 million capital appeal over 3 years, you'd be looking at costs of about £250,000 for consultancy, publications, administrative support, web development etc. But these costs do NOT include the time given to the capital appeal by senior staff and trustees.
Member – Association of Fundraising Consultants (15 years)
Member – Institute of Fundraising (29 years)
Certified Fund Raising Executive – CFRE (22 years)
Finance Monthly Global Awards – Fundraising Adviser of the Year UK (2017)
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