chapter 26 Raising Money for Capital

A capital campaign is an intensive, time-limited effort to raise money for a project that presents a one-time need over and above the annual budget. Capital costs are too large for the annual budget to absorb. For example, a few new computers are an annual expense, even though (we hope) you won’t have to buy them every year. But an entire new network system with conversion from the old system, training, and so on will often be a capital expense. Capital campaigns traditionally are employed to finance buying, constructing, or refurbishing a building, including making the space accessible to people with disabilities or making the office space “green” (that is, using more environmentally sustainable materials or systems).

The financial goal of a capital campaign is often at least as large as the organization’s annual budget and often many times larger. Most capital campaigns last two to three years; some go on as long as five years. As discussed in the previous chapter, capital campaigns allow donors to pledge a large amount and take as many as five years (and for very large pledges, ten years) to pay it off. Donors are asked to give to the capital campaign in addition to their regular annual donations, and they are explicitly asked not to decrease their annual gifts in order to make capital gifts. Capital gifts are usually so large that donors cannot finance them from their income and must donate cash from savings or other assets (stocks, ...

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