Are You Ready to Fundraise for a Capital Campaign?

 In Capital Campaigns, Fundraising

Fortunately, many libraries today are looking at constructing new buildings or undergoing significant renovations. In many cases, the new or renovated buildings are funded by public dollars. However, some libraries face the prospect of needing to raise significant private dollars for a capital campaign. Even before a feasibility study is conducted to assess the potential for success in a capital campaign, it is worthwhile for a library to assess its own capacity for fundraising.

Here is a short list of questions to ask yourself if you are considering a capital campaign in the next 5 years:

  1. Is your public funding for the campaign committed? If not, what is the process for securing your public funding?
  2. Does your library, Friends, or foundation currently have fundraising capacity and infrastructure (staffing, office, database, lists of donors/members, etc.)?
  3. Do you currently have annual major donors who are likely to contribute to a campaign? Are there other easily identifiable major donors, including both individuals and organizations in your community?
  4. Are your board members (ideally Friends and/or foundation) actively engaged in fundraising?
  5. Are you aware of other successful campaigns of similar size in your community?
  6. How would a campaign be managed and staffed?
  7. Can you easily identify prominent people from the community that would serve or head up a campaign committee?

Do you have initial funds available to pay for a

A capital campaign for a new or renovated space can be one of the most exciting periods for any library. But raising private dollars for a library is hard work, in most cases involving skilled staff and volunteers who dedicate many hours to the effort. If you are considering a campaign in the future, doing a self-assessment in advance and building your development capacity for a year or two may be necessary steps to ensuring a successful final result in your campaign fundraising efforts.

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