Conducting successful capital campaigns requires careful planning, strong leadership, and consistent follow-through. Library Strategies provides guidance to libraries throughout the entire campaign process, from initial planning to final celebration.
Capital campaigns involve two phases: The Quiet Phase and the Public Phase. The Quiet Phase, involves individual solicitation of major donors by campaign volunteers. This is a critical part of any campaign, as up to 80-90% of the campaign goal is secured in the Quiet Phase. The Public Phase occurs when the campaign is announced and solicitation of the general public begins with events, direct mail, social media, and other broad-based channels.
Campaign counsel in the Quiet Phase includes the following activities:
- Develop campaign plan, timeline, and budget
- Recruit Campaign Chair(s) and Campaign Committee members
- Write and design the Case Statement and all campaign collateral
- Determine campaign management and communication plan
- Clarify roles and responsibilities/hire campaign staff if necessary
- With Campaign Committee, identify and qualify donor prospects
- Develop cultivation and solicitation strategies
- Provide solicitation training and assist with solicitations if necessary
- Manage all communication and meetings of Campaign Committee
- Provide guidance throughout the campaign to address issues and ensure progress
Campaign counsel in the Public Phase includes the following activities:
- Provide content and design of marketing and solicitation activities
- Assist with event planning
- Develop social media content and design
- Assist with donor recognition activities
- Provide guidance and lay groundwork for future fundraising activities
Library Strategies helps recruit Campaign Chair(s) and Campaign Steering Committee members and works closely with them throughout the Campaign.
Depending on the size of the goal, capital campaigns typically take between 18 and 24 months to complete, including the feasibility study.
The outcome of a well-run campaign is the achievement of the campaign goal and an engaged donor base that is now invested in the future of the Library.
Tulsa Library Trust (OK)
The Tulsa City-County Library drastically needed to make improvements to their Central Library location. The massive overhaul required updating building infrastructure, fixing deficient mechanical and electrical systems, improving the inefficient use of space, and removing materials now considered hazardous. The renovation would also include entirely new features to better serve the changing needs of customers. The project was estimated to cost nearly $50 million, yet only $15 million in public funds were made available. The Tulsa Library and Trust were tasked with raising the rest.
Library Strategies was hired to conduct a feasibility study in addition to providing campaign counsel that would identify the willingness and potential of the community to provide $33 million in private funding. Library Strategies conducted 36 face-to-face interviews with potential major donors, presenting them with a graphic illustration – not only of the building – but of the vision for what a new Central Library could bring to the downtown area.
The feasibility study identified potential major donors and indicated strong support for the renovation of the Central Library. Library Strategies then helped the Tulsa Library develop a detailed capital campaign strategy to secure those identified donations and cultivate potential new donors to participate in the campaign. Library Strategies also served as campaign counsel for one year to help strategize and identify donor prospects.
As a result of interviews conducted during the feasibility study process, Library Strategies was able to nurture and guide the Tulsa Campaign Steering Committee to a successful engagement of the lead donor and other significant major donors. The campaign was so successful and well received by the philanthropic community, that the public phase, which is now underway, is expected to exceed its goal.