Guide to Capital Campaign Marketing Materials

Campaign PyramidThe Nonprofit Leaders Guide for a Capital Campaign Volume 7: Marketing Materials

Marketing materials work, as a whole, to offer the prospect information that will help inform their gift. Each piece – from a time table to gift pyramid and site page to a rendering, will help create the image and feeling that you are trying to promote. And, while each nonprofit is different, each piece should look professional in a way that elicits confidence and conveys that you are a good investment for the prospect.

What are some of the key capital campaign marketing materials?

  1. The Timetable – When starting a campaign you should set realistic expectations for when you plan to start construction. And everyone should know that it may be years away. People imagine that a major renovation can get done in a year, and that may be true, if you didn’t have all of these other factors to include on the timeline:
    • The start of the capital campaign. Have you created a committee to assess the needs of the nonprofit and its constituents?
    • When you intend to hire an architect
    • When you intend to hire a fundraising consultant
    • Board approvals.
    • When you intend to start soliciting
    • When do you hope you will publicly announce the campaign
    • When you intend to hire a builder
    • When the builder can start and his expected time table
    • Providing for delays
  2. Gift pyramid – Whether you think 80% of your donations will come from 20% of your donors (Pareto’s Principle, the 80/20 rule), 90% will come from 10%, or there will be a more even distribution, a drawing that represents giving levels can help the board, campaign committee and prospects visualize what will be needed to run successful campaign in your community.
  3. Renderings – Working with an architect can help you understand the costs involved but they can also help you by providing renderings. Floor plans offer an overview, but most people don’t understand how to read them – even those intimately involved. Instead, renderings, whether black and white sketches or three-dimensional models can show prospects what you plan to achieve. Be prepared that a nice color image may cost around $800-$1,000 each. And you may need a few, depending on the scope of the project. But, few people will donate meaningful gifts without “seeing” the committee’s vision.
  4. Leave Behinds – Everyone loves a good leave behind. Whether it is a fact sheet or a copy of the presentation, prospective donors will want to hold onto something to refer to and/or share with someone. This is not a high-end glossy brochure, but instead, something that can be updated from time-to-time with new images and added information.
  5. Website – Ideally, all solicitations will be in person, but general information that excites the prospects, gives some information, and offers a way to get in touch with someone to learn more can be a very useful piece of the capital campaign marketing materials.
  6. Recognition Policies, Gift Tables and Planned Giving Sheets – These one page documents can all help your solicitors give the correct information and full breadth of options to prospective donors. In this case, the visual impression is less important than the content.
  7. PR and Publicity Plan – Do you need community buy in? How will you announce the public phase of the campaign? Will you announce a ground-breaking ceremony and celebration of your accomplishments? This does not need to be developed until your capital campaign is well underway, but knowing who will handle this responsibility and how it will be developed can help keep additional volunteers engaged in the process if they do not want to solicit gifts or work on a building committee.

Each campaign is unique, but there are general capital campaign marking materials in a successful campaign. And above all, we hope you achieve your dreams and find success.
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