The Nonprofit Leaders Guide for a Capital Campaign Staff, Architects and Fundraising Consultants

The Nonprofit Leaders Guide for a Capital Campaign Vol. 4 of 12: Capital Campaign Staffing, Fundraising Consultants and Volunteers

Capital Campaign Staff and Dreamer

In Volume 3 of this series, How to Determine a Capital Campaign Goal, I wrote that personnel needs would include, “staffing to handle the organizational and financial management of the campaign.” Let’s break that down.

Capital campaign staff:

  • Attends and keeps notes of development committee meetings (notes can be taken by a volunteer as long as it is consistently achieved, archived and sent to the committee)
  • Acts as a point person for other staff.
  • Advises on the organization’s policy issues.
  • Establishes and/or manages the financial structure for the campaign including donations, pledges, acknowledgments, billing and, in some cases, project financing.
  • Follows the “to-do” list that emerges from each meeting. Are their prospects or donors who need to be called or contacted by the organization? Will the next meeting require a projector or specific handouts? Is there a relationship that needs to be nurtured?
  • Keeps the ball moving. There are a lot of moving parts and volunteers are volunteers. Capital campaign staff will show up each day and dedicate time and energy towards making your dreams a reality.


We often hear the question, “when do we get the architects involved?” There is no right answer but here are a few guidelines, as well as a few considerations about what you can expect from the architects.

You have decided to make a structural change to your building (or build a new one). There is no way to understand the costs without engaging an architect. It’s hard, for some organizations, to imagine spending that money so early in the process but that is the only way to understand what you would do if

  • money were no object, or
  • there was a financial limit to your campaign, or
  • you are required to make certain changes (local codes have probably changed since you last altered your building).
  • you wanted to know what it would all look like.

Their magic will help you create a space that fits your organization but includes aspects that you could never have imagined. And while they may want to do something a bit more expansive than you had first thought, a good architect can find the balance of realistic improvements and visionary structure. All while helping you understand the true costs involved.

Fundraising Consultants

Do you need a fundraising consultant? Yes, and not just because we are fundraising consultants, we are nonprofit consultants who provide:

  • Structure for a campaign
  • A tightened timetable
  • An unbiased feasibility study
  • An understanding of the results of a feasibility study
  • Help in developing the necessary marketing materials
  • Help in assessing ratings
  • Prioritizing prospects
  • Solicitor training
  • An unbiased point of view
  • Momentum when the process seems to be slowing or volunteers start to feel burnt out or tired of the process
  • Experience with staff, architects, financing, and building

Nonprofit consultants should provide confidence in the process. They help the development committee, staff and volunteer leadership see the possibilities and achieve their goals. And because nonprofit consultants are not volunteers, they do not suffer the same fatigue that often hits campaigns at some point in the process. Nonprofit consultants provide accountability to the leadership that the campaign will start well and stay on track.

And if you ask our clients, that is worth the costs incurred.

Read the rest of the series:

Volume 1: The Overview

Volume 2: Defining your Dream

Volume 3: How to Determine Capital Campaign Goals

Volume 5: The Feasibility Study

To speak to someone at Mersky, Jaffe & Associates about how we can help your capital campaign,
click here or call me at 800.361.8689 and at the prompt, press 3.