Answering this question honestly is the first step to pre-campaign preparation. I have worked with many organizations that have identified the need and then have jumped straight into the campaign. While I am encouraged by their eagerness and hard work, I would much rather see them get a strong rate of return on their efforts, even if it takes them a bit longer to get started.

So, before we start any campaign, I always make sure we are able to answer seven questions. If we are not able to, we are simply not ready to run the campaign. Use this list of questions to make sure that you are equipped and prepared for your next capital campaign:

1. Is there enthusiastic agreement among the board of directors and the staff concerning the worthiness of the cause?

2. Are the board and staff willing to make personal sacrifices for the campaign, including both time and money?

3. Is your ministry well regarded and highly respected in the community and your “mission” seen as important and relevant?

4. Do you have any goal funds secured at the onset of your project? This should be your guideline:

  • Your first donation should be your largest and should be one-tenth to one-sixth of the entire campaign goal
  • You should secure one half of the goal to be met by 10 – 15 donors
  • 65-75 percent of the goal should be met by approximately 100 donors

5. Can a sufficient core of enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers be enlisted and trained to work on the project?

6. Is the timing and planning of the campaign sound?

7. At the completion of the project, will resources be available to provide ongoing sufficient annual support?

Remember, these questions are not only effective in determining campaign readiness, they are also incredibly effective for use in continuing evaluation.

We have all seen the energy and excitement that can be generated through a capital campaign, and know the power they have for catapulting our imaginations into the possibilities that exist outside of what we are currently doing. Unfortunately, we have also all experienced the flipside: burn out, disappointment, and long hours of unmet expectations. Being prepared by answering these questions at the front end is a simple and effective way to keep campaigns focused and successful.

So, what do you say? Let’s take the time to get the answers, build some depth, and then start collecting the funds needed for the plans God has for us!

If you are having trouble answering these questions, have a response to this blog, or are interested in talking about your ministry and opportunities for generosity, please email me at or call me at 616-662-1953.  Thank you for becoming a part of the conversation!