CharityChannel’s In the Trenches series offers practical handbooks on fundraising, nonprofit management, and related topics. Foundation Center libraries make four of them available: 50 Asks in 50 Weeks, You and Your Nonprofit, Asking About Asking, and Confessions of a Successful Grantwriter. Our latest acquisition in the series, Capital Campaigns: Everything You Need to Know (2011), goes over the infrastructure, budgeting, and staffing of a typical capital campaign. It also includes a large amount of sample documents and suggestions for further reading.
In the introduction, author Linda Lysakowski tells us that her goals in writing the book are to “help organizations … learn how to assess readiness for a campaign, better prepare for a capital campaign, and how to organize [them] effectively.”
One of her contentions is that volunteers are the key to a campaign’s success. In Chapter Seven, “Recruiting and Organizing Campaign Volunteers” Lysakowski addresses questions such as “How many volunteers will I need to recruit?” and “Where can I find enough volunteers?” She discusses how to form your team, from recruiting the campaign chair to filling other cabinet positions such as co- and division chairs. She also provides sample position descriptions for all involved.
Throughout the book you’ll find practical tips, observations, and even warnings on bad practices. But perhaps the most useful part is the appendix. In it she provides two dozen campaign tools, including a 28-step plan of action spreadsheet, campaign assignment worksheets, sample case case statements, a full campaign timeline, and even a brainstorming form to identify new donors.
Capital Campaigns: Everything You Need to Know is one of many resources available on the topic, but its focus and practicality make it a worthwhile reference book for all fundraisers. It’s available in Foundation Center libraries under call number 713 LYS. To locate other In the Trenches titles mentioned at the beginning of this blog, search the Catalog of Nonprofit Literature.
The Foundation Center--New York