Raising Money for a Capital Project Takes Time
How long should it take to raise funds for a capital project?
It depends. Find out what it depends on in this week's #FundraisingFriday
This week we're talking about the amount of time that it takes to raise funds for a given project. I've had a number of nonprofits recently come up and ask me questions along the lines of…
“We want to start a capital campaign and we want to have the project ready in about six to twelve months. Is that possible?
My answer is always it depends.
Generally, that's a pretty fast timeline depending upon the maturity of your fundraising program and the relationship you have with your donors.
Remember that fundraising is a relationship-based activity. You aren't going to your donors as ATMs and just asking them to give you money. You're developing that relationship so depending upon the scope of the project and depending upon the relationship you already have with your potential donors, you may be able to raise that kind of money relatively quickly.
So what are the things that you need to consider?
1) How large is your project?
Obviously, the more money you need to raise, the longer it's going to take.
2) What kinds of relationships do you have with your donors?
Do you already have donors who make substantial contributions to your organization? Who love your organization and who are willing to step forward? Then it's not going to take as much time then your time to simply inform them about this project and giving them the time to work in a gift for this project into their own financial situation.
If you don't have donors who are already engaged with your organization, you're going to need to take probably six months to a year to develop those relationships to the point where they're ready to make a substantial contribution to your project.
So remember that fundraising takes time. You can't decide today that you want to have a major capital project and expect it to have the shovel in the ground in six nine or twelve months.
Take the time to plan right and you'll have a good project to share in the end!