Capital Campaigns #7: Beginning the Extended Campaign

Sections of this topic

    As with the basic capital campaign, you must start with the knowledge of where the commitments will come from to achieve your dollar goal … only this time you are not limiting yourself to a relatively few major donors. This time, in addition to the major donors, you will need specific sums from different segments of your constituency.

    In a campaign for a hospital, for example, at the top of the leadership pyramid are the highest-rated prospects — some major donors, prominent members of the community, some board members, and (maybe) a few docs.

    These individuals have responsibility for setting an example with their giving, and for recruiting and soliciting those who will be the leaders of the various segments of the campaign – including the overall campaign chair. This is the “Quiet Phase” — the solicitation of those donors whose commitments will ensure reaching the first “Safety Point” (60%, 80%, or more of the goal).

    The overall Campaign is separated into smaller “campaigns,” one for each segment of the constituency – the board, the administration, the medical staff, the nursing staff, each of the other hospital departments, the auxiliary, local (large) corporations, local businesses and the various segments of the broad community.

    Each of those segments/Divisions must have a Chair, a person who will set the example, and recruit and solicit those who will solicit others in their Division. The Chair of a Division must be someone who is respected by the members of his/her segment and who has the clout to successfully lead a “campaign” limited to that segment.

    Typically, the Chair for each of the Divisions of the Hospital Family are members of the Division they will chair, but they are not necessarily the Heads of their Departments – great care must be exercised to avoid the appearance of a Department Head coercing members of his/her Department.

    As a practical matter, the “campaign” for the Board of Trustees should precede the “campaign” for the Administrators/Executives, which should precede the “campaign” for the docs … otherwise you’ll have the docs saying, “If they didn’t, why should we?”

    In that context, the “campaign” for the docs should precede the “campaign” for the nurses, and those previous four “campaigns” should precede those for the rest of the hospital staff. Realistically, because you can’t solicit one segment of a hospital family (other than the Board) without the hospital grapevine spreading the word fairly quickly, the various “campaigns” for the different segments of the hospital family tend to be implemented within the same timeframe.


    Have a comment or a question about starting or expanding your basic fundraising program, your major gifts fundraising program, or a capital campaign? Email me at With over 30 years of counseling in major gifts, capital campaigns, bequest programs, and the planning studies to precede these three, we’ll likely be able to answer your questions.