Capital campaigns

Still the staple of the North American fundraising system, capital campaigns have nevertheless lost their glitter for many fundraisers and for many major donors too. But carefully structured and well-coordinated capital campaigns can still raise substantial sums of money and deliver on donor satisfaction too. So when is it right to consider a capital campaign, and how should you go about ensuring that your campaign, when it happens, is one of those destined to succeed?

Art Fund: Crowdfunding to save Prospect Cottage (part one)

by Joe Burnett

Derek Jarman was a huge figure in modern British cinema and art. Now his unique home, a work of art in itself, is the subject of a truly inspirational and ambitious crowdfunding campaign by the Art Fund. We sat down with three of the drivers behind the campaign to discuss Jarman, Prospect Cottage and crowdfunding. They wowed us, so we hope they'll wow you too!

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St Michael’s Foundation: the Final Piece campaign


Here is another excellent campaign from St Michael's Foundation in Toronto, Canada. Take a look at how this team of savvy fundraisers took a simple poster and re-purposed it into a successful staff event that raised much-needed funds for their latest capital appeal.

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St Michael’s Foundation Christmas Poster Campaign: Give the Gift

by Joanna Culling

It’s never too early to plan your Christmas fundraising campaign and here’s one from St Michael’s Hospital Foundation in Canada to inspire you. This integrated campaign shows how to entice donors to give to bricks and mortar by focusing on compassion and people.

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William Quarrier – the most determined fundraiser of all time?

by Simon Burne

Be inspired by the most determined fundraiser of all time. Using an approach not designed for the faint-hearted, William Quarrier went into a room full of wealthy people and walked out with enough money to fund a village for homeless children in Glasgow. But how did he do it? And what can we learn from this fundraising superstar?

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Harvesters Food Bank’s fundraising strategy

by Adrian Sargeant

Harvesters, a food bank in the USA, believe that ‘people don’t want to give their money away, but they do want to make a difference in other people’s lives’. At SOFII’s IWITOT event in Baltimore, Professor Adrian Sargeant showed how that belief helped them to achieve their massive ambition to increase support from $2 million to a massive $11.5 million.

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Humber River Hospital Foundation’s direct mail appeal featuring Humbert

by John Lepp

It's amazing how many capital campaigns bewilder donors with architect's drawings, graphs and complicated giving levels. Not so those brave people at Humber River Hospital Foundation, they turned their backs on stuffy institutional instincts and introduced Humbert – their storyteller supreme. Meet him here and see the fabulous appeals that achieved 33 per cent growth in giving in less than a year. Go on – take a risk!

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Save the Children’s capital appeal: buy a brick

by Richard Turner

This warm appeal from Save the Children beat its target by over £150,000 and acquisition approached break-even. Clinics were built and children’s lives saved.

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The National Trust: recruiting members by the millions

by Aline Reed

The story of Octavia Hill, an amazing fundraiser and co-founder of the highly successful and respected National Trust.

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The Städel Museum, Frankfurt: inspiring a city to fundraise

The Städel Boot, sponsored by the shoe store chain Deichmann.


The donors who gave millions to the Städel Museum said it was not ‘just a museum’, but rather that they felt like part of a big family.

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The Owl and Monkey Haven: appeal for two lonely capuchins, Martin and Lulu

The appeal badge.


This appeal for the happiness of Martin and Lulu, two lonely capuchin monkeys is charming, honest, urgent and authentic. It captured the attention of supporters across the UK and beyond and is an example of fantastic storytelling without forgetting the ‘ask’.

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