Reviews Off the Shelf
Preparing Your Capital Campaign
By Marilyn Bancel, CFRE

San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2000.
Vol. 7, Issue 28
July 3, 2001

Are you a capital campaign novice, or an experienced fundraiser, who needs guidance through the complex process of preparing for and launching a capital campaign? If so, you might find the newest addition to the Excellence in Fund Raising Workbook Series a very useful resource.

Expert fundraiser Marilyn Bancel is the author of Preparing Your Capital Campaign, a new nuts-and-bolts workbook that examines each of the steps necessary to launch a capital campaign. The book begins with a quick overview of this fundraising strategy and a description of the elements that an organization should have in place in order to support a capital campaign. Both traditional and non-traditional models of capital campaigns are described in detail, as is the importance of conducting a feasibility study in advance of the campaign. Bancel also discusses the launch of the project for which the capital campaign is being prepared, and addresses ways in which a bricks-and-mortar project can be successfully carried out.

Preparing Your Capital Campaign is well organized, and follows a logical sequence. The writing is straightforward, concise, and easily digestible, and while it lays out the basics for the novice fundraiser, it offers useful tips and pragmatic advice for veterans in the field. The volume is packed with helpful checklists, quizzes, and sample documents, such as planning charts for estimating fundraising costs, sample job descriptions for the campaign cabinet, and a campaign skills checklist. Drawing upon her years of experience as a fundraising consultant, Bancel offers a multitude of valuable insights — most notably the Top Ten Reasons Campaigns Fail — and practical planning tools that enable fundraisers to identify their organization's strengths and weaknesses, and assess its level of readiness to embark upon a capital campaign.

Preparing Your Capital Campaign is an excellent how-to manual that provides a solid framework for staying focused on the factors important to achieve fundraising goals. The practical components of the book make it more than just an interesting read, and the start-from-scratch approach prompts readers to consider the important preparatory steps necessary for the launch of a successful campaign.

For citation to additional materials on this topic, refer to Literature of the Nonprofit Sector Online, using the subject heading “Capital campaigns.”

– Erika Wittlieb
Reference Librarian/Coordinator of Cooperating Collections
Foundation Center – New York

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