Book Review Kent Dove

Book Review Kent Dove

Book Review – Kent Dove“Conducting A Successful Capital Campaign”, 2nd Edition

Chapter 1: Key Components of a Capital Campaign

-Capital campaigns are a modern aspect of fundraising

-Initially Andrew Carnegie, J.D. Rockefeller underwriting libraries, museums, research projects and universities; YMCA first official capital campaign

-“Hopes & aspirations to critical market segments” = large gifts from few

-Trend is that they keep getting bigger

-Three categories:

  1. Under $25 million
  2. $25 million - $100 million
  3. Over $100 million (in ’87 already more than 43 known campaigns at this level)

Why increasing fundraising through capital campaign is increasingly important:

-Budgets tightened

-Demand increasing (service provision, e.g. hospital patient care loads)

-Competition for funding

-Public grant programs reduced (gov’t)

-Donor public more discriminating as resources more scarce/competition increases

-Fixed operating costs escalating rapidly

-10 Pre-requisits for readiness to launch a Capital Campaign,

plus other factors including: Age of the organization, Caliber of Constituency, Range of giving program (Planned Giving, annual, Major gifts, Prospect Research), Size and Geographical Distribution of Constituency (urban= easier), Previous Campaign Success, Quality of Program and Impact of Services, Location of Organization, State of Economy, Competing Campaigns, Publicity, Local Issues, Challenge/Matching Gifts

Four forms:

i)Historical Capital Campaign (Bricks & Mortar)


iii)Single Purpose

iv)Continuing Major Gifts Campaign

Chapter 2: Preparing…3 Essential Steps & a Checkpoint

Step 1: Strategic plan

Step 2: Market Survey

-provide assessment of other factors that may affect campaign

-investigate & evaluate external opportunities for the institution to mount & accomplish large scale major gifts campaign

-determine reaction to case statement (institutional priorities, goal)

-educate potential major gift donors and campaign leaders

-id and evaluate best people suited to provide leadership /volunteer role

-afford the institution an analysis of all the information gathered

Step 3: Development program readiness assessment

DPI (Dove Preparedness Index)…Dove scoring tool to assess readiness…75+ score ideal readiness

There are ten areas, each rating on a score of 1 to 10 and three of these areas are KEY (score within these areas if 25-30, also demonstrates readiness):

i)written document that makes a compelling case for supporting the campaign

ii)enlistment and education of leaders

iii)ability and readiness of major donors to give substantial lead gifts

Chapter 3: Defining Roles of Leaders & Volunteers.

There are two types of leaders in a campaign; Layman leads campaign, staff manages & serves

3 Key roles: Chair of the Board, the Campaign Chair, and the CEO

Characteristics of a Campaign leader:

-job descriptions including time commitment expectations

-four types:

-recruit from top down – avoiding this approach sets the wrong tone from the beginning

Governing Board “Single most critical”

-Bring Visible and unanimous commitment to the cause

-Impossible to motivate others to participate without a strong board

CEO role – ID the needs (NOT the details of how to get there…that is a development staff function)


-Staff creates plan

-Board ensures proper planning in place/endorses the plan

-Board asked to give (use formal for board giving, e.g. % net worth or % of annual income/ board sets a board goal and CEO or other board members do the soliciting / team visits of 2 work best). **20 – 50% of the goal can come from the board and their firms

Chapter 4: Volunteers

Important decision making process….key element is matching the right people for the right tasks (take time to research these individuals before asking)

See handout, pg. 51 – 53

Chapter 5 : The Case – handled in other sessions

Chapter 6 – Major Gifts Chart….ties directly into market survey and tests reality

-80/20 rule combined with Rule of 3rd’s (Seymour):

-Top 10 Gifts = 3rd of Campaign (Top Gift based on 10% of goal)

-Next 100 Gifts =3rd of campaign

-Remaining Gifts = remainder

-Naming Opportunities should align with the Major Gift Chart

Chapter 7: Structure / Solicitation Process

-staff driven

Org Chart; RIFLE SHOT (only asking major donors for major gifts….use staff time wisely) vs. SHOTGUN approach (broader donor base segments asked)


-make sure those with busiest schedules’ time is channeled for most effective result (ratio for lead gifts = 1 prospect: 1 volunteer, Special gifts 2-3Prospects: 1 Volunteer, General Gifts 5 Prospects: 1 Volunteer)

Consider best way to approach in tandem with annual campaign ask:

  1. Separate Ask: Capital & Annual ask done separately at different times (not ideal for “comprehensive capital campaign” since seems very fragmented
  2. Double Ask: ask for both at the same time (capital could be multi-year ask, annual as single or annual also as multi-year ask)
  3. Triple Ask: include planned giving ask at the same time as Capital request & Annual request

Chart pg 93-94

Chapter 8: Researching/Qualifying Donors

Definition of a Major Gift for a capital campaign: e.g. on a $5million+ campaign; $100,000+ = Lead,

Special Gifts = $10,000 - $999,000 and

General = gifts under $10 million

“Lead gifts” set the trend for others soon to be asked

Nucleus Gifts = board giving at the lead level to set Momentum early on in the campaign (inside out)

Chapter 9: Cultivation

Prospect management = Systemized approach to identify and track Major Gift prospects

Handout pg. 116

Chapter 10: RelationshipBuilding & Developing Lead Gifts

-quality is stronger than quantity

-multi-level relationship development (volunteer, staff etc.)

-advancement listening, p. 129

Chapter 11: Managing Day to Day Operations, p. 137; expected time

Chapter 12: Technology, Adapting

Chapter 13: PR & Campaign Materials

Chapter 14: Concluding the campaign…next steps

Chapter 15: Trends, future growth;

-Women more involved (giving, volunteering)

-Volunteers, as valuable as major gift prospects, studies showing correlation between volunteering and philanthropic activity over lifetime

-Regulation withing the industry (e.g. DO NOT CALL lists, privacy implications)

-Increased use of Technology (personalization, multimedia, solid research)

-AT Kearney Study (private sector insight into development of a ‘Lifetime Donor Cycle”)

Remainder of Book = resource guide

See handout; pg 210….Table of Contents