Types of Funding and Campaigns

To build a strong and sustainable base of individuals that support the work of your organization, you need to approach this process as a long-term commitment. Individuals that make major gifts typically feel deeply connected to the work and also have confidence in the organization. Getting to this place with an individual could take anywhere from six months to several years and will depend on the level of contact the organization is able and willing to invest in building the relationship. On average, nine meaningful contacts are made before a major gift is given. There are three major types of funding campaigns:

Annual Fund

The purpose of an annual fund is to build a base of donors to support your organization’s operations from year to year. Think of this as sustaining support. It is important to understand who your donors are, what reasons brought them to your cause and to stay in touch with your donors throughout the year. Groups can expect to retain about two thirds of their annual campaign donors from year to year if they are doing enough to build thoughtful relationships.

Capital Fund

The purpose of capital fundraising is to raise extra money for capital improvements. Think of this as growing support. Most people that support a capital campaign have already given generously to the organization’s annual fund and have the resources to help with a special gift.

Endowment Fund

The purpose of this type of fundraising is to set up a trust fund for your organization. The organization does not spend the principal, but can use the interest to pay for annual expenses. These types of gifts are often given as bequests from a person’s estate.


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