Running Successful Catholic Capital Campaigns

Recommendations on how to properly run a capital campaign

I enjoy fundraising for Catholic apostolates, and I also enjoy helping Catholics run their apostolates. But I think your fundraising should serve your mission, not the other way around.

Take for example capital campaigns.

Running a capital campaign can be very important; however, a campaign can overwhelm the apostolate’s mission and focus.

And if you’ve been reading everything that I send you, I’m all about focusing on the mission WHILE achieving fundraising success – especially with capital campaigns.

Check out how I always start my capital campaigns to make sure they (1) are successful and (2) serve the mission:

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Other articles you might be interested in:

Advice to rookie fundraisers – 3 pieces of advice to anyone starting their first fundraising campaign

How to Convince Someone to Donate – A Practical Process for Convincing People to Donate to Your Catholic Apostolate

How to Get Donors – A Faith-based Fundraising Strategy in 3 Steps

Make sure to get your free copy of ‘The 10 Commandment of Catholic Fundraising’. It’s a book that highlights the ten tasks you should do to keep you focused on your mission and hit your fundraising target, every time.

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Question: Which saint, Catholic document, or Church teaching has given you great advice on how to raise funds? Please leave your comment below.


Greetings, my fellow Catholics, today we’re going to be talking about how to run a successful capital campaign. Capital campaigns are by far one of the most familiar ways of fundraising. So I’m going to walk you through my three tips on how to be successful when it comes to this type of campaign. So stick with me, because point number three I think you will find is going to wrap everything up and you will really come away in the next few minutes with some really good advice. But before we dive in…

Let me introduce myself. My name is Brice Sokolowski, and I am the founder of, the website dedicated to helping Catholics with fundraising. So whether you’re starting out in the fundraising field or you’re a pro and already on your way with a campaign, I believe you will find a lot of useful information here today, and also on my website, And as a gift — before you walk away from what I’m going to be talking about today, I just want you to get my free guide, The 10 Commandments of Catholic Fundraising. I think this can provide you with a solid foundation for your fundraising. If you’re already fundraising and feel you’re successful, then these are great reminders, just to make sure that you haven’t forgotten anything along the way. So the link to my free guide is below. Download The 10 Commandments to Catholic Fundraising.

Okay, let’s begin running successful capital appeals. Here are my three tips to really get you moving forward because a lot of the times I think they’re overlooked.

Usually, with any type of fundraising campaign, we just jump right in, thinking hey let’s get some people, let’s ask them for a donation and we forget to first have a firm idea of what we’re asking for. My first tip (and I’ve got my notes right in front of me so I don’t forget) is to ask yourself just how much do you really need? You’ve got to figure out, what is that amount? It’s very important that you find the target amount, so you can name it and hit it as a goal. So that’s point number one: Know and name your specific fundraising goal. You don’t want a fundraising campaign going on forever. So that is point number one.

Okay, let’s move on to point number two and that is, how quickly do you need the money? This is important because we’re looking at pledge amounts. Sure, you might want to target raising $100,000 or a million dollars or whatever that might be. But the real question is, how quickly do you need the money? And if you figure out that you don’t need all the money immediately, that it could be collected over several years, then you can use that information to better craft appeals and pledges. You can say to people, hey we’re raising X amount of money, but we don’t need the money all at once. This is a three-year campaign. Would you be willing to support us over the next three years?

It’s so very important to ask that question and really focus on identifying when do we need all of that money? And again, it helps to get a target, as we talked about in point number one, but also a time limit as well. So again, you’re not fundraising forever.

And point number three is the most important: What’s the story that’s going to inspire people to donate? Many times, you will hear a capital campaign start by saying, “we need.” We need to redo our roof. We need a water heater. There’s a building we need to purchase. And so, of course, you become focused on the one thing that’s going to help you first. But when it comes to fundraising, that’s secondary. That really is secondary. For example,, if you say you need a roof. Well, what’s that roof going to house underneath it? Or, you need to a building. Well, what is going to happen inside that building? If you say you need to purchase something, what’s that purchase doing to help with the overall mission? Don’t ever assume people know the “Why” behind an appeal; it is really important to repeat, over and over again, why you’re doing what you’re doing. Especially when it comes to capital campaigns. You must explain how this benefits the mission. If you buy something, how is it going to benefit people? How is it going to benefit the people that you serve? Never assume that people understand why you’re doing things. Even if you are a parish or a school in need of a new building or a new wing. Well, what’s going to happen there? Sure, you’re a school, you can let people assume that “school things” are going to happen but what specifically? Because the more specific that you can get about the benefits behind your capital campaign, the more successful you’re going to be with raising the support you are looking for.

Those are my three tips on how to run successful appeals and capital campaigns. If you have any questions, go to my website, You’re going to find tons of resources. You can reach out to me as well if you need additional assistance. Thank you for your attention. God bless you and, I look forward to seeing you next week and providing you with even more advice. God bless!

Want to fundraise more for your Catholic apostolate?

Make sure to get your free copy of ‘The 10 Commandment of Catholic Fundraising’. It’s a book that highlights the ten tasks you should do to keep you focused on your mission and hit your fundraising target, every time.

Click here to subscribe

Brice was born and raised Catholic. After enjoying a successful career in technology consulting with Accenture and PriceWaterhouseCoopers in cities across the United States (Dallas, San Francisco, Paris, Abu Dhabi, and London) around the world, he left it to help his Catholic diocese in London, England with a fundraising campaign. The campaign went on to raise over $60 million, the largest sum ever raised for the diocese and in the United Kingdom.

Learning from professional fundraisers, he figured out the basics and then left the diocese to focus on what he loves most: building Catholic charities that change the culture, save lives, and save souls.

Brice currently lives in Texas and travels the world helping Catholics fundraise. This website is where he shares what he is doing and how he is raising funds for Catholic causes and missions. That way you can move more quickly with your next appeal.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Mother Mary and Saint Joseph, protect us as we announce the good news of God's beloved Son, Jesus Christ.