Creating A Compelling Statement of Need for a Capital Campaign

While it is acceptable to speak internally about a "statement of need", all external communications should speak to "opportunities to partner", "opportunities to invest" and "opportunity to better our institution".  Such a one-page statement is of critical importance as a common resource for everyone who will solicit others to give. The statement gives staff members or volunteers the words to say when they meet with prospects and also serves as a common "leave behind" to give to potential donors. Whether it is a $60 million capital campaign or a $50,000 team fundraising goal, the format of a statement of need is very straightforward. 

              Sample Case Statement – The Pirate Fundraising Campaign

Pirate Athletics is undertaking a capital and scholarship campaign that addresses our growth and quality enhancement challenges for the next five years.  President XXXX and Athletic Director XXXX, in consultation with a blue ribbon alumni advisory group, led by (CELEBRITY ALUMNUS) have defined our priority enhancement opportunities to be in the cost range of $50-60 million.   We have retained a consultant to create a blueprint to meet that campaign goal and are in the process of engaging key individuals to be members of the Campaign Committee.   We hope you will join our Campaign Committee.  A key first step is private meetings with friends of the program who have the capacity “give or get” at least fifty percent of the campaign goal.  These pledge commitments are key to the success of our Campaign and a predicate to a formal public announcement of the Campaign – noting that the campaign will not be formally announced until we obtain 50% of our goal as pledges.

Our Priority Opportunities for Investment

•    INVESTING IN TALENTED STUDENTS - $30,000,000.  Scholarships will help us attract the best and brightest students who are also outstanding athletes.  We don’t take shortcuts to winning like many of our opponents who do not hesitate to recruit great athletic talents who are not prepared for competition in the classroom.  Many of our athletes get financial assistance based on academic merit or financial need.  We try to use our athletic scholarship dollars to enable full scholarships and a promise of financial aid until the athlete earns his or her degree.  While other institutions practice exploiting athletes for their athletic talent, we invest in both intellectual and physical talent.

•   INVESTING IN COACHING EXCELLENCE - $5,000,000.  Investing in the acquisition and retention of coaches who demonstrate excellence in preparing Pirate student-athletes for success on the playing field isn’t enough.  We also demand that our coaches use their extraordinary influence to emphasize academic excellence and the pursuit of a great education in support of their athletes’ chosen careers.  Our coaches are also expected to motivate their players to pursue graduate and advanced study and provide meaningful interactions with diverse groups of people. 

•    RENOVATION OF ATHLETICS FACILITIES - $25,000,000.  Athletics is the philanthropic “front porch” playing a central role in University-wide relationship-building and donor initiatives.  Joe Sampson Stadium is in an embarrassing state of disrepair.  The athletic programs has been instrumental in contributing to the excellence of the institution’s brand and is a consistent purveyor of more than 100 events that bring alumni and friends to campus annually.  Every academic department as well as the University Advancement office and athletics leverages this asset for the betterment of the institution.  Historically, our football and track programs in particular, have been the center of community life on our campus – the glue that brings faculty, students and alumni together to celebrate university life and an important source of pride.