Title of the post overlaid on top of a photo of two consultants working

Top Capital Campaign Consultants To Help You Raise More

There’s a lot that goes into planning and executing a successful capital campaign, from securing board buy-in to conducting a thorough feasibility study to identifying potential major donors.

With so many plates to keep spinning, you may be on the lookout for some campaign assistance.

That’s where capital campaign consultants come in. These professionals can help guide you through the crucial planning stages and support you as you conduct your campaign’s quiet and public phases.

In this quick guide, we’ll help you kickstart your capital campaign consultant search by introducing you to some of our favorite consultants and the services they offer. Let’s begin.

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Why Work With a Capital Campaign Consultant?

Before we dive into our list of specific consultants, let’s dig deeper into the benefits of working with a capital campaign consultant. Here’s what these experts bring to the table:

This image and the text below explain some of the benefits of working with a capital campaign consultant.
  • Expertise: Whether you’ve conducted a capital campaign before or this will be your first, you may feel out of your depth when it comes to planning and executing everything correctly. Consultants are experts in capital campaigns and the current best practices that will help you see your campaign through to a successful end. Plus, their expertise is backed by years of experience working with nonprofits to help them achieve their capital campaign goals.
  • Efficiency: Capital campaign consultants are familiar with nonprofit operations and understand that you’re working with limited time and resources. They’ll assist you in getting your campaign off the ground in a way that helps you save time and money and still delivers great results.
  • Third-party perspectives: When you’re extra invested in a big project like a capital campaign, you can sometimes get too close to the situation, making it difficult to see ways you could strengthen your campaign strategy. A consultant has a third-party perspective on your organization and its campaign goals. They can help point out gaps that need to be filled and other course corrections.
  • Long-lasting relationships: Once you’ve worked with a consultant on a big project like a capital campaign, you’ve forged a long-lasting relationship. This can be especially helpful if you need a consultant’s services in the future (whether for a capital campaign or another initiative), as you’ll already have a rapport established with someone you trust.

Alternatives to Traditional Consulting

Though there are several benefits to working with a traditional capital campaign consultant, that approach may not be the best fit for every nonprofit. Let’s look at two alternatives to traditional consulting:

  1. An advisor-led approach: When you work with a capital campaign advisor, you learn from an expert how to design and run your own campaign. This means that you still have access to plenty of resources and knowledge to help you make your campaign the best it can be, but your team gets to learn the ins and outs of conducting a large-scale campaign and is fully involved in all touchpoints with major donors and other stakeholders.
  1. A do-it-yourself (DIY) method: Other organizations may prefer an approach that allows them to have an even more hands-on experience with capital campaigning. The DIY approach is most successful when your team has access to the right tools and resources, such as templates, checklists, and leadership training.

To determine whether hiring a consultant, working with an advisor, or taking a DIY approach would be best for your organization, consider what you want to get out of your capital campaign (beyond achieving your fundraising goal and completing your chosen project). Also, take into consideration the budget you have to work with.

8 Capital Campaign Consultants To Consider

Capital Campaign ConsultantsConsulting FirmThe Giving Institute Member
Robert C. Happy, Jr.Averill Fundraising Solutions
Aly SterlingAly Sterling Philanthropy
Amy Eisenstein and Andrea KihlstedtCapital Campaign Pro
Sandra Davis Donorly
David H. KingAlexander Haas
Richard PerryVeritus Group
Trent RickerPursuant
Sandy ReesGet Fully Funded

1. Robert C. Happy, Jr. from Averill Fundraising Solutions

Screenshot of the Averill Fundraising Solutions website

Robert C. Happy, Jr. is the president of Averill Fundraising Solutions, a full-service fundraising consulting firm that has helped organizations raise over $3.5 billion over the years. Robert has worked with Averill since 2012, after spending 30 years providing fundraising counsel through CCS Fundraising.

Averill can help you plan and manage your capital campaign and will handle all the parts of the feasibility study process for you.

Why This Consultant Stands Out

In addition to capital campaign counsel services, you can work with Robert and his team to improve your annual fundraising campaigns. They also provide embedded fundraising management staffing, leadership learning workshops and retreats, and executive search services.

Type of Client This Consultant Works With

Robert and the other consultants at Averill work with nonprofits in every sector, but most notably, they often consult with faith-based, healthcare, and human services organizations.

Averill has worked with organizations like the Salvation Army and the Roman Catholic Dioceses and Archdioceses from more than 20 cities across the U.S.

2. Aly Sterling from Aly Sterling Philanthropy

Screenshot of the Aly Sterling Philanthropy website

Consultant Overview

Aly Sterling is the founder of Aly Sterling Philanthropy, a nonprofit consulting firm that helps organizations raise more money and awareness. She specializes in guiding organizations through the multiple stages that make up planning for a capital campaign.

With services like her unique Philanthropy Blueprint, which assesses your organization’s needs, to her unbiased and comprehensive feasibility studies, Aly Sterling implements tools and strategies to help each organization perform at their best.

Why This Consultant Stands Out

Aly Sterling offers Board Catalyst workshops to help strengthen and energize your organization’s board members. With a 5-step process, Aly Sterling can help prepare your organization’s leadership for a capital campaign and equip them with the tools for success.

Type of Client This Consultant Works With

While headquartered in Toledo, Ohio, Aly Sterling helps organizations all over the United States. Nonprofits of all shapes and sizes are welcome to partner with her team of consultants.

She has helped organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, OhioHealth, and Boys and Girls Club of America with fundraising and capital campaign counsel.

3. Amy Eisenstein and Andrea Kihlstedt from Capital Campaign Pro

Screenshot of the Capital Campaign Pro website

Overview of These Consultants

Amy Eisenstein and Andrea Kihlstedt have 55 years of combined experience in the fundraising field and are co-founders of Capital Campaign Pro (previously known as Capital Campaign Toolkit).

Capital Campaign Pro offers a unique approach to capital campaign consulting that pulls back the curtain on the sometimes mysterious world of capital campaigning. This firm empowers organizations to lead their own capital campaigns by providing world-class resources, offering expert advising services, and facilitating peer support.

Why These Consultants Stand Out

Amy and Andrea champion a new approach to feasibility studies—the guided feasibility study.

In a traditional feasibility study, a consultant does all of the work, including testing your initial campaign plans by talking to your major donors and other key stakeholders for you.

The team at Capital Campaign Pro sees some flaws in this approach. They believe that a guided feasibility study, in which expert advisors coach you through the process and you conduct the study yourself, is best.

This is because when you’re in charge of your study, you can strengthen relationships with your stakeholders, get a full view of your stakeholders’ feedback, and even save money!

Type of Client These Consultants Work With

Capital Campaign Pro was created to help organizations of all sizes that are interested in breaking away from traditional campaign consulting in favor of taking advantage of a fully online, budget-friendly, and empowering approach that will help harness and develop your team’s campaigning skills.

Past Capital Campaign Pro clients include the Goddard Center, Child Enrichment, Inc., Tabby’s Place, and the Montauk Historical Society.

4. Sandra Davis from Donorly

Screenshot of the Donorly website

Consultant Overview

Sandra Davis is the president of the consulting firm Donorly, a firm that helps nonprofits fundraise beyond their size and capacity by prioritizing donor and prospect research. She has a talent for developing elegant solutions and processes that provide results for nonprofits.

Sandra Davis and her team emphasize challenging convention, flexibility, and balancing reason and intuition in all of their partnerships. Their insistence upon careful research creates a culture of actionable intel that nonprofits can then use to maximize their fundraising efforts and grow beyond their current abilities.

In addition to capital campaigns, Sandra and her team can assist with expanding board membership, providing interim staffing, or even writing grant proposals.

Why This Consultant Stands Out

Sandra’s focus on collaboration within the context of a nonprofit’s mission, community, and organizational culture creates an environment of partnership and creativity that positively impacts every aspect of a nonprofit’s engagement with Donorly.

Type of Client This Consultant Works With

Sandra’s clients have included many arts and culture-centric organizations like the Metropolitan Opera and Playwrights Horizons, but she and the rest of the team also have experience with nonprofits ranging from The Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless to the Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) Research Partnership.

5. David H. King from Alexander Haas

Screenshot of the Alexander Haas website

Consultant Overview

David H. King is the President and CEO of Alexander Haas, a fundraising consulting firm with a strong focus on capital campaign counsel. With 30 years of experience in the nonprofit industry, he has helped organizations of many different shapes and sizes.

David and the other consultants at Alexander Haas understand that having a proper plan is only half the battle of a capital campaign. That’s why the consultants focus on analyzing your campaign’s progress so that they can make adjustments throughout the fundraiser to increase your chances of success.

In addition to strategy, David and his consultants will help you write your case for support, implement a communications plan, and educate your leadership team.

Why This Consultant Stands Out

This consulting firm defines campaign success by what happens after the capital campaign is over. They’ll assess three areas—fundraising programs, annual giving, and leadership—to determine if your organization has seen overall improvement.

Type of Client This Consultant Works With

From religious organizations to higher education to arts and cultural nonprofits, David King and the consultants at Alexander Haas have partnered with organizations with a variety of missions.

Some of their clients include the Emily Dickinson Museum, Ahacath Achim Synagogue, and Maryville College.

6. Richard Perry from Veritus Group

Screenshot of the Veritus Group website

Consultant Overview

Richard Perry is the founder of Veritus Group, a major gift management consulting firm. He has over 40 years of experience helping organizations revitalize their major donor programs.

At Veritus Group, the consultants will work with your organization one-on-one to create an outreach plan that sticks to your main goals. Additionally, they use prospect research and wealth screening to help you identify potential major donors.

Why This Consultant Stands Out

The Veritus Group will conduct a free donor assessment, which involves analyzing your donor data to point out areas that could use improvement. Once they discover gaps in your nonprofit’s strategy, they’ll work with your staff to implement a fool-proof plan.

Type of Client This Consultant Works With

Organizations with a focus on the environment, animal welfare, social services, and healthcare are all welcome to seek aid from the Veritus Group.

Greenpeace, St. Elizabeth Hospice, Feeding America, and Miriam’s Kitchen are just a few of the organizations they’ve worked with in the past.

7. Trent Ricker from Pursuant

Screenshot of the Pursuant website

Consultant Overview

Trent Ricker is the CEO and President of Pursuant, a consulting firm that helps medium to large nonprofits raise more money and awareness through modern methods.

Specifically, Pursuant uses augmented intelligence to help you better understand your donors and personalize their giving experiences. This firm is also heavily invested in how your nonprofit tells its story and connects with its audience. Pursuant offers a wide variety of design and marketing services so that you can launch campaigns with consistent branding and compelling storytelling.

Why This Consultant Stands Out

Pursuant offers a tool called GivingDNA to help your organization take its wealth screening and data analytics to the next level, which can help you strengthen relationships with your major donors and other stakeholders during capital campaigns.

Type of Client This Consultant Works With

Pursuant works with medium to large organizations and a variety of causes. Trent and the Pursuant consultants have provided support to organizations Banner Health and McLaren Macomb Hospital. This firm also helps organizations with a focus on higher education, religion, and human services.

8. Sandy Rees from Get Fully Funded

Screenshot of the Get Fully Funded website

Consultant Overview

Sandy Rees is the Founder and Chief Encouragement Officer at Get Fully Funded, a consulting firm that seeks to help organizations implement effective fundraising strategies.

Her passion for helping nonprofits started at a young age, and as a result, she started Get Fully Funded as a way to provide organizations with essential counsel.

If your organization is about to launch a capital campaign, you can reach out to Get Fully Funded for a free strategy session to get customized recommendations and advice based on your organization’s situation and goals. Then, Sandy and her team will provide you with custom coaching to help you reach your goal.

Why This Consultant Stands Out

Get Fully Funded has a self-paced library of fundraising resources called Fundraising TV. The library includes hundreds of video lessons, checklists, templates, swipe files, and 24/7 support from peers and expert coaches.

Type of Client This Consultant Works With

Sandy Rees has worked with nonprofits such as the Lutheran Family Services of Virginia, Dayton Humane Society, and Mercy Medical Clinic.

She’s open to helping small to medium organizations spot additional ways to raise more money.

Working with a capital campaign consultant is one of the best ways to ensure your campaign will be successful, but it all starts with your ability to hire the best partner for your organization and its goals.

Use this list to begin your consultant search, and remember to take your time in finding the right fit for your organization.

If you’d like to learn more about preparing for a capital campaign, check out these additional resources:

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