Maintain (or Even Increase) Your Annual Fund During a Capital Campaign

In my most recent Ask the Fundraising Expert video, you’ll learn how to maintain – or even increase – your annual fund during a capital campaign.

A common question I get as a fundraising consultant is: “We’re considering a capital campaign, but how do we keep from losing money on our annual campaign while we’re pursuing the capital campaign?” I received this question again recently from one of my readers and thought it would make a useful video.

I’ve summarized the key points of this lesson below.

The Key Points

How to Maintain Your Annual Fund During a Capital Campaign

The reality is that some donors won’t give to your annual fund when making a capital gift, but many will.

Here are two key actions you can take to insure that your annual fund stays strong while raising capital dollars.

1. Articulate Your Needs Simultaneously

Articulate the need for both your annual and capital campaigns simultaneously. After all, you still need to pay your bills and maintain your programs even as you’re raising money to expand your effectiveness!

Share this message verbally and in writing. Be ready to tell your donor exactly why you need both a capital and an annual fund donation at the same time.

2. Always Make a “Double Ask”

Any time you ask for a campaign gift, be sure to ask for your annual fund too.

For example, if you have a $1,000 annual fund donor, ask them for $20,000 for your capital campaign, spread out over 5 years ($4,000 per year). At the same time, ask them to continue with their $1,000 annual fund gift. In other words, over the course of five years you’re asking the donor to give $25,000.

Double Ask Annual Fund table

You may have some donors who will refuse to give to both campaigns. That said, the good news is that many organizations find that their annual funds increase during and after capital campaigns.


During a capital campaign you increase your organization’s visibility, cultivate and steward existing donors in a way you haven’t before, and attract new donors to your cause. All of these factors combined contribute to greater success with your annual campaign – both during and after your capital campaign.

Do you have experience asking donors for simultaneous gifts? Or have another question I could answer via a video lesson? Let me know in the comments.

For regular video lessons from Amy Eisenstein, ACFRE, subscribe to Amy’s YouTube channel.


  1. Sharre Whitson says

    Thank you for answering my question. Your answer was clear and concise. I now know what I need to modify in order to protect the annual fund while in the middle of a Capital Campaign. I am going to show your video to the committee, change one of my forms to include the annual fund ask and make sure I now do a “Double Ask”. I can’t thank you enough for all the work you do to benefit the nonprofits of our nation.
    Thanks Amy!

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