Giving Compass' Take:

• In this story from GuideStar Blog, author Kevin Wallace compares multi-use capital campaigns to the Iditarod sled dog race, because each require patience, persistence, vision, and a respect for the individual strengths of each team member.

• For what kinds of projects might multi-use capital campaigns be a good idea? How would an organization decide that a multi-use approach is for them?

• To learn about a crowdfunding campaign called #OneGreatIdea which allows people to invest in social change companies, click here.


I had the opportunity to meet with a woman who has completed the Iditarod several times. She’s amazing, and she told me her biggest challenge wasn’t the weather or the long hours or the isolation. It was keeping her team of dogs happy by ensuring that each was fed, rested, and doing what he or she loved, whether that was breaking trail, being calm or enthusiastic, or pulling. When each dog is given the opportunity to do what it loves in a team environment, the race goes more smoothly.

Multi-use campaigns are similar to the world-famous sled dog race from Anchorage to Nome. They cannot be completed, much less won, by anything less than a team that understands and values individual strengths.

Starting about seven years ago, our client list began including multi-use projects—two or more organizations combining resources and missions in a shared facility. For example, instead of helping to fund a stand-alone project like a library, we began planning and leading campaigns for multiple partners, like the Missoula Public Library, which includes three additional partner organizations all under the same roof.

If your organization is considering building a multi-use facility, prepare yourself for a hugely rewarding experience, stock-up on antacids, and write down the three virtues that my Iditarod friend shared with me:

  1. Patience
  2. Persistence
  3. Vision

You will need them when navigating a multi-use capital campaign, along with the assistance of a capital campaign consultant with experience working in this space.

Read the full article about capital campaigns by Kevin Wallace at GuideStar Blog