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Volunteers and Capital Campaigns: Challenges, Opportunities and Lessons Learned

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Nonprofit organizations are required to identify funding streams and raise a significant amount of financial resources to provide services to clientele, operate facilities, and to pay staff.  At the same time, organizations conduct capital campaigns to raise a large amount of money for endowments or to build or renovate a facility.  This article describes a capital campaign that the Ohio 4-H Youth Development organization undertook, a first in the history of the program.  The authors describe the challenges, opportunities, and lessons learned by this quasi-nonprofit organization that is a part of an institution of higher education and has funding partners at the county, state, and federal level.

The article is written from the perspective of paid staff members regarding their experience working with volunteers in a different capacity than what the organization and many of its paid staff have traditionally experienced. The original goal of raising $12 million was met and 97% of the revised goal of $14.2 million has been reached.