How Often Should a College go to Campaign?

We often recommend that a community college engage in a campaign about every five years. If it’s been that long since your last campaign, chances are that the conditions and priorities in your service area that helped fuel support for the last campaign have changed. We recognize that community colleges serve stakeholders best when aligning its goals and visions to the changing needs of the region. In other words, the college’s commitment to regional economic and workforce development and quality of life is best realized through keeping external relationships fresh and aligned with evolving economic and demographic trends.

Another factor that can impact timing for major gifts campaigns are milestones in the college’s history of service to the region. Significant anniversaries are such milestones around which new campaign momentum can be built. Other milestones may include anniversaries of new programs, campuses or services.

So if your college has at least two of these indicators (i.e. five years since the last campaign, changing economic and demographic conditions, and a significant college anniversary) we strongly suggest that you should be planning the next campaign. You need to be orienting both college leadership and the foundation board to the advantages of conducting a campaign when the timing and climate are both right. These indicators will help you do just that.

For a customized look at your campaign strategy, contact me at


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Each week, our team of experts will put share their experiences, tips and viewpoints in all areas of higher education consulting, leadership, and fundraising. We're a team that consists of tenured individuals who have made it their life’s work to help solve some of the issues surrounding community colleges today. Some of our topics include:

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