Five Characteristics of the Perfect Campaign Chair

The success of your capital campaign hinges on one early decision: who will chair the campaign?

Understanding the qualities that make a great campaign chair and then recruiting the best possible leader are the most important factors in your ultimate success. When we work with clients to identify and recruit the best campaign chair, we look for the five Ps:


A campaign chair must have a proven record of success. A visible, accomplished leader not only brings experience and wisdom to your campaign but also attracts other successful community volunteers who want to associate with him or her. This solid campaign leadership team creates critical momentum.


A campaign chair’s positive attitude will communicate to the community that success is assured and will help volunteers navigate any challenges that arise. The positive, respectful team atmosphere cultivated by the chair will lead to motivated volunteers who get the job done.


A campaign chair is effective at leveraging support for the campaign when his authentic passion for the cause shines through. A leader’s genuine belief in the importance and urgency of the campaign will be critical to her ability to attract the support of other lead donors.

Pace Setter

A campaign chair should be excited about making a gift that sets the tone for the campaign. The community will be looking closely at the level of commitment from a well-known, highly regarded chair and that leadership gift will provide leverage for engaging others whose gifts will propel the campaign to success.

Personally Involved

A campaign chair must be willing to make the campaign a priority in his or her busy life. The other Ps work to your advantage only when the chair makes the time necessary to be personally involved in the campaign–attending strategy sessions, opening doors, recruiting other volunteers, and making solicitation calls. Don’t settle on this P, or you risk having an honorary chair instead of the working chair you need to succeed.

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