Fundraising Terminology: Silent Phase

Silent Phase (also known as Quiet Phase or Startup Phase)


The Silent Phase refers to the period in a capital campaign prior to the public announcement or launch of the campaign.  The silent phase of the campaign is perhaps the most critical part of the fundraising effort. Success in this period will lay the foundation for the campaign’s ultimate triumph.  It is during 6-12 month time span that:

1. The campaign committee is assembled, trained, and activated;

2. The case statement is finalized based on feedback from solicited lead gift prospects;

3. 30%-50% of the campaign’s goal is raised in gifts and pledges;

4. The campaign’s top three lead gifts are secured;

5. All preparations are completed for the beginning of the next step in the campaign: the Public Phase.



About the author


Aaron Hanson has over 20 years experience as a fundraising professional.  In fact, fundraising is in his genes as both his father and grandfather were fundraisers. Aaron has helped many  non-profit organizations build robust fundraising enterprises, securing philanthropic support for core programs and services, endowments, capital projects, scholarships, centers and institutes, conferences and publications, and special events.  As a fundraising generalist, Aaron has experience in a wide variety of development disciplines including:

- Conducting donor identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship activities;
- Creating and executing effective corporate and foundation relations efforts;
- Building effective alumni relations programs;
- Designing and managing annual giving, planned giving, and capital campaigns;
- Identifying, recruiting, and managing boards and volunteers;
- Developing and implementing strategic fundraising plans;
- Writing successful requests for funding and grant applications.

He is a regular contributor to Better-Fundraising.com.

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