Despite a waterfall of gloomy analysis that soaks observers with the notion that most churches are flat or declining, a significant number of churches remain strong, are growing and need to expand, repurpose or refurbish facilities or pay off debt to freely pursue next steps.
As a minister and stewardship and capital needs consultant I help churches to pray over, plan and conduct internal campaigns to raise funds for these special purposes. It is important to meet your goal and I will help you do that. I also want your congregation to grow spiritually during the process, so you see spiritual growth among individuals and a stronger church body.
I’m concerned that your project not just raise funds, but also raises faith.
A campaign creates a buzz of enthusiasm in the church, a new awareness and appreciation of the church’s mission — and when conducted prayerfully and transparently — a significant amount of giving within a relatively short time. When a congregation, unified for Kingdom purposes, sees God at work among them, such campaigns often lead to an increased spirit of generosity that pervades the membership for years.
Working with passionate volunteers for several months leading to 4-5 weeks of actual campaign, we will see your church respond to the challenge. Done well, with transparency, coaching, volunteer involvement and Holy Spirit blessing, the result is a mission accomplished with generous giving above the donor’s current and regular gifts.
A campaign prompts gifts beyond cash, into appreciated assets, property or even life insurance. People often find they can give larger amounts if pledged over a period of time, usually three years.
Typically, your church can expect to receive 90 percent or more of the commitments indicated through such pledges. And almost always there will surface a significant gift from a source you didn’t expect.
We call a campaign “capital” because it usually focuses on a project that is a new building or renovated building or debt retirement, something that adds to the assets of a church. Campaigns are also “capital” because very large gifts from the accumulated assets, or capital, of members are needed to raise the funds necessary to pay for the project.
We like to consider a campaign a “stewardship” campaign if the funds raised will be used to carry out the congregation’s mission and thereby extend the Kingdom of God into the community and the world. The word “stewardship” in the New Testament is most often found in the context of God’s Kingdom coming into the world. Stewardship can be defined as all we do with all we have to carry out our God-given mission.
A properly, prayerfully led and conducted campaign will have the effect of developing better stewards among your members of all the resources God has given them.
Every church is different. Every need is different. No consultant can stamp a cookie cutter formula onto the soft dough of your project and bake up a standard result. But, to give you some sense of scope, you can know that once your church has discerned the need and decided to rally to meet it, a capital campaign can be conducted in a relatively short time frame. With volunteers at work 3-4 months ahead of time, under the training and direction of the consultant, the active campaign is conducted in 4-5 weeks.
If your case is compelling and the congregation is enthusiastically behind it, church capital campaigns often raise 1.5 to 3 times the amount of their annual budget. Three is high and rare. More typical is two.
Members who cannot give large gifts at one time will plan to give meaningful and proportional gifts over time. The campaign fundraising strategy is the most productive, most efficient and most affordable way to raise significant funds for your congregation’s project.
Are you ready to move forward into the mission to which you sense God is leading? Do you know what kind of church or organization you want to be after a campaign?
“We have been the recipients of grace upon grace. We are the heirs, the beneficiaries of those who came before us who were touched by the generosity of Christ enough to give graciously so that we could experience the truth of Christ for ourselves. We owe the same to generations to come. We have worshiped in sanctuaries we did not build, so to us falls the privilege of building sanctuaries where we shall never worship.” – Robert Schnase in Practicing Extravagant Generosity