The Practice of Church Capital Campaigns: Embracing the Process

One of the biggest mistakes church leaders make with capital campaigns is not practicing heightened attentiveness.   Campaigns have the potential to surpass previous giving benchmarks, develop new leaders, re-message the congregational mission, and build a stronger community. Campaigns present opportunities for unity and spiritual growth, but these opportunities are often left behind due to hurriedness, lack of preparation, and neglect.

Are you and your fellow leaders thinking about a capital campaign?  If so, make sure you appreciate the campaign process.  Campaigns lead to desired outcomes.  But the entire journey—all the planning, praying, and steps forward—are a process that can be good for your congregation’s health.

A hurried, illogical process is a mistake.  Cutting corners and ignoring wisdom are not good in any organizational activity.  Here are a few ways to create a campaign process that culture:

  • Converse with fellow congregations who have journeyed through campaigns. What would they do differently if they could do it over again?  What would they do again?  Create your own list of best practices and procedures to avoid.
  • Converse with a few fundraisers and consultants. Gather their input regarding campaign timelines and appropriate goals.
  • Develop your mindset. Remember, campaigns can be enriching experiences for your congregation. Engage this positive outlook rather than the typical, I wish we did not have to have this campaign.
  • Know your why. Why is your campaign necessary?  In what ways does it build from your congregational mission?  Why now?  Why not later? Why raise money for this and not something else? You need to have this case for why in good shape before you begin fundraising.
  • Realize you will have some hesitancy no matter what process you choose. Do your research, discuss your findings, but at some point you will need to pick a process and move forward. You are moving into unchartered territory, and you will not know what is on the other side of the journey until you take the journey. Sure, failure is a possibility. But standing still and neglecting risk for the sake of playing it safe is not for what the church is made.

Is your leadership thinking of engaging a capital campaign?  Why?   What is your mindset?  Are you ready to embrace the campaign for all of its worth?

I have a passion for partnering with churches on this journey. If you are interested in contacting me about a partnership, click here.

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