To be successful you need to know the timing of a capital stewardship campaign. Timing is everything! We are often asked, “When is the best time to hold our capital stewardship campaign?” The answer is, “It depends!” There is no one stock answer as many factors weigh in upon what will help your campaign be a success. One thing you need to understand is a capital campaign carries with it a whole new set of complexities. The right timing is everything!
We focus on getting a campaign right not getting it done “on time.” Frankly as I always say, “Projects will take you longer than you like.” The same is true when it comes to your capital campaign. Hurry is the death of a good campaign.
“Come on StewardshipMan give me an answer!” OK, here are my two cents based upon over 15 years of experience working with all types of churches all across the country.
First, the time of year has little impact upon your campaign. If fall better than spring? I find no real pattern for a good answer here. There are no definitive studies for what is the best time of year. The timing of your campaign cannot be set by the calendar.
The more time you give to setting up your campaign the more likely the chances of success. You cannot rush a campaign. The typical campaign cycle from start to finish could well take six months. Some campaigns can be done in less time and others take longer. On average you want to give yourself as much time as possible to make sure the foundation of the campaign is in place. A rushed campaign has the least likelihood of success. Don’t get in a hurry!
Your donors need more time than you think to process the vision of your campaign. One thing I have learned is that the more time you give donors the more likely they will make a significant commitment. It is often delaying the launch of a capital campaign by a few months in order to have a clear, concise and compelling vision. Put the time into planning your campaign and it will pay off for you!
Need trumps timing! Having said all of the above there are times that you just have to throw caution to the wind and start the campaign. I once had a church that had to move due to a highway being redirected through their property. Their timing was trumped by the state demanding they vacate their property. As with almost anything there are exceptions to the rule. However hurrying your campaign should be the exception not the rule!
Donors can tell the difference between poor planning and the need to hurry. In the above illustration everyone “got it” that the state had changed the rules. Be careful that your last minute start to a campaign is due to your negligence to plan. One of the great down falls of churches is the lack of advance planning. One reason donors give to any institution is the belief in that institutions handling of finances. Could it be that the Church fails to gain significant dollars as a result of poor planning?
Start now to make sure you are on time! No matter what time of year your campaign is held the one thing I can tell you is that you need to start sooner rather than later. It will take longer than you think. There will be more issues than you like. Starting sooner will help you navigate the various landmines that are out there.
We help you navigate through all the land mines in a timely manner! Sure you could probably do it yourself. However do you know how to properly position a capital campaign? Do you know the key timing issues that go into a campaign? We do and we can help make your next campaign a success. Contact us today!
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach
Founder and President
The Charis Group and Charis Giving Solutions