Before you launch your next capital campaign you had better know the difference between the hare and the tortoise. You remember that old story of the hare and the tortoise don’t you? The hare challenges the tortoise to a race that he thinks he will win hands down. The race begins true to form with the hare blazing ahead of the slow moving tortoise. The hare gets so far ahead of the tortoise that he takes a nap thinking he has all the time in the world. While the hare naps the tortoise passes him by and ultimately wins the race. One moral of the story is that the race doesn’t often go to the swift but to those that persevere.
As a result of the Great Recession capital campaigns now more closely resemble the tortoise rather than the hare. A reality you must adjust to is the fact that pledging will be less in part due to the uncertainty of Americans over the future stability of the economy. Back in the day you heard of many capital campaigns that had pledge totals often two, three or even four times a churches operating budget. While those still do occur they are less frequent. Now more than a resembling a hare, campaigns look like a tortoise, with one times a churches annual operating budget often being a good campaign.
In the classic Aesop tale who would you rather be, the hare or the tortoise? Of course you want to win so the answer is the tortoise. So, when it comes to capital campaigns you want to win no matter how slow pledging seems to come in.
97.5% of the pledged amount came in on Christ Church’s campaign in the midst of The Great Depression. What is interesting about the campaign is the fact that 44% of those that participated in the campaign by giving something did NOT make a pledge! The percentage now varies from church to church but we are seeing upwards of 20% or more give without ever signing a commitment card.
Why would people who are not sure they will have a job in three weeks sign a card committing to giving over three years? This is a new reality that every Christian leader must adjust to. This is why campaigns now resemble the slow but steady tortoise.
To be successful in a capital campaign you had better have a tortoise strategy. We know how to build out and maintain winning tortoise campaigns that will produce a win for your church. We stay at it when other companies like a hare leap ahead to the next contract. In these challenging days you need a partner that will be with you to the end.
The race is not always won by the swift but by those that stay after it day after day. One pastor said to me awhile back, “Other campaign companies talk about following up on a campaign but you actually DO stay with a church.”
Let me ask you this, when was the last time you heard from your campaign partner? It has probably been too long. Hitting 97.5% for Christ Church was not an accident. We worked hard at it. In fact had we not had another campaign on the heels of that one we would have seen over 100%.
Contact us today to see how we can help you be the tortoise in the race that you are thinking of running!
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach
Founder and President
The Charis Group and Charis Giving Solutions
PS: 228% is the amount Christ Church regular giving went up from 2006 to 2013 using our strategies. To find out how you can get the same coaching go to http://thestewardshipcoach.org/join-now/