The crucial key to a successful capital campaign is follow up! Never has this been more important than today in the aftermath of The Great Recession. The economic decline of 2008 still lingers on today in the hearts and minds of donors. There are two realities as a result of our present economic climate…
Pledges amount are less than they were in the past. Don’t let any firm kid you with pre-recessionary numbers. While seeing two to three times your operating budget raised is possible it happens with large gifts not the rank and file of your church. Even those on the top end of your donor pool have a tendency to be much more conservative about what they put on a pledge card. The second reality is…
Fewer people are willing to sign a pledge card than in the past. Think about it, you are asking members to sign a two or three year pledge of what they will give to your church. Many of those same members are fearful that they will not have a job in three months or three weeks. The view of our economy is fragile and that does impact what your members feel and think.
Here are three illustrations of the fact that fewer people are pledging. The first example is a church in the Midwest that is a traditional church. At the time of pledging only 50% of the churches true donors made a pledge. However starting the first week of giving another 20% gave to the campaign without signing a pledge card. This stayed consistent throughout the three years of the campaign.
The Christ Church example. This fast growing church saw 277 family units make a pledge in their last campaign. Over the three years of the campaign 209 individuals gave to the campaign without signing a commitment card. That is almost the number that pledged! 98% of what was pledged came in. Had we not done another campaign on the heels of that one we would have exceeded 100%. This is the result of the hard work of follow up.
The Parker Hill example. This church in the Scranton, PA area is now running over 2,000 a weekend. Their last campaign raised just at twice their yearly budget. Currently they are in their final weeks of their campaign and will come close to 100% of what was pledged. Again, follow up is key in keeping the vision alive.
Don’t listen to sales hype know the facts! At The Charis Group we lay it out there for you. The facts are that pledging is not as robust as it once was. That does not mean you cannot still see a great return on your campaign. It does mean, as it always did, that going beyond one and a half times your operating budget is dependent upon larger gifts. The other fact is that you will see fewer people sign a commitment card of any length. So, you need a great plan for follow up. That is what we specialize in, making sure that what was pledged actually comes in AND increasing beyond that amount!
Remember this, at the end of your pledging campaign all you have is a stack of cards. You must turn those cards into cash to fuel the vision God has given you. We can help you accomplish that.
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach
Founder and President
The Charis Group and Charis Giving Solutions
Need to increase your giving with a great last minute end of year giving campaign? Attend my, “Last Minute Guide to Increasing End of Year Giving,” Wednesday December 17th at 2 PM EST. Go here to register https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4674314563789957377