When I started the Charis Group one thing I thought about was the importance of being distinctive vs. effective. Years prior to that at my former company we were always trying to be distinctive. I joined the firm just five years after they had started and they were still trying to make their way in a crowded field of stewardship companies. Being distinctive helped you stand out. It could and did often make all the difference between winning a contract or not. As a consultant I was more concerned with being effective not just distinctive. Yet as I start my 10th year of The Charis Group I have learned that…
Being effective makes you distinctive!
I have never desired to be the biggest company. I do desire, pray and work to be the best. I want our process to be effective for each and every church we work with no matter the size or location.
I am in the process of writing new marketing material for the company. Frankly the one thing I hate about my job is marketing what we do. I am a far better strategic consultant than I am a marketer or sales person. I was once told I made a terrible salesman and the reason why was I was too honest! At any rate let me share with you what I have been thinking about saying in our marketing piece that sets us apart.
Realistic – We are going to tell you the truth not give you some sales answer. One the biggest reasons I started The Charis Group was my weariness of salesmen who would tell churches anything to get the contract. Frankly no one knows the amount of money you might raise until they start working for you. If the company you are talking to is promising 1 1/2 half to 3 times pledge to budget returns you need to look somewhere else. What any other church has done is not a determiner for your church! The only way to project what you might raise is to do…
Research – We believe you never have to recover from a good start. Our Pre-Campaign Analysis is the best in the industry. Very few firms do a feasibility study before a campaign. Recently a pastor told me, “The four key points you discovered in your feasibility study are exactly the things donors are asking me about. I was primed and ready with answers to their questions that I would not have been ready for without the study. We are off to our best start ever!” Doing the research to find out the lay of the land BEFORE you start the campaign makes all the difference between success and failure.
Relevant – We recognize that the programs of the 1970’s don’t fit today’s culture. Programs and teams don’t raise dollars. A clear, concise and compelling vision does. Most stewardship firms sell you a prepackaged program that was designed in the 1970’s. It is all they know and thus all they basically offer. They change the fonts, move around some of the verbiage but it is essentially a canned approach.
Reliable – A pastor once said to me, “Other firms talk about follow up over the three year period, but you actually do that!” He was amazed I still showed up half way through his campaign. We are reliable and stay with you throughout! We understand that the campaign doesn’t end with the pledge card it truly only begins there!
These four R’s are what we focus upon. We do this to be effective. We believe being effective makes you distinctive! Are you getting effectiveness or distinctiveness? Effectiveness is what raises dollars not distinctiveness.
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach
Founder and President
The Charis Group
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