It is time for a change in the capital campaign industry. Over 17 years ago I felt led by God to leave pastoral ministry and enter into the stewardship industry. To me I did not leave the ministry I simply went from being a senior pastor to being one who helped senior pastors. I have attempted to never lose sight of the fact that I work for the Bride of Christ.
In the last 17 years I have seen a lot. My industry serves a role that few if any pastor can do. Our seminaries and colleges simply don’t equip ministers for practical issues of church life like raising funds. As a result scores of companies have come to fill that gap and most provide valuable assistance and resources.
Yet we keep doing what we have always been doing even though the times have changed. I believe it is time we change not simply for the sake of being unique or offerings something new but simply to be effective. For the last few years I have been attempting to do just that.
How are we at The Charis Group setting about to change the stewardship industry? Here are a few things we focus upon that our competitors will have to address as the times demand such change from us.
We need to speak the truth about how funds are raised. Frankly there are many in my industry that paint unrealistic pictures for churches in an attempt to win the contract. Best case scenario’s rarely fit your church. At The Charis Group we tell you want you need to hear not what you might want to hear.
The reality is that raising significant funds ALWAYS comes through a few dedicated people at your church. It will not be the infamous 80% that will rise up and give to your capital campaign when they are not currently giving now. If a company tells you anything different ask to see their results to prove me wrong.
We need to stop charging exorbitant prices for our services. Most companies over charge and under deliver on your services. The reasoning is we are helping you raise vast amounts of money so our fees are a great trade off. I do believe the laborer is worthy of his hire and I do want to get paid. However the price of our services needs to be in keeping with our service. Here is a hint, whatever price a company quotes you ask them to reduce it by 25% to see if they really want your business! Watch how fast they come down.
I have lowered our fees by as much as 50%. We have also designed various platforms by which you can get the service you feel you need for a price you can live with.
We need to stop selling programs and start giving true consulting. Programs do not raise dollars a compelling vision does. When you engage a consultant you are not looking for a program in a box but wise counsel that helps you navigate the mine field of project development.
We need to realize that teams don’t raise dollars vision raises dollars. Much like the above it is not organizing teams and giving them busy work that will bring in your dollars. Your vision is what matters and how you communicate it. Realizing this makes the intensive part of your campaign much easier to run and thus you need less help at that point. Unless you are lazy why would you need me to organize and train a prayer team?
Come on stewardship firms, it is time for a change! This post will not make me popular with my peers but it is what needs to be said. We need to never forget in our quest to build a business that at the heart we exist to help churches. My desire is to be iron that sharpens iron and thus helping all churches raise more money!
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach
Check out our new plan of helping you raise dollars called The Online Campaign at http://theonlinecampaign.org/