I get asked a lot what could blow up a campaign and my answer is that there are four P’s that could blow up your capital campaign. Each of the four have multiple complexities. Any one of the four can disrupt your campaign. Each of those four are like a land mine that can blow up not just your capital campaign but also your ministry effectiveness.
One key reason we do feasibility studies is determine whether or not there are any of the four landmines in front of the church we are working with. We tell our clients this…
You never have to recover from a good start!
Let’s look at the four P’s in order of their potential danger.
Problems with the Pastor. My former boss John Maxwell used to say that you could not ask for a hand until you won a heart. That is so true. So many times I have worked with churches who had pastors that ran roughshod over members. Those members stayed at the church and often kept tithing but they kept their over and above gifts. The pastor is the best fund raiser in the church. If the pastor has problems with any segment of the church that church will have trouble in a capital campaign. Are leaders and the congregation solidly behind the Senior Pastor at your church?
Problems in the Past. “I’ve been treated better in bars!” That was a comment a friend of mine gave me a few years back after working in a church. Sadly as is often stated, we are the only army that shoots its wounded. If your church has recently gone through any tumultuous times it WILL impact a capital campaign. Wounds often take years to heal. It doesn’t mean you should not move forward with your campaign. You simply need to understand that the wounds of the past have a way of showing back up in the present, especially where giving more is involved.
Problems with the Project. A congregation that does not agree with what is being proposed will not financially support that project. At the same time any changes made to projects can derail a campaign. Your project should unite all generations and segments in your church around the vision of that project or you will not raise the funds to do the project!
Problems with the Process. If you use a process of collecting pledges that pressures or puts guilt upon people there will be a disconnect. You also must utilize a process that fits the culture we live in not some model created in the 1970’s. It is not that we ask for money that turns people off but HOW we ask.
How do you know if you have any of the four P’s working against you? We utilize a process called Feasibility Studies to determine if any of the four P’s exist in a church or any other areas of concern that might need addressing.
Not long ago I read a leading fund raiser write, ” A capital campaign feasibility study might not give you the answers you want but it will give you the answers you need.”
Don’t risk blowing up your next capital campaign get help ahead of time! Few stewardship firms do a true feasibility study. Some talk a good game but few actually do the hard work required to set the stage for success for you and your church. Contact us today to find out how you can begin getting the answers you need.
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach