“People are down on what they are not up on.” A consultant I worked with in the beginning days of the stewardship ministry used to say that to clients. It is true particularly when it comes to people making gifts larger than they are used to. So, if you want to achieve maximum dollars you need to overcome communicate. Inform, inform and then inform! Whatever you are asking your donors to support must make sense to them. Do you have a plan to carry to completion what you are asking them to give to? To gain the dollars you need you have to fully inform your donors of the what, when, why and where of your campaign.
Touch the heart to reach the pockets of your donors. Donors need to be inspired to give. Your vision must be clear, concise but most of all compelling. If the heart is not impact the gift will be small. The more compelling the vision the more significant the gift. To inspire your donors you must communicate the vision of the “ask” in such a way that their hearts are moved.
Spiritually driven campaigns inspire donors more than anything. You are really not raising funds as much as you are raising faith. What separates a non-profit campaign from a church campaign? It should be our spiritual focus. You are asking people to get in on what God is doing. Bath your campaign in prayer and your donors will more likely be inspired to give to support that campaign with faith driven commitments.
Finally, give donors the time to take the journey. You cannot rush the process and still see success. One of the most frustrating things for pastors and staff is how long it sometimes takes our members to get on board with what we are proposing. Yet if you hurry the process you risk the results. The bigger the “ask” the more time your donors will need to get their arms around what it is you are asking them to do.
How long does it take to do a capital campaign? The answer is always it depends but for most campaigns the average time is at least six months from initial planning to completion. As I write this it is early September. Here is a time line for you to consider.
Pre-Easter Campaign – You should have your partner picked and the process should be underway.
Before school dismisses – You should be finalizing who you want to interview and have a goal to choose your partner by October.
Fall campaigns – You should have your partner chosen by April.
The above are general guidelines. There are times that the need dictates a faster pace. Other factors may play into moving up the time line but here is a truth,
The more time you give to your campaign the more likely it is you will raise what you want and need.
Successful capital campaign are not something you go lightly into. If you want to raise dollars remember the formula, Information + Inspiration + Time = Success.
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach