If you are going to raise dollars you need to know how to ask people to give to your capital campaign. One of the cool things about my job is I get to work with churches that are alive, growing AND needing more space! One such church is Powhatan Community Church not far from Richmond, VA. PCC is a multi-campus church doing amazing things in their county. They are reaching people that no other church is reaching. The Senior Pastors name is Brian Hughes.
I first got to know Brian after he followed one of my email blasts about end of year giving. He tried my advice and saw thousands of dollars come into PCC on the last day of the year. From there he began to follow me joining my Giving365 monthly membership site. That first year, using our strategies, they increased their giving an amazing 32%. That is not easy for a church with a budget already over $1 million dollars! http://giving365.com/
So, when it came time to raise funds for a capital stewardship campaign they called on me, their Stewardship Coach. We came alongside them to help them raise funds for expanding their campuses thus enabling them to reach more people. The name of their campaign was, “Change the Story.” Brian and his team did it right!
Brian did an amazing job at the point where many pastors struggle, making the “ask.” Often I find that pastors spend months and weeks planning their campaign only to drop the ball on commitment Sunday. Brian and his team carried the ball over the goal line! Here are my take aways from what I saw Brian do at his commitment Sunday.
First, he earned the right to ask. My old boss, John Maxwell, in one of his 21 Laws, the Law of Connection, says, “Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand.” You can’t win hearts in the middle of a capital campaign. You win hearts by being an authentic minister who cares first and foremost about your flock’s well-being NOT their dollars!
Next, he worked to increase giving and givers by changing the conversation about giving. PCC stopped apologizing when they asked people to give during the offering. That was a big reason giving went up by 32%. They changed the conversation about giving by stressing what gifts DO. We call it connecting the dots. When you give here is what your gift does is how you connect the dots. When you connect the dots weekly it is easier to connect the dots for your capital campaign!
Then he connected dollars to vision by telling his story. Vision drives dollars! You have to tell a story of life change that motivates people to give. Without touching people’s hearts you will not get them to open up and give. I say, get a story, work your story, tell your story and people will give to support your story!
Then, he explained what PCC was proposing to do and why. Unless you answer people’s questions you will never raise significant funds. If donors cannot make sense of your vision they will not support it financially. To gain dollars you have to connect both head and heart!
Finally, he unashamedly, boldly and without guilt asked his members to join him in committing to the vision! Ask yourself this question, is your project important? Does pulling this off matter? Is the capital campaign crucial towards fulfilling the vision God has given you? If the answer is yes then never be shy about making the “ask!” Leaders who believe in the vision boldly ask their followers to give to support that vision!
Don’t take my word for it. Watch here as Brian Hughes shares with the PCC congregation on the day of commitment.
Brian Hughes didn’t go it alone he had help. A few weeks ago another church in Virginia asked Brian about our services. Here is what Brian wrote…
What makes Mark different is his practical approach to capital campaigns, his realistic outlook, and he’s extremely thorough feasibility study. Mark tells the truth, whether you like it or not, and does not blow smoke with an unrealistic expectations just so that he can gain a client. I highly recommend Mark. I wouldn’t use anyone else. In fact – for me – I wouldn’t even talk to anyone else.
I am honored to work with pastors like Brian Hughes and I would be honored to work for your church! Let’s talk!
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach