A pivotal question to ask of any reference on a stewardship company is, “when was the last time you talked to your consultant?” The answer might surprise you. A capital campaign is not done with collecting pledges. It is done when the length of the giving period is over which is typically two to three years. In that time how many times have you interacted with your consultant? Was he done and gone when the pledges came in? Most are.
In some shape or form my clients here from me every week! Every week they get my newsletter, “The Stewardship Coach,” that shares key insights into how to increase giving weekly. They also get things like weekly offering talks, seasonal giving manuals and continual access to me. Does your consultant provide any giving tools for you?
Twice a year we do giving reviews of not simply the capital campaign but of regular giving as well. We can then devise targeted plans that will increase giving and better assure that what was pledged actually comes in. Right now our client churches are seeing a 90% capture rate of money given from the total pledge amount. That doesn’t happen by accident it takes work throughout the length of the campaign.
Here is the other thing, your consultant has to stay engaged with you throughout the whole length of the campaign not six months from the end when what they really want is another contract.
Today more than ever you must think about your capital campaign throughout its length. Here is why. Fewer people are signing two or three year pledge cards as a result of this tumultuous economy. How can they sign that they will give for three years when they are not sure they will have a job in three months? You had better figure out a way to get those types of donors engaged in your capital campaign even though they won’t sign a commitment card.
Our giving data is showing that churches are seeing nearly as many giving without a pledge as are pledging. Often this group will comprise anywhere from 15% to 25% of the total given in a campaign. You need every dollar you can get so follow up is important.
So, let me ask you, when was the last time you talked to your consultant? Maybe it is time to switch to another firm, The Charis Group!
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach