It’s the 21st century and to raise capital funds you don’t need teams and you don’t need to go door to door. Back in the last century the model for capital campaigns was to get as many people involved in some kind of work that hopefully helped them want to make a pledge to a capital campaign. The other last century staple of campaign plans was going to every member’s house asking for a commitment to the campaign. That worked then but as I always say, “It is not 1980 anymore!” What worked then will not work now!
As I meet with churches across the country talking to them about using The Charis Group they are also talking to other firms. We run into two old school strategies often. The team myth that unless you get people involved doing something in your campaign they will not commit to your campaign. The other is you need to go to every persons home if you want a successful campaign. So, let me address both of these.
Teams don’t raise dollars compelling vision does. Firms that push you towards building multiple teams ignore the reality that your member’s time is valuable and crowded already. Frankly the people who will serve are those already serving and they are many times already on board with what you are doing. One pastor enlisted his father to serve on a campaign team. After the campaign his father said to him, “Son, don’t waste my time in the future doing busy work on some meaningless team.” To effectively raise campaign dollars you don’t need to build out meaningless teams doing busy work. You need to answer donor’s questions and cast a compelling vision.
No one likes someone in their house asking them to give. A firm that promises an onsite consultant who will personally visit every member might raise a large amount but it will sour your members. I once lost a contract to a firm that put a consultant at the church for weeks. He visited every member and even gave each one a suggested amount to “pray about.” Years later I emailed the key layman of the church and asked how the campaign went. Here is what he said, “We met our goals but frankly our members did not appreciate the process of having someone come to their house to talk about what they should give. We will never use that firm again!” Would your members like that? Let’s be honest, if the only time someone from the church visits you is when you are in a capital campaign do you really think that is a good idea?
Both of the above are strategies that were born in the middle of the last century and they ignore the reality of our day. You want to have a campaign that is effective but you also want to be able to stay at the church after the campaign!
We stress a simple campaign process not because it is easier, even though it is, but because it is more effective and better received! For more on this read my post, The Simple Campaign is the Best Campaign
We have 21st century strategies for the 21st century church. We are ready to help you raise the funds you need in your next capital campaign!
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach