Do you know what the chicken or the egg question for capital campaigns is? You remember the old quip, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” While it might be a silly question none the less we often wonder what should come first in planning. The chicken or the egg question when it comes to capital campaigns is about when is the right time to launch a capital campaign.
Recently I was sharing with a church about our services when one member of the team asked, “How can we hold a capital campaign when we don’t even have complete plans from the architect yet?” While he did not say it like I have posed it here he was basically asking, “Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?”
Let me give you the specifics that this church is dealing with. First, they have an annual operating budget of $230K a year. While small they have big dreams that their 1960 facility is limiting them. They need a new facility and the projected price tag is right now between $600K and $1 million. For a church of 100 that is a lot of money! The question…
Is not IF they can raise that amount of money but how long it will take them!
Frankly, it will take them more than one capital campaign to raise the amount they need. So, while they might not know the EXACT amount or have detailed plans they know enough to start the campaign process. Simply put, they need a boat load of money and the sooner they start raising that money the sooner they can start their new facility.
Don’t get me wrong. At some point they will have to show details and be exact on pricing. Yet what all churches MUST realize is this…
Compelling vision raises dollars not detailed architectural plans.
They have the vision question in place. The answers to all other questions will come. They know enough to start the process that will lead to a capital campaign. My conversation with them in April about a fall campaign puts them exactly where they need to be in terms of planning.
Sequential thinking leads many churches off course when it comes to campaign planning. I blame we preachers on this. We preach sequentially from point A to point B. In project development you have three areas of concern, the project itself, financing that project and funding it with dollars from your membership. Each has a time line and they often intersect one another. Yet you have to work on all three areas at the same time not sequentially. A good campaign consultant can help you navigate through each of these areas helping you avoid mistakes and setbacks.
This is why we advise to get your partner at the table with you sooner rather than later. We have helped hundreds of churches and we have been at this for years. Partnering with us can help you navigate successfully through the mine field of project development. We know the right questions to ask and when to ask them.
We know the answer to the chicken or egg questions of project development and funding. Do you? Call us today and let’s get started hatching your eggs!
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach