Before you start your next capital campaign you had better learn how to earn the right to ask. If you have a capital campaign that is more than six months from now you need to start building the foundation for that campaigns success sooner rather than later. To do that you have to earn the right to ask donors to give to your next campaign. Members view tithing and regularly giving to your church as a command. However, when it comes to a capital campaign your members see that as an option. How do you move them towards giving you more money?
The few will always give the majority in EVERY church. Before I share with you how you can earn the right to ask donors for more money you have to understand who will fuel your campaign to success. We have found that in the typical church 15% of the donors give 50% of what is given each year. In a capital campaign half that percentage on average commits 50% of what will be pledged. It is why we say, half of the half will give half! You had better connect with this key group or your capital campaign will fail.
How do you earn the right to ask for more money? Here are some key things to consider…
- Be a leader of integrity. If your ministry isn’t viewed with integrity you will never earn the right to ask and you will never raise the money you want or need. People buy in first to you and then your vision. You can have the greater vision in the world but if your followers don’t believe in you they will not support it. My rule for my own life is to be who I am and not try to be what I am not. My rule for you as the first step to earning the right to ask is to simply be you.
- Have a vision that people WANT to give to. I once asked a pastor what we were raising money for. His first response was so that he could by TV time. I wondered if the vision for TV was about building the church or building the pastor. They never were successful in raising the money they wanted. The fault was not the people it was a poor vision. Money follows vision! Make sure your vision is clear, concise and most of all compelling. The vision of a campaign is so important that we invest 40% of our time in capital campaigns working on the vision BEFORE we ever launch the campaign! Take the time to think and pray through your vision.
- Win their hearts first! My old boss John Maxwell would always say, “You have to win their hearts before you can ask for their hand.” That is especially true when it comes to a capital campaign. If you don’t have a relationship with your donors BEFORE the campaign it might severely limit what you will raise. Building relationships now will pay off in the future. It is like making emotional deposits into the banks of your donor’s hearts. I counsel all pastors to start building relationships with those people that can make a difference for their church.
Last year in February I advised a pastor and his staff to begin meeting with their top donors at least one per week for lunch. These meetings had nothing to do with money. I knew and the staff knew that in the fall we were going to be holding their first capital campaign. I shared with them the reality that the few would give the majority of the dollars at the church. I wanted the pastor to have close relations with these leaders BEFORE we launched into the campaign. Why? If the only time you meet with people is when you need money then they will come to believe that you only care about their money!
Meeting for lunch to know your donors more personally earns you the right to sit down with them in a capital campaign. It puts deposits in your bank account so to speak. If you don’t win their hearts before you ask for their money you will never get their money. My client did that from February through the launch of the campaign. The results were amazing. Those that they built a relationship with in the spring were the ones who committed to their capital campaign in the fall. You too can experience the same thing! We can help you!
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach