Instead of continually taking up offerings for everything under the sun why not just have one fund that takes care of everything including capital needs? The idea is to take up only one offering and then divide the funds where ever they are needed. The money could go to missions, supporting the church budget, towards capital needs or any other need the church has. People pledge to give a certain amount to one fund and the church distributes the money from that fund to where ever it is needed. The premise is that this type of program will be less invasive in your attendees minds AND will ultimately result in increasing money for your operating budget AND any capital needs you have.
A one fund or “pooled” approach for all giving is gaining momentum in many churches. There are many reasons for this. For one thing many pastors are tired of the capital campaign rut. Some are simply looking for something different to try out. Most I think simply are tired of appearing to always be asking for money. Isn’t there a more simple approach towards raising the funds you need? Yes, but combining everything into one fund might not be the approach that works best for your church at this time.
Capital campaigns are not supposed to be giving initiatives. Before I launch into my objections for making all offerings go to one fund let me state clearly that we should never confuse capital campaigns with increasing tithing or giving. A capital campaign is not a giving campaign. When you are in a capital campaign the focus of the vision is upon the project you are attempting to fund not increasing tithing or giving. I have written extensively on this see… Our Focus Must Be Building Giving 52 Weeks a Year
The fact is your current leaders will give nearly all that will be given in a capital campaign. A capital campaign doesn’t over the long haul increase giving and givers. For more on this read my post… Half of the Half Will Give Half
It is imperative that you increase giving and givers but combining all offerings into one fund will not in and of itself accomplish this!
Why is a one fund strategy not what we recommend? Here are our basic reasons for advising against a one fund approach…
A one fund approach blurs and dilutes the impact of giving. This is our most ardent objection. It blurs the impact of focused mission and development goals within the church by mixing everything into a single convoluted statement. When I give to one fund how do I learn the impact of my gift to missions or in helping build that much needed children’s wing? When the appeal is general, the specific vision statement gets lost for various projects, mission support or other endeavors of the church. Enthusiasm and support can get dull. Without excitement your giving will actually decline not increase.
With a one fund strategy giving to everything is like giving to anything. I think a “pooled” appeal soon loses its sense of urgency to respond to God’s urging. It handcuffs the pastor to having only the single basic “message for everything” to the point that folks in the pews hear it as just repetition of an appeal that’s a “message for anything.”
A one fund approach is like flying a drone to the church door and dropping off the standard package. It isn’t custom made for the individual needs, culture and mission of a church.
A one fund approach ignores the reality that your leaders will always be the ones funding today’s budget and capital needs. The basis of a one fund approach is to increase giving yet the increase will be born essentially by your current giving leaders. Asking these leaders to give to a generic pool of money will not motivate them to vastly increase their giving. You have to cast a vision that is more specific than a one fund approach can accomplish. Again read the post, Half of the Half Will Give Half
I want you to increase giving and givers. We have a whole program devoted to this called, Giving365 Yet this program is vastly different from what we do to help you raise capital dollars.
Our goal is to help you increase giving but also to fully fund the project you have in mind. A one fund approach might not be the best way to go about this for you. Contact us today to find out the best way for you and your church.
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach