How do you raise 5 times your annual budget? The answer is you get Bill Gates to join your church! One of my competitors brags that churches using his plan, “typically” raise 5 times their annual giving. The statement is misleading on many fronts. Let me break it down for you.
Raising 5 times your annual budget in a capital campaign only happens with very large gifts of six and seven figure commitments. Does your church have those kinds of donors? No? Then…
Raising 5 times your budget means that everyone in your church must commit to pledge five times what they gave to your regular budget on top of what they already are giving. Can you do that? If you can’t how many others in your church do you think can commit that type of money? Perhaps…
Raising 5 times your budget is possible IF your current giving is so low that you are under performing what should be given. If your average donor gives you only a $100 a year and then pledges $500 to your campaign then you can see five times your annual budget raised.
The key part of my competitors claim is “typically.” What does that mean anyway? What is the typical church? One of the worst things we do in the church world is to compare our church to another church. Here is a reality…
No two churches have the same donor make up!
After being in this industry for nearly twenty years here is what I can tell you about claims like this. They are marketing ploys. They are always best case scenarios built upon that firms best results not their average or norms. It’s a sales statement aimed at getting a contract from you.
We have had churches raise four, five and even six times their annual budgets. Yet EVERYONE of those campaigns did so based upon large gifts from a few donors. We would never claim our highest pledge to budget ratio as our “typical” result.
Claims like this are what leaves a bad taste with church leaders. It is one huge reason why my industry has such a black eye with so many churches. It is promising results that few churches can meet. The firms know this. They just are not being honest with you.
So what do we promise? We promise to tell you the truth and to work as hard as possible to raise as much as possible. We would rather tell you the truth and lose the contract than simply get your money.
So, don’t be fooled by slick marketing lines. Do your research. Think it through. Pray it through and trust the Lord to lead and guide you. If we get to be your partner we promise you our best. That is the only thing any stewardship firm should promise any church.
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach