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As a pastor or leader in your church, you probably got into ministry when the Lord called you to it, and with the goal of ministering to people in mind. However, if you’ve been around long enough, you know that members of a church staff end up handling so much more than just ministry-related tasks. One such task is the management and organization of a capital campaign.
If you’re like most of us, the thought of talking about money (especially large amounts of money) can make your stomach turn, but before we lose you, dig in for a minute. We see in Scripture that Moses rallied the Israelites to give abundantly for the building of the tabernacle (Exodus 35) and that King David encourage the people to give for the purpose of building the temple (1 Chronicles 29). Each of these “campaigns” focused on a project bigger than giving of normal tithes.
Your church has the potential to greatly impact your community and the world for the sake of the Gospel, and that may involve organizing a capital campaign. So, here are a few things to know as you pray over a capital campaign at your church.
Capital Campaign Breakdown
Before you can jump into a church capital campaign, it’s important to know the basics.
What is a Capital Campaign?
A capital campaign, by definition, is “an intense effort on the part of a nonprofit organization to raise significant dollars in a specified period of time.” In the church world, the purpose is usually to build or renovate a building, but it could also be to raise funds for a specific mission or purpose.
Why Have a Capital Campaign?
The most basic answer to this question is because the Lord has led you to do one. While this may take discernment on your part, it’s important to look at the work He is doing through your congregation. A capital campaign can help to bring unity and faith as your members give for a common purpose. Capital campaigns are always future-focused, trusting that the Lord will provide in every way.
Goal Setting and Branding
Once you have set your heart and mind to do a capital campaign, the next step is to gather a core group to talk through goal setting and branding. Both are going to give you a trajectory to follow as you move forward.
The most important goals to set are going to be how much and how long. Think end-result. What will make this campaign successful? Also, plan to put markers in place to gauge your progress. This will help to make sure that your initial goals are attainable.
This may not sound extremely important, but the way you brand your campaign will help to establish the tone for the entire process. Your church capital campaign needs a specific name, specific logo, and a specific look.
Here are a few examples of campaign slogans for inspiration.
Should You Outsource?
One final thing to consider at this point in the process is if you should outsource to a consultant or agency with experience in fundraising specifically for churches. This may depend on your budget, but our recommendation is yes. Bringing in an outside group will help provide perspective and experience that is hard to attain. However, be sure to do your research and find an agency that will align with your mission.
Once you’ve done the prep work, it’s time to launch your capital campaign. This is when you are going to get your congregation involved and on-board with the direction the Lord is leading you. One of the best ways to get people involved is with your marketing materials. These materials could include:
- Pledge cards
- Information folders/packets
- Posters and banners
- Milestone markers
- Giving envelopes
- Social media and church website graphics
- Church website page or site dedicated to the campaign
In all of your communication materials, be sure that your message is clear, your branding is present, and expectations are set. If you’re asking for pledges, be sure people know what amounts they can give, when they are expected to give those amounts, and methods for giving (learn more about online giving here).
When launch day comes, host a dedicated prayer service. Ask the Lord to bless your campaign and provide as only He can.
Keeping People Involved
Once your campaign is up and running, it’s important to keep people participating in the campaign. Provide updates to let people know how much has been given and how much is left to be raised. Write and share stories of the Lord providing above and beyond expectations. Host events to get more people involved and keep the campaign at the forefront of people’s minds. If people make pledges and then set up recurring giving, it’s easy to not think about it, so your job is to keep people involved and praying.
Finally, completing a capital campaign is no small feat, and finishing strong is important. The best way to finish is with a celebration. Whether or not your church met every goal, this is a time to celebrate the faithfulness of the Lord and the generosity of your givers. Consider hosting a fellowship where people can reflect on all the Lord has done. If you really want to go above and beyond, give them something tangible to remember the campaign by.
Also, this is a time to announce the next steps. If your campaign was for a new building, when do you plan to break ground? If it was for a renovation, when will the process start? Get excited about what’s next.
If you’re planning on starting a capital campaign at your church, hopefully, this has given you a big picture overview of what to expect. If you’re looking for more helpful resources, be sure to check out Rocket Giving in the Church Relevance Course Shop.
Samantha Decker has worked as a content marketer and the church communications director for a local church. Samantha brings both experience and a passion to equip the church by providing resources to help them live out their mission for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus. She’s always up for some (good) coffee, travel, and intentional conversation. Samantha enjoys living in Oklahoma City with her husband, Dustin, and their two sons Eli and Caden.