Erik Sanders, Bible Baptist Church, Everett, WA
As I hear the words “capital campaign” my pulse quickens, and the stress level rises. Raising funds for church projects can be tough, but if you have a few key steps in place it will be manageable. For a capital campaign to be successful you must plan the work, and then work the plan. Below are several key components that should be considered when entering a capital campaign project.
Determine Your Needs. As our church began the planning process we thought our greatest need was Adult Sunday School space. However, we discovered through conducting an assessment (done by our architect) of our needs, our greatest need was children’s space. In reality, adult classroom space ranked 3rd on the needs list.
Ask The Hard Questions. Here are some good questions to ask as you consider a capital campaign:
- · Do I believe this is the leading of God or my own desire?
- · Is what we are considering a “want” or a “need”?
- · Is our church healthy enough for a capital campaign?
- · Are there key people that I can call on to help lead this campaign?
- · What other creative ways can we maximize the space we already have?
- · What is the economic forecast for our area of the country?
- · As the pastor, do I possess the desire and excitement to cast vision for the campaign?
- · As the pastor, am I willing to sacrifice for the campaign?
Solicit Help. There are many good fundraising companies out there to choose from. We decided to use a Pastor (Dr. Rick Carter) to help us chart a course for our campaign. The point is… solicit help. You will need the wisdom and insight from those that have conducted past successful campaigns.
Build A Team. A capital campaign rises and falls on leadership. Be sure to select people that the church respects, and will be champions of the capital campaign.
Communicate Cleary and transparently. If you desire for your church members to “buy in” to the capital campaign you must communicate clearly what you are asking of them. Also, the whole process should be done with transparency and openness. There are members in your pews that have been a part of past campaigns in other churches that have been train wrecks. Show them that you can be trusted.
Pray! I saved the most important for last. A capital campaign is an mammoth task, and should never be entered into without a time of prayer and fasting.
Capital Campaigns are polarizing moments for a church. If managed well, it will be far more than a fund-raiser, it will be a faith-raiser.