In working with more than 13,500 churches since 1989, we have seen steps and patterns repeated that end up limiting church capital campaign results. Our team of 30+ navigators has compiled this list of the 11 most common mistakes in a capital campaign to help you be more prepared in your next capital initiative:
7. Misunderstanding the Role of Major Gifts: Churches don’t have just one kind
of giver. A campaign often assumes that every person is alike in giving.
Types of givers in your church range from just misinformed, to uninspired, too far in debt to give, living on month to month income, in marital disharmony over money, already giving at a high level, have an issue of giving to church, or have yet to give their first gift. One other kind of giver is the surplus giver. This person or household has an unusual capacity to give. They may or may not be currently giving to your church. Any capital campaign success comes through people who can and do decide to give at a higher level than most people. These gifts do not come naturally or without intentionality.
Many churches fail to appropriately engage with surplus givers. Most often, there is a sense of spirituality that stops a church from engaging in the healthy, discipleship-oriented cultivation of major gifts. There is a way to suitably have conversations around major gifts. Minimizing or ignoring major gift cultivation will leave a campaign far short of the preferred financial goal.
6. A Project That Doesn’t Make Sense: Church leaders can unknowingly craft projects that seem right, but that to many potential givers, seem unwise, too expensive, not the right solution to the obvious need, or as not allowing the congregation to gain ownership in the project. A successful church knows how to reveal the project and build momentum. Unsuccessful campaigns push the project onto the congregation or try to force a project without skillfully getting feedback and buy-in first.
5. Not Knowing Your Giving Data and Trends: Many campaigns are built upon incorrect beliefs about church giving patterns. Most churches do not take the time to review their giving in meaningful examination. An in-depth review of your giving can reveal how giving is actually taking place. Most cursory data reviews executed by the church yield false positives, and then can position your campaign for failure before you even begin.
A Church Capital Campaign can be a daunting task to accomplish, especially if attempted by yourself. Why not have an experienced guide to help you avoid the common mistakes churches make?
At Generis, we have worked with over 13,500 organizations and have helped them raise more than $17 billion dollars for Kingdom expansion by accelerating generosity through coaching and capital capital campaigns. We would love to have a conversation with you to hear how we can help your vision become a reality.