Should We Do a Capital Campaign on Our Own?
Are you one of those people who likes to do it yourself? Maybe you’re a do-it-yourselfer because you think no one could do the job as well as you can. If you’ve ever set off a geyser in your kitchen because you thought you could unclog a sink, well, then maybe you should leave some things to the pros.
Or, maybe you like to learn and you try to do it yourself because the task looks simple enough. Maybe I could figure this out on my own, you think to yourself. For things that look simple to do, we might trick ourselves into thinking: Why pay someone to do something I can figure out? The problem is, sometimes you really can’t do the project by yourself. Often, we need help from someone who has expertise and experience.
Likewise, church leaders often go for the DIY approach to a capital campaign or giving initiative. Shouldn’t it be as simple as telling your church about the amazing God-inspired vision you have for the church, and then the money starts pouring in? That is often not the case—very often, in fact.
Sometimes you need an outside look in, and that’s why there are several compelling reasons every church team should consider partnering with an experienced consultant:
- Scripture says: “Where there is no guidance, the people fall. But in abundance of counselors, there is victory,” (Proverbs 11:14). The wise pastor recognizes that expert advice and counsel is critical to the success of a capital campaign.
- It’s about spiritual formation, not fundraising. An effective church capital campaign focuses on helping people grow spiritually. It isn’t only about raising money. Experienced consultants understand how to make spiritual connections throughout the process.
- It takes a team to execute a successful initiative and your staff and volunteers probably don’t have the needed time or expertise. Even if you have staff or volunteers who have been through this before, you need to ask: “Are they up to this? Who is going to do the job they are currently doing while they are leading the campaign?”
- An experienced consultant has been down this road before and will bring a wealth of knowledge and best practices. Select a consultant who has a proven track record, excellent references, and fits in well with your church culture and team.
- You don’t want to pay the “dumb tax.” Your campaign is important, and you don’t want to get it wrong. In every giving initiative, there are multiple opportunities to end up in the ditch and that can harm your church. A trained outside eye can see those challenges coming a mile away and help you stay on track.
- An experienced capital consultant will help you analyze your donor base to identify potential givers that would otherwise be undiscovered. In many cases, one giver who is discovered and engaged appropriately will more than recoup the cost of a campaign consultant.
- You need accountability. Your team is already dealing with a lot of moving parts, deadlines, and ministry goals. Without the accountability provided by an experienced consultant, churches often wait too long and plan poorly, leading to a poor campaign outcome.
- You need a fresh set of eyes, not just on the campaign, but on your church in general. Sometimes there are issues in the church that will affect the outcome of the campaign. These issues are in plain sight, but somehow, they are being overlooked. An experienced outsider can appropriately point things out that must be addressed for the initiative to be a success.
- You need a consultant who will tell you the truth. Sometimes, even the most gifted and experienced pastor or ministry leader is just wrong, but too often no one on the team will speak up. An experienced consultant can graciously and clearly point out what others are not able to say.
- The goal of any campaign is to grow the people of the church while raising the resources needed to accelerate the ministry. The right consultant will help ensure your initiative is a stunning success on both accounts.
Creating a culture of generosity and stewardship in your church and executing a successful capital campaign is more than a DIY project. That’s why churches large and small reach out to an experienced consultant to help them develop a comprehensive strategy to grow their people and fund the mission.
Interested in learning more about the nuances of church capital campaigns? Check out our e-Book, The Hidden Costs of DIY Church Capital Campaigns.