How Much Money Can Your Campaign Raise?

ID-10085522There are many factors that will contribute to the success of your church’s capital campaign. You can change or positively address some of the factors while others are out of your control.

Following are 6 primary factors that have the greatest impact on how much money you can raise and how successful your campaign will be:

1. Urgency
How immediate is your need for funds? Do you need to initiate ground breaking or want to retire debt in order to expand your opportunities for ministry? You may want to time your capital campaign plans with other goals for the year. You may feel that delaying your campaign may negatively impact your results.

2. Focus on stewardship
Giving that is spiritually rewarding to the giver is more likely to be supported by your church members. Many churches today are struggling with the concept of stewardship and generosity. So, how do you balance being sensitive to the needs of your members with the desire to live generously? Read more in our blog, “How to Create a Culture of Generosity.”

3. Compelling Vision and Case for Support
When you embark on a major capital campaign, you need both a compelling vision of what you want to accomplish and a plan for how to get there. Without a clear vision, you will struggle to capture the imagination and hearts of your donors and volunteers. In addition, your members must believe wholeheartedly that the vision can become a reality.

Your Case for Support will bring your donors and volunteers on board to support and promote the campaign. The specific objectives of the campaign need to be outlined so that everyone is on the same bus going to the same destination.

4. Inspiring Leadership
Your leaders are the backbone of your campaign. From the pastor and the campaign chairperson to the sub-committee chairs and volunteers, everyone must be working toward the same end result. Through trust and confidence, the leadership will inspire others to join in the vision and achieve your campaign goals. Strong leaders turn a vision into reality.

5. Timing/Economic Uncertainty
The timing of your campaign can have an impact on the amount of money you raise. Your campaign funds may fall during a recession when finances are strained and money can be tight. While it may affect the results of your campaign, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are doomed to have a poorly-performing campaign. If the vision and leadership are strong, you can build a successful campaign even in tough financial times.

6. Campaign Readiness
When you’re preparing to conduct a capital campaign, you need to be sure you’re asking the right questions. Use the “Are You Ready for a Capital Campaign” questionnaire to decide if your church is ready to move forward.

Keeping the factors above in mind, here are the typical Capital Campaign Financial Expectations:

Initial Campaign
New construction or an addition: 2-5 times annual contributions
Deferred maintenance: 2-3 times annual contributions
Debt retirement: 1.5-2 times annual contributions
Endowment funding: 1-2 times annual contributions

Subsequent Campaigns
Phase II – 60 to 70% of the first campaign (adjusted for potential loss of major gifts due to death, retirement, etc.)
Phase III – 50 to 60% of first campaign, adjusted.
Long Term – an amount equal to debt service on loan if the case is made.

Download a PDF version of the Capital Campaign Financial Expectations.

To talk more about planning your church’s capital campaign and how much money you can expect to raise, please email or call Church Campaign Services at 888.558.6873.

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Can You Answer These Key Fundraising Questions?

baby-and-mom-feet-1439844-mA few months ago, I wrote a blog called “Is Your Church Reaching Every Generation?” The post gave 10 key findings about each generation’s giving habits, including online giving and social media usage.

This post was based on a study called, “The Next Generation of American Giving: The Charitable Habits of Generations Y, X, Baby Boomers, and Matures,” published by Blackbaud, Inc., a firm that specializes in products and services that help non-profit organizations.

The study provides both strategic and practical guidance for raising funds for ministry and looks at the giving habits of four generations of Americans: Generation Y (or “Gen Y,” born between 1981 and 1995); Generation X (or “Gen X,” born 1965 – 1980); Baby Boomers (or “Boomers,” born 1946 – 1964); and Matures (born 1945 or earlier).

Based on this report, here are a few key questions you should be asking about your church’s stewardship programs:

Do you value your Baby Boomers?
Baby Boomers are the largest generation with 51 million individuals. They are also known as being one of the largest contributors to fundraising efforts. According to the study, more than 40% of all money donated comes from this age group. Make sure you are including those members age 50 to 68 in your campaign plans, and that they feel their input and contributions are important.

Are you paying attention to the up and coming younger generations?
While the older generations currently control most of the wealth, that balance will begin to shift in as time passes. Generation X and Generation Y combined represent 31 percent of all dollars donated. In addition, younger donors are more likely to say they plan to increase their giving in upcoming years. Keep this group in mind as you plan campaigns in the future.

Do your campaigns have a place for both direct mail and social media?
Just like the introduction of television didn’t kill radio, the use of social media hasn’t made direct mail obsolete. Both direct mail and social media have their place in your campaign communication efforts. You can reach younger and older generations by incorporating multiple media channels. Use direct mail, email, social media and the telephone to talk to your donors where and how they want to be reached.

Are you addressing the special demands of Generations X and Y?
Younger donors may expect more from your campaign. They want more transparency from fundraisers, such as more in-depth explanations of campaign plans, financial information, end goals and progress reports along the way.

Have you empowered your most enthusiastic supporters?
Every church has those members who are the most enthusiastic supporters and sing the praises of your campaign. Give them the tools to spread the word and get every member in every pew engaged in the campaign process.

And what’s the most important thing you can do? Listen to your donors. Let your members help guide the success of your capital campaign.

To talk more about the key campaign questions you should be asking, please contact Church Campaign Services by email or call us at 888.558.6873 today.

How Much Money Can Your Church Expect From a Capital Campaign?

1239215_graph_1There are many factors that will contribute to the success of your church’s capital campaign. You can change or positively address some of the factors while others are out of your control.

Following are three primary factors that have the greatest impact on how much money you can raise and how successful your campaign will be:

1. Compelling Vision and Case for Support
When you embark on a major capital campaign, you need both a compelling vision of what you want to accomplish and a plan for how to get there. Without a clear vision, you will struggle to capture the imagination and hearts of your donors and volunteers. In addition, your members must believe wholeheartedly that the vision can become a reality.

Your Case for Support will bring your donors and volunteers on board to support and promote the campaign. The specific objectives of the campaign need to be outlined so that everyone is on the same bus going to the same destination.

2. Inspiring Leadership
Your leaders are the backbone of your campaign. From the pastor and the campaign chairperson to the sub-committee chairs and volunteers, everyone must be working toward the same end result. Through trust and confidence, the leadership will inspire others to join in the vision and achieve your campaign goals. Strong leaders turn a vision into reality.

3. Timing/ Economic Uncertainty
The timing of your campaign can have an impact on the amount of money you raise. Your campaign may fall during a recession when finances are strained and money can be tight. While it may affect the results of your campaign, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are doomed to have a poorly-performing campaign. If the vision and leadership are strong, you can build a successful campaign even in tough financial times.

Keeping the three factors above in mind, here are the typical Capital Campaign Financial Expectations:

Initial Campaign
New construction or an addition: 2-5 times annual contributions
Deferred maintenance: 2-3 times annual contributions
Debt retirement: 1.5-2 times annual contributions
Endowment funding: 1-2 times annual contributions

Subsequent Campaigns
Phase II – 60 to 70% of the first campaign (adjusted for potential loss of major gifts due to death, retirement, etc.)
Phase III – 50 to 60% of first campaign, adjusted.
Long Term – an amount equal to debt service on loan if the case is made.

Download a PDF version of the Capital Campaign Financial Expectations.

To talk more about planning your church’s capital campaign and how much money you can expect to raise, please email or call Church Campaign Services at 888.558.6873.

Should Nonprofit Leaders Share Financial Information With Donors?

Dollar Signs Nonprofits Share Financial HealthA colleague sent me an article called “Nonprofits and Those Who Support Them Should Talk Openly About Finances.” About 6,000 nonprofits responded to the Nonprofit Finance Fund’s survey asking how comfortable they are discussing their financial health.

According to the article, without space for candid discussions about finance, we miss an opportunity to structure funding in ways that support organizational health and resiliency, and therefore efforts to advance mission over the long term.

It’s no surprise that program expansion comes out on the top of the discussion about sharing financial strategies. Funding for programs offers the straightest line between money and mission.

The article went on to explain two ways that nonprofit leaders can benefit from sharing financial information with donors. We also apply them to church capital campaigns.

First, use numbers to support your campaign vision.
You can use financial information to make the vision for your church’s capital campaign a reality. No one knows the data better than you, so connect the dots by providing context for the numbers.

Second, get to know your audience.
By talking about the financial goals and reasons behind your capital campaign, you can also gain a better understanding of what motivates your church members to support your cause.

Conducting a successful church campaign is a two-way street between the church and its leadership and the campaign supporters.

To talk more about how Church Campaign Services can help you create a successful capital campaign, please call us at 888.558.6873 or email us today.

How Much Money Can Your Campaign Raise?

Raising money for your church capital campaignThere are many factors that will contribute to the success of your church’s capital campaign. You can change or positively address some of the factors while others are out of your control.

Following are three primary factors that have the greatest impact on how much money you can raise and how successful your campaign will be:

1. Compelling Vision and Case for Support
When you embark on a major capital campaign, you need both a compelling vision of what you want to accomplish and a plan for how to get there. Without a clear vision, you will struggle to capture the imagination and hearts of your donors and volunteers. In addition, your members must believe wholeheartedly that the vision can become a reality.

Your Case for Support will bring your donors and volunteers on board to support and promote the campaign. The specific objectives of the campaign need to be outlined so that everyone is on the same bus going to the same destination.

2. Inspiring Leadership
Your leaders are the backbone of your campaign. From the pastor and the campaign chairperson to the sub-committee chairs and volunteers, everyone must be working toward the same end result. Through trust and confidence, the leadership will inspire others to join in the vision and achieve your campaign goals. Strong leaders turn a vision into reality.

3. Timing/ Economic Uncertainty
The timing of your campaign can have an impact on the amount of money you raise. Your campaign may fall during a recession when finances are strained and money can be tight. While it may affect the results of your campaign, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are doomed to have a poorly-performing campaign. If the vision and leadership are strong, you can build a successful campaign even in tough financial times.

Keeping the three factors above in mind, here are the typical Capital Campaign Financial Expectations:

Initial Campaign
New construction or an addition: 2-5 times annual contributions
Deferred maintenance: 2-3 times annual contributions
Debt retirement: 1.5-2 times annual contributions
Endowment funding: 1-2 times annual contributions

Subsequent Campaigns
Phase II – 60 to 70% of the first campaign (adjusted for potential loss of major gifts due to death, retirement, etc.)
Phase III – 50 to 60% of first campaign, adjusted.
Long Term – an amount equal to debt service on loan if the case is made.

Download a PDF version of the Capital Campaign Financial Expectations.

To talk more about planning your church’s capital campaign and how much money you can expect to raise, please email or call Church Campaign Services at 888.558.6873.

Why Does ROI Matter in a Capital Campaign?

ROI in capital campaignYou may think that your church doesn’t need to worry about ROI – or return on investment – when you start planning a capital campaign. Yet, in the business world, ROI is an integral part of every decision.

Would a bakery owner decide to sell cupcakes if she knows that her customers won’t buy them? Will a farmer plant wheat if it costs him more to grow and harvest it than he can earn when he sells it?

Return on investment matters. In fact, guess what is one of the safest, highest-yielding investment vehicles available today? It’s a capital campaign.

Today’s younger donors are business savvy. They want to know if your church’s capital campaign will be a good investment. To answer this question, you need to understand your church’s demographic and determine if a capital campaign will provide you with a good ROI.

Ten years ago, I met with a church located in an aging neighborhood. The majority of the current members were older. In order to attract younger members, the church wanted to invest $1 million to update and modernize its sanctuary.

I walked away from this church. Why? They didn’t understand that you are unable to create a return on investment if your customers won’t buy your product. The church wouldn’t be able to pull in a younger audience because younger people didn’t live in their neighborhood.

I checked on that church recently. They ended up spending $2 million redoing their sanctuary. They have shown no increase in younger membership.

As you plan your capital campaign, think about your current members and the demographics of your neighborhood. What should you “sell” in order to earn the highest return on your capital campaign investment?

To talk more about ROI and planning a successful capital campaign for your church, please email or call Church Campaign Services at 888.558.6873.

Writing a Case for Support

case for supportAn effective Case for Support, or rationale for giving, creates an image for your capital campaign and for the church overall. Raising funds is about emotions every bit as much as it is about logic. That’s why it’s important that your campaign be presented in the best possible light.

The Case for Support should be compelling and persuasive. It should present the vision and the need for the campaign. The case sets the scope of the campaign for all who participate. While it can be tempting to start making changes once the project begins, it’s much easier to stay focused and on track if you have a clear and concise document defining your actions.

We recommend that, if possible, you create a one-page document to sum up your case. This document is not meant to be a marketing tool, but simply a tactical guideline. However, it should contain all the relevant information needed to create the promotional materials that will assist in your fundraising efforts.

Your case for support should include:

1. Background information
To give everyone a better understanding of the current situation, provide a brief history of the church, its mission, and the scope of its ministry.

2. Your vision stated clearly and concisely
The vision statement need only be a sentence or two. The vision should tie into the mission of the church. We were searching for a good example of a vision statement, and decided what’s a better example than Jesus’ own vision:

Mark 10:45
“For the Son of Man came not to be served but serve, and to give his life as ransom for many.”

This vision statement has a broad reach, portrays a big dream, and gets the message across in simple verbiage. It’s an excellent example.

3. The problems that will be addressed
Your case must explain the reason for the capital campaign. Are you building a fellowship hall to encourage member gatherings and more community involvement? Do you need to pay off an existing debt?

4. The urgency of the need
After you present the problem to be addressed, you need to convey the urgency of the situation. What are the benefits of building a new building quickly? How will the church benefit from paying off its outstanding debt.

5. A mission component
It can be helpful to include a mission component in your Case for Support that ties the campaign into the community. However, it should only be included if there is a compelling reason for your congregation to respond.

6. A set dollar goal and obtainable deadline
Goals and deadlines can be scary. But, goals and deadlines work. They are what get people pulling in the same direction at the same time. They help create passion, energy, and enthusiasm for your campaign.

Church Campaign Services can help you prepare a Case for Support and get you on the path to creating a successful capital campaign. Simply email us or call us at 888.558.6873. We welcome the opportunity to talk to you!