The months leading up to a generosity initiative can feel exhausting. Given the number of decisions to be made, conversations to have, and plans to implement, it’s natural to reach Commitment Weekend and think, “Whew! We’re finally at the finish line!”
I hate to break it to you, but Commitment Weekend is more like the end of the third lap. To finish well, you’ll need to turn your attention to the last—and critical—phase of your initiation: the Giving Season or Fulfillment Phase. Implemented well, you’ll receive 92% or more of your commitments. Done poorly or neglected? Your people will meet as little as 50% of their pledges.
FOUR TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL FULFILLMENT PHASE
Maintaining momentum during a generosity initiative isn’t difficult, but it does require some intentionality.
Congratulations! Your church is in a season of growth! But as a Lead Pastor or Executive Pastor, you’re aware of some space-related “choke points” developing that will hinder future growth if they’re not addressed. You may have a lack of seats
in the worship center, not enough space in the children’s ministry area, or a run-down student ministry center with outdated technology.
As you’re recognizing the need to address these issues, you’re also recognizing the need for additional resources to fund the growth. Before long, the talk will likely turn to planning and implementing a major giving campaign of some kind.
But what should be the approach for your church? Is a traditional “over and above” type capital campaign the ideal solution? Are there other options that might provide the needed funding, while at the same time addressing other general stewardship and generosity issues that likely exist in your church?
ONE FUND INITIATIVES
There is an alternative approach to a traditional capital campaign, and it’s called a One Fund initiative. Rather than asking people to commit to a gift in order to fund a project (or projects) that is “over and above” their regular giving to the church, a One Fund asks people to consider their total giving to the church.
A One Fund asks three questions:
1. Where are you on the journey of giving back to God?
2. Where does God want you to be on that journey?
3. What would it look like to move in faith to that place God desires for you?
More specifically, in a traditional campaign:
- The focus is project-centric or church-centric.
- The purpose of the campaign revolves around the need of the church to receive money to fund a project.
- We ask people to consider their relationship with the church.
- We direct attention to what the church wants from givers.
By comparison, in a One Fund initiative:
- The focus is giver-centric.
- The purpose of the campaign is the need of a Christ-follower to be generous.
- We ask people to consider their relationship with God.
- We direct attention to what the church and God want for givers.
With experience leading over 3,000 capital campaigns and generosity initiatives, the Generis team has learned a thing or two about funding ministry. Now you can benefit from that knowledge – through the Ultimate Church Capital Campaign Guide.
Campaigns can be approached from many angles and with differing attitudes – excitement, optimism, hope, caution, hesitation, and even skepticism. Some church leaders have previous experience funding projects and ministry that influences those ideas and attitudes, while others are looking for a new, fresh approach altogether. And let’s not forget that many pastors don’t like talking about money (and many of their people don’t want to hear the pastor talk about money).
Whatever your perceptions around capital campaigns, this new guide (now available to you as a free download) will provide you with a wealth of information, including whether your plan is on track, should be delayed, is wise, or is unwise. It will answer some questions you don’t even realize you have!
This 69-page resource covers topics like:
- common campaign mistakes
- the role of the pastor
- developing major gifts
- a campaign’s spiritual impact
- the importance of prayer
- the time needed to implement a successful effort
A church campaign should be transformational, not transactional. This e-book will explain how a capital campaign can actually affect heart-level change and further disciple your people in the area of generosity.
This guide was designed to equip you with the knowledge Generis has gained through 3,000+ successful capital campaigns while providing a tool to help you fund your church into its next phase of ministry expansion.
Looking for more resources like this one? Check my resources page for more great material!
Looking for more information or personal assistance? Let me know. I’d love to help you and your church fund its God-sized vision!
Last weekend was awesome! I had the privilege of worshiping in a brand new worship center at a church I’ve been partnering with for the last couple years – Harvester Christian Church in the greater St. Louis area. It was their grand opening weekend, and excitement filled the air.
It was a blessing for me to see the fruit of their dedication and efforts, and to celebrate with them. Seeing what happened that day, and hearing of what happened at another church a colleague of mine has been coaching, made me want to share these successes with you – to encourage you and to give you ideas on how to make something similar very special for your people. So here are several ways to ensure the success of your church’s grand opening.
1. Conduct a Soft Opening
Much like a new restaurant serves their family and friends before opening the doors to the public, it is wise to have a soft opening a weekend or two prior to your publicized grand opening.
Our first “On the Table” luncheon was a hit!
Fifty Kansas City area ministry leaders assembled at the Hereford House for a great time of food and fellowship, with the opportunity to hear Senior Pastor Derrick Lynch of Blue Valley Baptist Church tackle the topic that was “on the table” - Navigating Capital Projects & Funding Ministry in Hard Times.
Here is a summary of Pastor Derrick’s comments:
Can you afford the project on the drawing board?
In the previous posts we explored the first six considerations for achieving strong results during the giving phase of your capital initiative. I refer to this giving period as Campaign Enhancement (CE).
Here are the final considerations to achieve 90% or better in your campaign fulfillment:
7. Celebrating Milestones
Take every opportunity to communicate and celebrate giving milestones – those “good news” stories that help maintain momentum through the giving phase. As much as possible, we want to keep all communication coming from a positive position.
In the previous post we explored the first three considerations for achieving strong results during the giving phase of your capital initiative. I refer to this giving period as Campaign Enhancement (CE).
Here are the next three considerations:
Congratulations to St. John’s Lutheran Church in the St. Louis metro area. February marked the end of their 3-year capital giving initiative. They finished the effort by collecting 99.6% of the total amount committed back in March 2007!
Last week I was on-site with a capital campaign client, touring their new facilities while meeting with the pastor to review strategy. With 8 months remaining in their three-year giving phase, the church is running at 105% of projection!
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to assist Morning Star Church, O’Fallon, MO with their annual giving appeal. This is my second initiative with the church, having led a capital project there two years earlier.
We have a toolbox full of strategies that assist churches and non-profit ministries as they seek to accelerate generosity towards their ministry, and this was another opportunity to put those tools to work.
One of those strategies involves an encouragement and challenge to the congregation to consider increasing their previous years’ giving by 1% – taking a step toward the tithe, (or above the tithe for those who are already giving at that level).
During the last ten years, three trends have been emerging for ministry expansion projects. (You may know these as “capital campaigns,” but even that language is changing for me.)
PROJECT TREND #1
The first emerging trend is the replacement of the traditional-programmed format with personalized strategies. This takes more initial time, yet is more effective because it incorporates the congregation’s mission, culture and values into the project.