The Importance of Follow Up – Part III

Initiatives // March 25, 2010

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.

Best to report early and often while ahead of projection, than to be silent until you fall behind projection. Leverage milestones in the building phase – Groundbreaking, foundation pouring, etc.

Each milestone celebration is a reminder that we are not finished until the CE phase ends. By reporting every positive, the odds of falling behind projection are reduced. After all, we all prefer to hear good reports, don’t we?

8. Campaign Renewal

At least once in a multi-year effort, a campaign renewal should be conducted. This is a time to invite those who made commitments to “revisit” those pledges, revising as needed. By asking the church to revisit their initial commitment, we will have a better handle on projecting final outcomes. Additionally a renewal effort should:

•Invite new families to join by making a commitment through the end of the CE phase

•Encourage those who were attending at commitment Sunday but who did not participate to join in

•Propose to those who have already fulfilled their initial pledge to consider extending their giving.

9. Involving New Families

Those who are new to the church since commitment weekend need more than a commitment card and an ask to join in the effort. Intentionality is needed to cultivate new families into regular givers, prior to asking them to consider an “over and above” gift to the campaign. Asking too early in the relationship runs the risk of being perceived as a church only interested in money. Before and during the renewal effort, involve new families by:

•Including the generosity value in your visitor/new member orientation

•Inviting all new families to participate in awareness gatherings to learn more about the project and it’s impact on the church’s future mission and ministries

•Encouraging them to prayerfully consider a gift for the remainder of the giving phase

10. Finishing Strong

As the final 3-6 months of the CE phase approaches, it’s time to finish strong. Prepare and send out a letter to the entire church family encouraging them to review the status of their commitment while planning to fulfill it by the end of the campaign.

A different version of the letter should be written for people who fall into one of several circumstances:

•Pledge fulfilled

•On pace with projection

•Behind projection

•Did not pledge but giving

•Did not pledge, not giving

Include a current statement reflecting the original pledge amount and the amount given to date

Intentionality in a thorough enhancement strategy can bring your campaign to 90% fulfillment, or better! Utilizing these 10 considerations will get you well on the way to achieving above average results in your receipts.

About Rusty Lewis

As a church leader, there’s nothing more frustrating than not having the funding to do what God’s calling you to do. But when you think about trying to address that problem, you feel overwhelmed, you dread the potential pushback from your congregation, and you’re not sure where to turn for help. Over the last 18 years, I’ve helped more than 120 churches close the gap between their current financial reality and what they need to move forward in ministry.

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