A church is not a hospital or school.
Of course, Jesus is the Great Healer. And many times the gospels call him Teacher. But metaphors aside, there are differences between raising money in a non-church setting and raising money in a congregation. While a church is a non-profit in the U.S., it is nothing like any other non-profit. It is a different animal entirely.
First of all, a church is an active community.
Think about it – how many non-profits bring together their financial supporters on a weekly basis? Churches do, and sometimes more frequently than that. The leaders of even the best non-profits struggle to visit personally with just their top donors once each year.
Not so in the church, where a large majority of the active membership share a worship experience once a week. Add to that Bible studies, service activities, choir rehearsals, small groups, and even church business meetings. Church people join together often, and they form an active, vibrant community.
As a result, a church consists of many clusters of significantly intimate, long-term relationships. This fact alone makes fundraising different in a congregation. In many Sunday School classes are lifelong friends who have walked with each other through the valleys and mountaintops of life. Weddings, raising children, divorce, financial hardship, and even death. Believe it or not, these relationships have a direct impact on the nature and process of a capital campaign.
The church is a spiritual community.
Religious organizations have faith as their core objective. Prayer, worship, Bible study – these are the meat and potatoes of church life. Without an awareness of the spiritual aspects of a church capital campaign, you can raise money. But the church may not be any closer to accomplishing its primary mission, no matter how many buildings you build.
We are built for churches.
Church Campaign Services is a capital campaign resource developed by and designed for churches and church-related agencies. We began as an agency of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 1950. For 67 years our exclusive focus has been to build up the mission of the church. We have consulted on campaigns with thousands of churches and dozens of other mission agencies, such as camps and conference centers.
To that end, all of our consultants are actively involved in their own local church. They are people of deep faith, who have devoted their lives to their faith. Many of us are in leadership roles. Some are pastors, some are elders, and some are lay leaders. Faith and the work of the church has a primary place in our personal and professional lives.
Raising major funds in a church is done differently.
When choosing counsel for a capital campaign, be sure that your consultant can talk the talk, and walk the walk. Your congregation has its own unique ethos and culture, centered on its own expression of faith. Be sure that your consultant is sensitive to and experienced with the nuances of raising major funds in a church.
For more insight and practical help starting a capital campaign, set up a complimentary phone call with one of our consultants today. We’ll discuss your goals and how to achieve them successfully to move your church forward. Call (888) 558-6873 to schedule now.