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Acknowledgments: Earn the Right to Ask

Earn the Right to Ask

Preparing for a Capital Campaign Part 4 of 4

I’ve trained lots of people in the art and science of fundraising, both formally and informally. Many folks put in the position soliciting support struggle to accept that you have to “earn” the right to make an ask of a prospect. Those of us charged with raising funds get excited about the project, and we rush into conversations and make financial requests of our members without stepping back to assess the status of our donor relationship.

We’ve been outlining how to best prepare your church for a campaign and the key components that help ensure success. In this series, we’ve taken a deep dive into how we treat donors through the fundamentals of acknowledgements.


I’ve already mentioned that churches take donors for granted far too often. A component of that is failing to acknowledge the donors’ key role in your ministry, ensuring they’re being thanked for it early and often. Building that strong foundation of acknowledgement with donors is the primary way we “earn” the right to ask for additional investment in our ministry projects. 

As you prepare for a campaign, it’s important to assess how well you’ve thanked the donors you already have. Do those who are faithfully giving weekly and monthly to support the church’s operations know how valuable they are? Do they know the direct impact their gifts have on your ministry? When was the last time they were recognized or the last time you intentionally said “thank you?”

Be Creative

Look for ways to say thank you in a way that shows your givers their impact firsthand. Arrange for them to hear directly from beneficiaries of your ministry, to have the chance to be on the frontlines with your team, or experience the impact of the gift in a hands-on way. 

Acknowledging the impact that a donor has is where most charitable organizations stumble. Churches are often the biggest offenders, so start now in ensuring that your interactions with donors are grounded in appreciation. Keep the donors informed of how their gifts were used, the impact they’ve had and the vital role they play in helping your church meet the mission it has in the world. 

All of us need a sense of purpose and fulfillment in our relationships. Donors, especially, deserve to know that you simply could not keep your doors open without them. If you haven’t done a good job in acknowledging your existing donors, fix it now. Put the right system and processes in place long before you launch a capital campaign. A valued donor is a happy and fulfilled donor, who will be more excited and receptive to the next opportunity to help advance the church’s mission.

Preparing for a Capital Campaign

When a capital campaign isn’t successful, it usually comes back to a handful of common mistakes organizations make. Not preparing adequately is at the top of the list.

Churches, especially, often rush into and launch a campaign too quickly. It’s understandable. But there are systems and processes to ensure you don’t miss the mark or kick off a campaign with a goal you can’t achieve.

Capital campaigns are a daunting task, even under the best circumstances. If you’ve been considering — or putting off — a capital campaign to raise funds to grow your church or expand your ministry, the solution is here.

ACS Technologies® teamed up with Non-Profit DNA to offer an extensive and comprehensive consulting service to help make your upcoming capital campaign a success. Through this partnership, you’ll have access to highly skilled, knowledgeable fundraising experts. They will help with your campaign — every step of the way.

Visit Capital Campaigns on our website to request your consultation today!

Tim has over 30 years of experience in Church, Non-Profit Administration, Management, and Fund Development.  Serving as an Executive Pastor and Chief Development Officer in growing Churches and Non-Profit Organizations. He has provided a wide range of expertise and resources. Tim serves as the Founder and CEO of Non-Profit DNA. A boutique firm committed to helping nonprofits and churches. By building their capacity through fundraising, leadership, team building, staff recruiting, and coaching.

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