Capital campaigns have their highs and lows…moments of excitement, progress, joy, and times of uncertainty, disappointment, or even pain. We’ve been covering campaign “hurdles” in this blog series – how to avoid or overcome the most common issues that can trip up a capital campaign.
So far, we’ve talked about navigating the loss of a key leader or financing commitment and handling a rise in project costs. Today, we’ll talk about some campaign challenges that can be unique to churches. Some of these are within your control and some are not.
We’ve discussed campaign planning in prior blogs. Here and the importance of taking the appropriate time to secure congregational and donor support of your project. For churches, oftentimes, that includes denominational leadership conversations and processes for approval within your church’s broader structure.
Some denominations carefully manage which congregations can be in the midst of a campaign. Some do not want to have multiple churches in one geographic area or city in a campaign at the same time. Still others manage the facilities plans for their member churches, which must go through a process of approval for acquiring/ renovating property, launching church plants or making other capital improvements. Obviously, much depends on how the church leadership or denomination ownership of property is structured. This dictates what individual congregations can and can’t do without approval.
These issues are within your control in the sense that you plan for them. They don’t cause a snag once your campaign is underway. Ensure your pastoral and board leadership is well-versed in your church or denomination’s processes related to campaigns, capital projects and financing agreements within congregations. Long before you’ve solidified a project or loose timeline, have the appropriate conversations with your denominational leadership. Some churches learn they have to time out their building purchase, loans or the campaign itself in a queue of others, or that there are other denominational issues that will shape the campaign plans in some way.
Some hurdles you will not be able to plan for and avoid, and those can also stem from denominational challenges or changes that impact your local congregation. The last decade has seen a shifting landscape of denominational divides, splits and shakeups related to theological differences and social issues. When you are launching a three- or five-year campaign, there’s no way to know what external church factors may pop up. What do you do if your denomination finds itself in a spiral of negative news or a crisis threatening to divide it?
Be open and transparent. Stay on top of any possible fallout that could affect your project, your finances or your members. Communicate often to your congregation – but in doing so, be clear about what does and does not affect your campaign. While it might not feel like it in the moment, a denominational crisis at the national level might actually have very little, if any, impact on the campaign for your new children’s ministry wing. Don’t “borrow trouble,” as the saying goes. Some members might not tie your campaign progress to the other issues at all. Instead, listen closely for any concerns or issues that need to be addressed. As you interact with your campaign volunteers and donors to understand the concerns and address them.
Your campaign can still succeed even if it means shifting the phasing, timing and scope when you hit a snag or hurdle. Remember that our members are involved because they believe in God’s call to our congregation and in our mission to advance the Kingdom. Remember that human and church history is filled with crises and divides that have been overcome. Trust that God will lead you and your members through this time, strengthening your ministry and impact.
Capital Campaign Crises: Overcoming Hurdles and Pain Points
You’ve launched your campaign, and the pledges of support are flowing in. So what do you do when your campaign hits a major snag?
This guide outlines strategies for overcoming campaign hurdles and pain points – the most common issues that impact a launched campaign.
- What happens if your pastor resigns?
- If you lose a major donor or financing?
- If your project costs are spiraling?
Learn the steps to keep your campaign on track when a crisis hits.
Considering a Capital Campaign?
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. Together we offer an extensive and comprehensive consulting service to help make your upcoming capital campaign a success. This partnership gives you 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.