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Develop Your Ask Strategy

Develop Your Ask Strategy

From the series, Conducting the Silent Phase of Your Capital Campaign.

The silent phase of a capital campaign is our chance to “fly under the radar.” Gather as much as possible about the factors shaping our public campaign launch and timing. This is our opportunity to discern the feasibility of our project. And get a solid sense of how our donors feel or what they might need from us to be supportive. The next step is to develop your ask strategy.

In this blog series, we are exploring the components of the silent phase of a campaign and how to best use this time to ensure your campaign’s ultimate success. Today, we’re talking specifically about shaping a compelling ask.

Use the silent phase and your meetings with individual givers to dive deep into the strategy around your campaign project. You need to be able to clearly define the problem or issue that this campaign project is solving. And equally importantly, you must be able to articulate what the solution is and how this project embodies that solution. Be as intentional as you can possibly be about what your church’s strategy is for solving this particular issue.

In my book, What Have I Gotten Myself Into, I share a story about a church embarking on a campaign for an additional parking lot. The attendees at the late service had no problem seeing both the issue and the solution. They’d experienced it too many times! What came as a surprise to the pastor and the church was the lack of understanding and enthusiasm among givers who attended the early service. The church hadn’t done its due diligence to talk to ALL members. Not just those impacted directly by the problem and the proposed fix. 

Be sure you use the silent phase of your campaign to talk with a wide range of your givers. Those who are directly involved or impacted by the campaign project and those who are not. Those who are not directly affected may give you some of the best input to help you shape your educational strategy for the entire congregation about the project. 

In the case of the church that sought to build a new parking lot, it was a matter of showcasing to the early service attendees exactly what the late service goers faced each Sunday. They had to understand the overall impact on the church even though they themselves didn’t experience the frustration of no place to park on Sunday mornings.

In the next blog of this series, we’ll outline the kind of research and background information you need to ensure you gather during the campaign’s silent phase.


Getting Input from Your Key Donors

Many capital campaigns fail, typically due to a lack of preparation.

In this article, discover the key components of the silent phase of a capital campaign. This is the phase that allows us to “stay under the radar” and do the critical assessments of our campaign readiness.

Learn about the steps in the quiet phase, from timing to developing a compelling ask, that will help ensure you’re positioned to launch a successful campaign.


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 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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