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Don’t Rush the Process

Don’t Rush the Process
From the series, Conducting the Silent Phase of Your Capital Campaign.

The artist’s rendering of our new wing or addition can often feel like the most important – and exciting – part of campaign prep. 

While it’s tempting to get into visuals and advanced planning quickly, the truth is organizations need to spend significant time on the upfront advance work of preparing for a campaign. Most organizations rush and move far too quickly. We have a desperate need…and we are ready to ask for money to meet it! But slowing down to take our time and plan will help ensure we aren’t firing before we aim.

In this series, we’ve been unpacking the parts of a campaign’s “silent phase.” This period of time allows us to quietly explore the potential campaign project with our donor base and assess our plans, the timing, our donor capacity, and our overall project scope. This is the time for brainstorming, creative thinking, dreaming, and throwing ideas around. Even if your church has made the decision to move forward officially, don’t rush it. You will not regret spending some time looking at the project from various angles and exploring all your options.


Organizations often carve out three to six months or more for the silent phase. The research, the donor meetings, and the brainstorming sessions help you best discern the appropriateness of the project. And how to frame it for your congregation.  How will you market and promote the project? What kind of information, support, and internal infrastructure do you need? Who all do you need to hear from? What questions do you need to answer?


Don’t get paralyzed by the information and stay in the silent phase. Set a clear deadline and know that decisions need to be made by that time (go or no go!). Even a “no go” decision doesn’t mean the campaign is dead – it’s just an honest assessment that you have work to do before you are ready…and that honesty keeps you from a public campaign that doesn’t succeed. 

Your deadline should be three or six months out, typically. Enough time to discern but not so much that you lose momentum. Move as quickly as you can, but don’t rush the process. The donor input and relationship building in this phase has benefits far beyond any campaign your church will embark upon. Enjoy this protected time to dream, discuss and decide – with God’s grace, guidance, and blessing – what the future path looks like.



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 hhas 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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