How We Can Help

Stewardship is what we do with the gifts God has given us. It is also about taking care of one another whether we are asking for money or not.

We believe fundraising is a ministry brimming with opportunities to engage all members in telling their stories and celebrating their gifts of time, talent and treasure.

We offer full-service strategies as well as short-term learning experiences to strengthen your faith community’s stewardship practices around the three main ways of fundraising: Annual (regular giving); Capital (extraordinary giving); and Planned (end of life giving). These three are interconnected. Each should carry a clear mission-focused message and be led by a spiritually grounded vision. That message must be lifted up and proclaimed by the leaders, so leadership development is another important part of stewardship.

 

Capital Campaigns

Core Capital Campaigns are spiritually centered, and stewardship focused. Conducted in three phases—Discern, Study and Ask—the campaign experience produces financial, spiritual, strategic, and ministry strengthening benefits. Each phase is adapted to the client’s size and community culture.

We believe fundraising is a ministry and an opportunity to engage all members in a deeper understanding of stewardship. Therefore, annual and planned giving services are an integral part of every campaign as well as a review of endowment management policies and practices.

 

Discernment invites all members of the community to engage in the “Why?” Why is your life together important? Why does it matter? Then you can ask, “what do we need to achieve our vision?” A common vision moves people to invest in their future. This is energizing! And it is the foundation for a successful campaign.

By the end of Discernment, there is wide awareness of the projects to be included in a capital campaign and, most importantly, WHY these projects or ministries are important to the future of your church.

Discernment invites the congregation to be involved in stating the deeper reason for making an investment in your future. Everyone in your faith community is given the opportunity to provide input - not just into what projects should be included, but what kind of ministry the projects will enable to grow. This is energizing! And it is the foundation for success of a campaign.

Your consultant will guide and coach you, respecting the culture and unique circumstances of your congregation. Through spiritual focus, engaging diverse voices, establishing communications strategies and strengthening volunteer leadership, Core will ensure your campaign’s success.

The Feasibility Study is designed to formally assess your readiness for a capital campaign. Through a formal survey offered online or in writing, as well as personal interviews, an effective study will answer five questions:

  1. Does the community understand the need for a campaign?
  2. Do they agree with it?
  3. Will they work to support it?
  4. Will they contribute financially?
  5. If so, how much?

Your Feasibility Study report will include comments, suggestions, priorities, volunteer prospects, and a specific recommended financial goal with the highest degree of accuracy.

The ASK or solicitation phase uses information and recommendations from the Feasibility Study and the strong communications foundation established during the Discernment phase to launch a successful campaign.

Through training, membership analysis, a communications strategy and management oversight, your consultant will guide your leadership to ensure completion of the campaign in a timely manner. The work of this phase includes developing a written campaign plan with detailed timelines for key milestones, training and mentoring all campaign committees, staff, and volunteers, and mechanisms to track and report progress.

The “WHY” of your campaign will come to life beautifully in professionally designed and produced campaign materials including campaign logo/theme design, printed materials, and a campaign website.

Where do we start? Call any one of us so we can clarify the process and learn more about your plans. Then we will create a project proposal customized to your congregation’s culture, needs and timeline.

Annual Stewardship

Strengthening annual giving is part of our capital campaign process. We also offer annual giving guidance to any congregation desiring to build up this vital part of stewardship ministry. We customize learning and coaching experiences to fit the unique needs and culture of each faith community we serve.

We begin with helping you assess:

  • trends in your annual and planned giving and other income streams
  • your current stewardship ministry volunteer structure and communications
  • how people give, including how many take advantage of online/electronic giving options

Then we provide customized training and implementation assistance relevant to your stewardship ministry needs, such as:

  • The spirituality of fundraising.
  • Overview of relationship-building and other activities for year round stewardship ministry
  • How to create a narrative budget
  • Development of new donors and new annual income streams
  • Differences in generational giving
  • Choosing an annual campaign strategy
  • Assessing online and electronic giving options

We provide ongoing coaching via phone, email and video conferencing to assure goals are being met in the development and execution of the annual giving campaign.


Planned Giving

Planned gifts are significant, thoughtful gifts. They are often a member of your community’s most generous gift and will have meaning and impact beyond the donor’s lifetime. These legacy gifts should honor the intent of the donor and adhere to the gift acceptance policies of your church. Planned gifts are typically used to establish and/or strengthen your congregation’s endowment funds. Endowment funds that are permanently invested, and grow over time, can then generate income to support your faithful mission and ministries, maintain sacred space and sustain long-term financial stability.

Bequests from wills are the most typical planned gift, but there are other options such as retirement funds, annuities, life insurance, trusts and real property.

Establishing a Legacy Society is one way to celebrate and thank the members of your community who have affirmed that your congregation is included in their will or estate planning. The donor’s witness serves as a reminder to others of the importance they attach to the long-term vitality of their church.

Core Capital Campaigns can assist you in a variety of ways to start or grow your Planned Giving ministry, either as a stand-alone service or in conjunction with a capital campaign. We provide:

  • Workshops, trainings and speaking engagements
  • Creation of a customized plan for establishing or revitalizing a Planned Giving Program at your church. This would include the potential creation of a Legacy Society.
  • Identification of a Planned Giving ‘shepherd’ and the training and mentoring of that person or team.
  • Formulation of appropriate gift acceptance policies

Strategic Visioning

If ever there was a time for faith communities to reflect on their current and future ministries and presence, this is it!

We offer a customized, guided process that results in a shared sense of identity, purpose and direction. The process invites the entire congregation to identify ministry gifts, values, and opportunities for living into a vision of ministry impact.

This energizing process produces a framework for ongoing strategic decision-making. With it, leadership is empowered to respond quickly and effectively to changing realities, staying true to the values and direction identified by the congregation.

How do we begin? Contact any one of us to learn more about how we might be of service to your congregation. We will then create a project proposal customized to your congregation’s culture, needs and timeline.


Retreats and Workshops

Core Retreats and Workshops are designed to energize leadership, teach new skills, and spark ideas for strengthening ministry. We share our diverse knowledge base, gained through professional experience and lifelong learning, facilitating sessions customized to each client’s specific needs. Topics include:

 

Retreats

  • Vestry Retreats
  • Churchwide Leadership Retreats for planning, vision development, or exploring new ministries
  • Church and Diocesan Commissions such as Stewardship, Communications or Property

 

Workshop Topics

  • Year ‘round Stewardship Ministry
  • How to create a narrative budget
  • Planned Giving
  • Appreciative Inquiry
  • Church communications

The Core Capital Campaign process itself utilizes a broad range of subjects, such as how to gather congregational input, strengthen stewardship ministry, launch planned giving, develop communications plans, and much more. Your church can learn about any of these topics even if you are not engaging Core for a capital campaign or strategic planning process.

To discuss possibilities, contact any one of us to create a retreat or workshop customized to your faith community’s needs.

Core Capital Campaigns consultants are experienced in guiding congregations to financial success. As joyful as that is, we also celebrate how this three phase process results in benefits beyond the fundraising, including:

  • Spiritual benefits - Congregations are energized by new awareness of why they love the church and each other as they pray together for the Holy Spirit’s prompting.
  • Strategic benefits - Congregations come together to create a shared understanding of what’s needed to be the best representative of Christ that they can be.
  • Strengthening benefits - Congregations learn lessons that strengthen their planning and stewardship ministries, such as: the importance of vision and strong communicating, and explaining the different ways to give, including annual and planned giving.

Where is God calling you today?  We want to hear your story. We can offer perspective and discuss how our strategic, spirit-centered approach can guide you in funding your vision. Contact any of us directly!

Linda Buskirk
260-414-1425
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Leslie G. Pendleton
860-490-8585
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Maurice J. Seaton, CFRE
201-282-7283
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