Congregations generally consider capital campaigns when a list of needs requires a funding strategy beyond the means of the annual budget. Even congregations with sizeable savings or endowment accounts often conduct capital campaigns to avoid spending down such resources without a plan for replenishing them.

Sometimes one or more generous benefactors are willing to pay for extraordinary needs. While this avoids asking the entire congregation to contribute, it also denies the opportunity for community-wide involvement in discerning a vision for future ministry and supporting it.

Another option is to defer improvements. This carries costly consequences.

The “pros” of taking on a capital campaign include more than financial gain. When done right, a capital campaign produces financial, spiritual, strategic, and ministry-strengthening benefits into the future.

Capital campaign goals are as diverse as each congregation, but here are some of the most common things included:

  • Building projects like renovations, accessibility improvements, expansions, new construction; or a new organ, columbarium, labyrinth, etc.
  • Program or outreach needs such as music, young adult ministries, and homeless shelters
  • Retiring debt
  • Creating or growing an endowment

Regardless of the size of the campaign, leadership should consider seeking outside professional assistance. You will raise more in your campaign by working with an experienced consultant who can provide best practice solutions and the confidence to navigate the path to a successful end.

This is too important an undertaking to expect a volunteer to manage or put on the shoulders of your clergy. Consultant presentations are free of charge and you will learn a lot about the process by interviewing consultants. It’s never too early to start interviewing!

If communication and congregational engagement has been intentionally and thoroughly completed, if all projects and their estimated costs are widely understood, then you maybe ready for a formal study to determine how much you can raise. Core Capital Campaigns will help you evaluate your readiness.

We cannot overstate the importance of the foundational work of engaging your congregation in a period of discernment before you finalize a list of projects for a possible capital campaign. Discernment invites the congregation to be involved in stating the deeper reason for making an investment in your future. Define the “WHY” collectively builds confidence, transparency and is energizing! And it is the foundation to a successful campaign.

Core’s feasibility study gives you concrete feedback to help answer five important questions:

  1. Does your 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?

For your campaign to be a success it needs to be a communal project. The projects must be understood, linked to the mission and vitality of your congregation, and attainable. The study results give you important information to adjust your goals in order to achieve a successful campaign.

Core Capital Campaign fees are based on sliding fee scale that allows parishes of any size or financial capacity to hold capital campaigns. Your Core consultant will develop a proposal for services based upon your specific circumstances and needs.

Parishes and other ministries are often concerned about the impact a capital campaign will have on its annual stewardship. A well-executed campaign, however, will re-energize the community, get members more involved with the vision and mission, and improve understanding of how resources are used and the impact they have. As a result, a capital campaign can often improve annual stewardship and giving efforts as members realize they may be able to give sacrificially. When you partner with us we will provide tailored solutions for your annual campaign.

We have found, in today’s economy, that churches can raise two to four times their annual giving. Core’s feasibility study will help determine a specific and realistic goal based upon your clear and compelling needs, and available resources.

The Ask (or invitation) phase of a campaign utilizes the information accumulated during Discernment and Feasibility Study in order to launch a successful campaign. In the proven process utilized by Core Capital Campaigns, our services include training and mentoring your staff and volunteers, including how to invite peers to join you in support of your amazing ministries.

With Core, the “WHY” of your campaign will come to life beautifully in professionally designed and produced campaign materials (brochure, pledge-card, and return envelope) and a campaign website.

Contact any of us directly!

We’re here to help you fund your vision.