PART ONE: Why church capital campaigns underperform
A church can learn a lot from trends and experiences of other churches. Often, projects and their associated building fund program are hampered by common problems that were not addressed properly during the initial planning or on the back end during the building process and giving phase.
Common issues not addressed on the front end of the process
3 FATAL MISTAKES TYPICALLY OCCUR DURING INITIAL PLANNING:
1. There is a lack of “buy in for the project. Churches sometimes do not effectively gauge project support early in the process. Is there strong support for this project throughout the church? Has the need been communicated effectively so everyone understands? Lack of support is often a sign that the vision has simply not been effectively communicated.
Sometimes there is a lack of understanding in regard to the need for the project because leadership moves too fast or has not provided critical details in a timely manner. Has leadership gotten too far ahead of the process and the message? As a result, the church will not do nearly as well because people have not been properly informed regarding the project and are not ready to make a commitment.
Differentiate between lack of project support and lack of project understanding!
Does your church have a sufficient communication roll out plan to not only help your people understand the need but to act on it? Learn how to generate understanding and establish the need.
2. Possibly the biggest mistake made by churches is a failure to engage the entire church. The average internal church capital campaign only reaches 15% to 20% of church families. As a result, the church will not perform nearly as well because most of their households have not been properly prepared for what is occurring. Does your church have a plan to maximize participation? Learn how to think in terms of broader participation.
3. Sadly, there can be incredible support for the project, but expectations have not been communicated adequately to the church members. Members need to know “What will it take to get this done?”. Simply put, many may be open and willing to help but may not even know what you are asking them specifically to do. Connecting the need with a personalized call to action is essential. Without managing expectations, giving can be deficient and results lacking. In many members minds, you haven’t helped them understand what level of support is needed to make this dream a reality. Good communication can mean the difference between a person giving a one-time gift of $500 or a 3-year gift of $8,000. Do your people understand what it will take as a church body to accomplish this goal? Learn how to communicate expectations.
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