May 1, 2018

3 Other Outcomes of a Capital Campaign

Congregations can take years to get up the gumption to seriously consider a capital campaign, even when ministry needs in their church home are obvious. Tight operating budgets and fewer folks in the pews often foster these misgivings, along with fear of failure. Leaders may feel overwhelmed, not knowing how to begin a campaign effort, let alone end one successfully.

Certainly an important outcome of a successful campaign is raising enough donations to successfully pay for desired projects. Here are three other outcomes of a robust capital campaign process, as I’ve witnessed as an Episcopal Church Foundation capital campaign consultant:

1. Through a capital campaign, congregations are energized by new awareness and renewed allegiance to their faith community. People remember why they love the church and each other as they share stories and work toward a shared vision for what their parish (or diocese) can become. They pray together and listen for the Holy Spirit’s promptings. In this way, a capital campaign is a community spiritual experience.

2. Through a capital campaign, congregations come together to create a shared understanding of what’s important: to be the best representative of Christ that they can be. It isn’t so much about the projects themselves - windows, remodeling, adding space, an organ – it is about which projects make the most sense given their shared vision for their future ministry. It is a community strategic experience.

3. Through a capital campaign, congregations achieve what they didn’t think was possible financially. They learn lessons that strengthen their stewardship ministries, such as: Communicate the need, tie it to a vision, set a reasonable goal, explain the different ways to give. Annual and planned giving are explained as well as extraordinary capital giving. It is a community learning experience that will benefit stewardship ministries into the future.

So, as I’ve quoted angels in the past, “fear not” the capital campaign! As I’ve learned with the Episcopal Church Foundation, beyond the outcome of financial success, your faith community can experience spiritual, strategic and learning outcomes too.