Timing The Church Capital Campaign

Church Capital Campaign Timing

Ever heard the saying “timing is everything?”  Well timing is not everything in a church capital campaign  but it is very important.  Time and timing were important quality factors that differentiated between churches that had really good capital campaigns, and churches that had the “other” kind.

Time is your friend in a capital campaign, and when you are talking about raising money in the church, you need all the friends you can get! In the church campaign, time is important in two very different, but equally important ways; the time of year for the campaign, and how much time you allow yourself for the campaign.  Compromising either of these has proven to have a negative impact on the effectiveness of the campaign.

When is the Best Time for a Church Capital Campaign

While there are exceptions to every rule, the vast majority of churches find that the two seasons of the year that are best for running a capital stewardship campaign are the spring and the fall.  What you are trying to avoid, as a general rule, is having the campaign extend over the winter holidays or over the summer vacation months.  During the public phase of the campaign, you want your people in attendance (not off at Grandma’s house or at the lake) and not distracted by outside financial pressures (such as are common to both the holidays and to vacations).

The spring poses more of a scheduling challenge than the fall.  A spring campaign must work around many holidays, including Easter and Memorial Day.  Sadly, by the time many churches get serious about a capital campaign after winter holidays, they find it is too late to have an effective campaign – they don’t have enough time to prepare and execute in a manner that will provide the most spiritual and financial benefit.

How Long Does it Take to Run a Church Capital Campaign

There is no one answer to this question, but one thing is true; It is hard to spend too much time preparing and executing a capital campaign.  The longer you take, the easier it is on the people that are running the campaign and the more time you have (and in a lower impact way) to do donor development.  Obviously a smaller church of a 100-150 can usually pull it together easier and more quickly than a church of a thousand.  In a perfect world, the best results for medium and larger churches will be obtained from taking at least 6 months to prepare and to execute a campaign.

More than one church client will testify that if they could give just one piece of advice, it would be to give yourself plenty of time.  Time makes it easier on the capital campaign team, time makes your congregation feel like you are not shoving it down their throats, and time allows you to do things with excellence.  Not giving yourself the proper time to organize, plan, and execute a campaign is one of the most common contributing factors to churches not meeting their campaign goals.

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