Nine Commandments of Fundraising
1. Building community as you raise funds:
A Campaign must strive to bring the Christian Community closer together thereby enabling a greater ministry to its members and the community-at-large. From the beginning when the need is assessed, make it a goal that your community will be enhanced from this effort. It can be done; it should be done. All it takes is proper planning.
2. There must be a clear vision:
Without a vision, the people will perish. So goes the Proverb, and so will go the campaign that does not have a clear vision, clearly stated. People give to help accomplish a goal, and if that goal is vague, not easily seen or understood, the giving will be labored and less.
3. Be Realistic:
A church that builds Christian Community during a campaign will see its need realized. Set forth your overall need. Be realistic in how long it will take to fulfill all of your needs. Some ratio of weekly giving can be expected — an unrealistic goal is possibly worse than no goal at all. Through prayer and the power of the Holy Sprit, all things are possible. By setting a realistic goal, you will not experience great disappointment and your campaign will succeed.
4. Reach out to everybody:
It is tempting to assess the congregation and determine the top givers and make personal contact with only those who have financial blessings. This is especially true when volunteers from the membership are conducting the campaign. Time after time campaigns have been less than successful because all the members were not contacted. Not only are funding dollars left uncollected, but there are also negative feelings generated by lack of contact — even when a donation is impossible.
5. Communicate clearly and often:
Whether you are building a new church, renovating, or conducting an ongoing program of stewardship, you are communicating new information. Communicate your vision and your needs clearly and often. To assure everyone understands this new information, communicate through different means such as mailings, pastoral messages, lay presentations, committee activities, a special event, and a process to involve all members from children to adult.
6. Ask for sacrificial giving:
Plan to include everyone in this important project in the life of your church. God will bless, as families share their time, talent, and treasure with the Lord, their church and one another. Ask for a gift that is not so specific, but a reflection of their own financial blessings.
7. Manage Change:
The campaign must enhance your ministry, not serve as a replacement. Be cautious of any campaign structure that places your ongoing ministries on hold. Change is part of any program, and perceptions of what is happening must be recognized and managed. Members do not wish to see the ministry of their church suffer as funds are raised.
The campaign is more than just a request and result. What happens after the initial contact is critical to the overall and long-term success of the program. Your stewardship efforts can be enhanced through a well-run campaign.
9. Look for experience:
Ask yourself — will the Christian community, which is my church, be closer together when the campaign is over than before it began? Kirby-Smith Associates will meet your needs. It would be our privilege and pleasure to serve you.