Throughout our 35 years of service, The James Company has offered to integrate a congregation’s Annual Stewardship program with a Capital Fund Campaign, especially when both are being conducted during the fall.
Here is what we have learned along the way:
1) Combining Annual Stewardship with the Capital Fund Campaign lessens any confusion members may have. The financial needs of the congregation can be communicated in one message at one time. Doing the Stewardship program before the Capital Fund Campaign raises the question: When and how much am I going to be asked to pray and consider giving for the Capital Fund? Doing the Stewardship program after the Capital Fund Campaign raises the questions: Why are they asking me again so soon? Why didn’t they just ask me once and save a lot of time and energy?
2) Combining Annual Stewardship with the Capital Fund Campaign helps prevent “gift shifting”, which is when members reduce their regular giving in order to give to the Capital Fund. It is important to communicate strongly against “gift shifting”. Throughout the combined campaign, it is important to emphasize over and over again that everyone’s first priority of giving is their annual stewardship pledge to fund the ministries of the church. Giving to the Capital Fund needs to be over and above their current regular giving. The other thing that happens is that when you do the two pledges together, those who may not want to give to the Capital Fund will sometimes increase their annual giving.
3) Combining Annual Stewardship with the Capital Fund Campaign makes good use of your volunteers’ time. The same team of volunteers can help promote and encourage both Annual Stewardship giving and Capital Fund giving.
4) Combining Annual Stewardship with the Capital Fund Campaign, with the assistance of The James Company, gives the Annual Stewardship Committee a bit of a break for a year, and it teaches them some new ideas they glean from The James Company approach.
As you begin to set your sites on the Fall, give us call if you would like to consider combining your Annual Stewardship with a Capital Fund Campaign.
Written by Fred Stoltz, Sr. Director
The James Company
Phone: (414) 690-3426