The James Company has been serving congregations for over 35 years.  Over that time, we have encountered most every type of project imaginable, from exciting new construction projects, to the more mundane facility maintenance projects and debt reduction. No doubt, construction of a new sanctuary, or remodeling of the existing sanctuary, generates the most excitement and attracts the most giving. But that doesn’t mean you can’t raise significant funds for those less exciting projects.

Over the years, congregations we have served have had good success raising funds for projects other than new construction, such as:

  • Roof replacement
  • Electrical, plumbing, HVAC upgrades
  • Updating of restrooms
  • Improving accessibility
  • Repaving of parking lots
  • Enhancing security
  • Foundation repair and water abatement
  • Fire suppression systems
  • Window replacement
  • Debt reduction/retirement

I offer two keys to successful fundraising for these less exciting projects:

  • Build consensus ahead of the fundraising. This is crucial. How do you build consensus? Mail out a brochure to everyone explaining the proposed project and why the project is important. Encourage their feedback through a survey and dialogue sessions. By engaging your members early, you build awareness of, and ownership in, the proposed projects. And provided that the feedback is positive, the members will have given permission to take the next step and ask them for money to support the project.
  • Recruit effective communicators to lead the fundraising. You want individuals who can clearly describe the project at hand, and why the project is important in sustaining the mission and ministries of the congregation. Also, you want leaders who can inject their own enthusiasm, sharing why they love being a member of the congregation, and why they will be generous in their financial support of the project.

Paying attention to these two keys will get you on your way to successful fundraising, even if your project is not as exciting as a new sanctuary.

Written by Fred Stoltz, Director
The James Company
Phone: (414) 690-3426