Before you launch a Capital Campaign it is critical the congregation supports the direction of the proposed plans, and will in fact financially support a Capital Campaign.
So how do you go about engaging and listening to your congregation? Consider the following steps…
- Send out to every member an informational brochure that shares what is being proposed, and why it’s being proposed. Include any conceptual drawings, along with an estimated cost range.
- At the end of the informational brochure, include a very brief survey, asking three questions… 1) What do you like about the proposed plans?, 2) What questions or concerns do you have about the proposed plans?, and 3) Would you financially support a Capital Campaign to fund the proposed plans? (Yes / No / Uncertain). Make the brochure and survey accessible on your website so members can respond to the survey on-line as well on paper.
- After the informational brochure has been mailed, conduct dialogue sessions with your congregation after the worship services. At the sessions, have a team member summarize the proposed plans (10 -15 minutes), and spend the rest of the time receiving comments and questions (60-75 minutes). Have someone write down the questions raised and comments shared.
- Consider reaching out to some of your stronger financial steward leaders to make sure they have had an opportunity to share their feelings about the proposed plans, and whether they would consider the possibility of a leadership gift if a campaign were to go forward.
Having completed the above steps, your church leaders can now determine, with confidence, whether your congregation is ready to move forward with a Capital Campaign. We recommend that at least 60% of the survey respondents have indicated that they will financially support the Campaign (the 3rd survey question). Usually, two or three key concerns surface. You now have the opportunity to address those concerns before launching the Capital Campaign.
The end result is an engaged congregation who have ownership of the proposed plans, and have given church leadership permission to ask them for money by conducting a Capital Campaign.
Give us a call at The James Company. We can help make sure you are on the right track!
Written by Fred Stoltz, Director
The James Company
Phone: (414) 690-3426