When Not to Do a Capital Campaign

A capital fundraising program is designed to help the church increase revenue over and above the tithe for a set period of time. Churches typically do capital campaigns to raise funds when they need a down payment for property or a building purchase, need to pay for renovation of their existing building, or to pay down or pay off debt.

If your church finds itself in one or a few of the following positions, you may not need to perform a Capital Campaign:

 

  1. The church already has enough money to do what is needed. This could be a variety of things like making a down payment on land, making up the difference between what the bank is willing to loan and the amount needed for renovation, or you have enough in savings to pay off the mortgage. So relax, you don’t need to do a capital fundraising campaign.
  2. Your church is united and fully committed to the vision and the direction of the church. When a church is getting ready to build a new building or embark in a new direction, unity is needed among the fellowship. A good capital fundraising program will help to unite the church. If your church is already united in the present plan and no more money is needed, a capital campaign may not be required.
  3. Your folks are already great stewards of God’s resources. Surveys indicate that Christians are giving 2.5% of their income. Only 3% – 5% of Americans who give to their local church do so through regular tithing. However, when surveyed, 17% of Americans state that they regularly tithe. If your folks are already tithing and giving generously to special offerings, you don’t need to do a church capital fundraising campaign.
  4. Your church doesn’t need a bank loan. Most banks require churches to put down 20% – 30% of the actual cost before they will issue a bank loan. Most churches don’t have that kind of money on hand, but if your church has that kind of money in a reserve account, go forward with fulfilling God’s vision for your church.
  5. The vision for the church is not fully developed in the church leadership. Folks don’t normally get excited about giving to a project until the vision is cast and the time to begin is soon at hand.
  6. The vision has been cast, but the leadership is unsure of the process and how to progress and bring the idea to fruition. If so, it’s just too early to start a capital fundraising campaign.
  7. If you recently finished a capital campaign, it may be too early to start a new one. Most experts agree that you can do one major giving emphasis every 5 years. Otherwise people will not step up if challenged too often.