Church building fundraising can be FUN!
Types of Church Fundraising
Fundraising can be as creative or as straightforward as you want it to be. There are so many different ways that churches and pastors can raise funds for a building project.
The capital campaign is one of the most frequently used fundraising processes. This usually consists of hiring a company that specializes in fundraising to set up and hold meetings to train and motivate your staff, leadership, and members. Some churches really respond well to this process; others prefer a different process. As the leader, you must decide what approach best fits your people; what will resonate with your members. Many times, what you, as pastor, feel most comfortable with is also what will work best for your congregation. Of course, as always, the most successful approach is… leading as you are being led.
Pastor-led fundraising programs have produced some very good results. Pastors know their vision and they know their people. Therefore, they are, many times, the most successful at sharing the vision God has given them. Sometimes a pastor will seek assistance from outside sources and firms, but will remain firmly at the helm of the endeavor, steering and directing. Either of these scenarios and many variations in-between can establish a successful campaign. Again, finding what fits you best, as the pastor, is most likely going to work the best with your people.
Bite Sized Fundraising
Another popular way to raise funds is by ‘selling’ portions of the new building. This can help provide a sense of involvement or investment. Your congregation could be encouraged to invest in a certain amount of square feet in the new building; by the week, by the month, or by the year. For example, let’s say that you are building a new facility that is estimated to cost $100 per square foot. Some of your people can possibly purchase one square foot per week. Others couldn’t commit to that amount, but possibly they can commit to a square foot per month. An alternative to ‘selling’ square feet of the building is to provide items that people can purchase or help purchase. An individual theater seat might ‘sell’ for $800 – the cost of the seat and the floor space it sits on. Someone may be led to purchase an altar, or a kid’s play structure. This process can build funds surprisingly quickly.
No matter what style of fundraising you choose, keeping the project visually before the congregation is imperative. The old adage, “Out of sight, out of mind!” is very appropriate here. On the other hand, visual presentations can get stale over time; they become just another part of the background in the church. If you leave the same presentation up too long, people get tired and bored with it, or used to it; so make sure that you keep it fresh and new… keep the excitement going.
How to be successful at church fundraising.
Have achievable goals
Don’t set your fundraising goals so high that the congregation becomes discouraged. A church member can become jaded and hardened to the Spirit’s leading if they are constantly prodded to give to the building fund. You need to try to reach that member that has not yet been open to give, without alienating the one who is already being faithful.
Remember the true purpose
Keep in mind that there are many different reasons to build a new facility, but the primary reason is always to advance the Kingdom of God. A building should not divide the ministry; the ministry should divide the building. Realizing that through the years, a lot of pastors have erected buildings; but serious thought about the ministries that will take place in a building should drive the funding, design and ultimately the construction of a church building. You should define the ministries which will define the building. Focusing on the buildings’ purpose will allow people to really know what they are giving to and why they are giving. Once they are truly able to focus in on the purpose, results will follow.
Spiritual Growth comes with proper fund raising.
Too often churches try to raise money to build a building, but giving to the Kingdom is much more about the spiritual health of your people than reaching a financial goal. Proper stewardship education is a MUST for any church to be effective at both raising funds and growing their people spiritually during the process. The emphasis should be on giving to the Lord, not giving to the building. If their heart is right – their treasure will follow! Don’t miss the spiritual element of funding your God-given vision.