Directed Fundraising Campaigns Part 2 - Process

Directed Fundraising Campaigns

Part 2: The Capital Fundraising Campaign process

I.       Before the Campaign Begins

It is important that your church is ready to launch a capital campaign.  Campaign readiness involves the following components:

Make the "worthy cause" clear

In terms of financial response, the most important question is not "what" are you doing but "why" you are doing it. Clarity of purpose is an important key to maximizing potential.

Have plans in place for the new church

For the Campaign you need design concepts, global budget figures and overall site plans as well as some indication of the process to be followed for growth and outreach once the congregation has moved into the new community.

Campaign administrative support.

To implement the campaign process we will need accurate lists as well as strong clerical     support. We sometimes suggest that the church hire a part time administrative assistant for the purpose of seeing to all the needs of the various leaders in the campaign.

II.      The Issue of Potential

This is one area in which campaign’s sometimes fail. If the financial goal is set too high, it is perceived by some that it is not reachable, or if it is set too low, and reached too early in the campaign, some people will not make a commitment. In trying to assess fundraising potential, of your church two formulas are used.

The Current Giving Formula suggests that a church can expect to raise from 2 to 3 times general fund donation income, over and above existing giving over three years.  If for example, your general fund income is in the $600,000 range annually, the budget formula would suggest potential in the range of $1,200,000 to $1,800,000 over three years. Many factors impact where we place your church in this formula.

The Per Capita Giving Formula suggests that churches can expect to raise a range depending on several factors, per giving unit, over and above existing giving, over three years. If you have in the range of 250 giving units and your potential according to our grid is $6000 - $7000 PGU the range $$1,500,000 to $1,750,000.

Both formulas assume a growth environment and positive congregational dynamic.  If there are lingering issues that may be of some concern to leaders, our experience has proven that the window of a capital campaign is a potential opportunity to address those issues and unite the congregation in a common cause and vision.

III.    Capital Fund Campaign

Biblical Basis.  In general, campaigns that are conducted by Faith Based Fundraising are based on the story of King David building the temple as found in 1 Chronicles 28 and 29. In this Scriptural account King David designs the temple, and counts the cost to build it. He then determines how much of his own resources he will commit to the construction process, after which he invites his leaders to become involved. When the remainder of the people of Israel hear of their combined commitment, they too give joyously and generously so that the building is assured and the glory is given to God.

We have found that successful Fully Directed Capital Fundraising campaigns include the following phases.  Final campaign design is set after consultation with Church leaders.

Preparation Phase 
  1. Establishing the campaign calendar and campaign design
  2. Recruitment of a Steering Committee to give oversight and direction to the campaign
  3. Orientation of the Steering Committee
  4. Development of a Case Statement and DVD explaining the “what” and “why” of the project along with other communication media such as a newsletter templates and worship folder inserts.
Communication/Information Phase

Since fund raising is preparing people to respond to the vision that God is calling the church to follow, we look on the communications phase and specifically the small group presentations, as a spiritually motivational visit more than a visit to ‘ask for money’. In addition to the small group presentations, communication involves:

  • Layered information over a 3-4 month period via bulletin inserts, newsletters, and letters to members.
  • Formal communication through pulpit/program announcements.
  • Multi-media (Power Point and DVD) presentations emphasizing present and future directions.
  • Small group or town hall meetings for people not already in small groups.

Thus, the presentations could potentially involve discussion on church direction, spiritual wellbeing, and stewardship issues, depending on questions and input from attendees.

Educational/Inspirational Phase
  • There usually is a series of sermons on vision and stewardship themes preached by the Ministry staff.
  • Sometimes it is helpful to develop curriculum materials on stewardship themes for use in adult formation or small group ministries.
  • We recommend some form of celebration event where the emphasis is not on fund-raising but on praise, worship and celebration, affirming the Church's vision, and engendering the whole concept of, “Our Church is an exciting place to be, for worship and ministry.”
Leadership Commitment Phase

The most trusted principle in all of stewardship work is leadership modelling, leaders lead by making “pace-setting” or “seed” commitments in advance of the general congregational response.  This process, based on the story of King David raising funds for the first temple, usually called Leadership Commitments Phase, solicits advance commitments from four sources:

  • Members of the Campaign Steering Committee
  • Staff/Board
  • Key donors with the ability to make substantial commitments, who are sometimes approached one-on-one. 
  • Additional current and past "leaders" from the congregation who would be invited to a Leadership Commitment Reception.

We have found that this Phase has brought in 40-60% of the Campaign goal the time of the celebratory event and prior to the congregational canvass or commitment phase.

Canvass/Commitment Phase

One of the ways to maximize potential is to receive a high percentage of response, perhaps in the 70 - 85% range.  To accomplish that a very intentional process is needed to generate a response from every potential donor. This is accomplished by providing a phone reminder or sometimes a courier service to pick up the commitment cards.

IV.       Consultant Involvement

When a church engages Faith Based Fundraising (FBF) as Coach for their campaign, we provide the following services:

  • FBF will assist Church leaders in the process of Campaign Preparation.
  • FBF will conduct the Congregational Financial Assessment if required.
  • FBF will work with the ministry staff  and volunteer team, to create the design for the campaign.  This includes developing a calendar to accommodate the current ministry priorities.
  • FBF will work with the ministry staff to identify the leadership requirements for the Campaign Steering Committee.
  • FBF will produce a leadership training Manual for Steering Committee members, and all the materials needed for volunteers.
  • FBF will train the Steering Committee as a group, all the Directors individually, and all the volunteers recruited to serve.
  • FBF will work closely with the Promotion and Multi-Media team to ensure that good quality materials are produced by the church.
  • FBF will work closely with the Leadership Commitment Committee to ensure maximum “up-front” commitment response.
  • FBF will work closely with the Communication Team to develop the best method of communicating the vision for the future of the church through small groups, visits, and town hall meetings.
  • FBF will provide general on-site monitoring of the Campaign particularly during the intensive phase to ensure that what is supposed to happen actually happens, on time and to the extent required.
V.      Church Involvement

Successful capital campaigns in churches are dependent to a large degree on a broad involvement of a large percentage of the congregation. The following therefore is needed:

  • We need strong support from Church leaders.
  • We need accurate generic financial data to be available.
  • We need the necessary effort expended to produce good quality literature on time.  In this process the Promotion Director will work closely with the Consultant and Church leaders.
  • We need to ensure that quality people are recruited to serve on the Campaign Steering Committee. The following committee members will need to be recruited as part of the steering committee that will lead the campaign depending on the church’s DNA. Detailed role profiles will be provided to the church during the preparation, recruitment and design phase of the campaign.
  1. Chair Person
  2. Leadership Gifts Director
  3. Communication Director
  4. Promotions Director (print and multi-media)
  5. Children and Youth Director
  6. Social Media Director
  7. All Church Event Director
  8. Hospitality  Director
  9. Prayer Director
  10. Canvass Director
  11. Follow-Up Director
  12. Treasurer
  13. Senior/Lead Pastor
  • In addition to the above steering committee roles, we need to ensure that the necessary number of Director team members are recruited to run the campaign.

VI.    Cost

The Consultant fee to conduct a Fully Directed Campaign in most churches in Canada ranges from $18,000 to $40,000 plus GST depending on the size of the church, and length of time required to run the campaign.  Additional costs for the consultant may include travel car rental, hotels, and meals for approximately 12 trips to the church.

The fee is paid at 10% down at signing of the Contract with the balance paid out in equal monthly payments over the remaining months of the Campaign.  The fee is a set fee for service and not a percentage of what is raised.

Additional costs for promotion, marketing and carrying out the campaign will be incurred by the church during the course of the 6 months of the campaign. It is anticipated that the total cost of the campaign would not exceed 5% of the goal. A total budget is suggested by the campaign consultant during the preparation phase.

Some examples of these variable costs incurred by the church include:

  • All Church Event – if it is a banquet it could cost as much as $30 per person
  • DVD production and duplication - $300 to $400 per finished minute to produce,  $.8 per disc to duplicate.
  • Layout, design and printing of Case Statement
  • Mailings
  • Newsletters – printing and mailing
  • Bulletin Inserts

Many of these costs are incurred during the preparation and early stages of the campaign, except for the All Church Event.


This summarizes how a Fully Directed Capital Campaign should generally look in the church, along with how the church works in conjunction with a consulting firm. If you missed the first part of this article, you can check it out at Directed Fundraising Campaisng - Fundamental Basics.

For more information, interested churches can contact:

  • Gord Hallett, Campaign Coach
  • Faith Based Fundraising
  • 14 Daisy Crescent
  • Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan S6J 1C3
  • 306-513-8765