Erasing mistakeIf you’ve ever embarked on a major church project, you’ve no doubt learned that it’s almost impossible to go it alone. Whether your plans involve a multi-site ministry or starting a capital campaign for a new church design, you’re bound to need professional help along the way. That’s why we’re happy to help connect you with other seasoned professionals who can help make your new project a success.

One such group is Generis, a team of Christian strategists who know a lot about supporting churches with successful stewardship fundraising efforts. Recently, they shared some of the common mistakes they see churches make when it comes to capital campaigns. Below are five of the worst mistakes that you should try to avoid.

Mistake #1: Not Thinking Broadly Enough About Stewardship

The people at Generis think in big-picture terms, and we agree with them. Churches focus a lot of time and energy on teaching their communities about the need for funds. But if you stop there, you’re missing an even bigger opportunity.

Why not expand the conversation and talk not just about fundraising, but also about discipleship? Everyone needs to understand the importance of good stewardship in every area of their personal and professional lives. Teaching church members to think as lifelong givers will not only support your church in your current capital campaign, but also in your church’s fundraising efforts going forward.

Mistake #2: Not Understanding Today’s Giving Climate

Have you thought at all about the impact of Kickstarter and GoFundMe on your church’s capital campaign? If you haven’t, you need to.

Gone are the days when church was one of the primary places where people contributed money. Nowadays, there are a lot more opportunities out there to give, and every church has to think about how to stand out in a crowd of meaningful projects.

Mistake #3: Not Building Momentum for Your Capital Campaign

Just because you’ve been thinking about your new church design project for months, you can’t assume that others are going to jump on board right away. You need to allow time to share information about the project and captivate your audience. By helping them understand the church’s needs, you gain buy-in from all your church members.

Mistake #4: Not Understanding Church Giving Patterns

For capital campaign specialists, it’s not about “location, location, location” like it is for real estate agents. Instead, it’s about “data, data, data.” You and your fundraising team have got to take the time to analyze the giving trends in your congregation. Otherwise you can’t reliably understand what it will realistically take to raise a certain amount of money. If you don’t understand the giving capacity of your community, you’re setting yourselves up for failure.

Mistake #5: Not Sharing Enough Information About Your New Church Design

It’s critically important to share ample information about your church building or renovation project before you ask people to commit to a capital campaign. If people don’t understand the reasons why you need a new building, or the project doesn’t make sense to them, they will be unwilling to commit.

Learn More Mistakes to Avoid —And Best Practices to Remember

These five mistakes are the biggest ones and just a portion of what Generis shared in their recent article on capital campaigns. There were six more stewardship mistakes to avoid. To read about them, click here. And if you want to discover other useful information for your new church design or renovation project, visit our website. There, you can sign up for our free i3 webinars.