Some things just go better in the fall. Perhaps because it’s when the kids return to school, fall is traditionally the start of a new “program year” for many things. It turns out that fall is also a good time to start a capital stewardship campaign, so if your church is discussing a church building or renovation project, now’s an excellent time to get it up and running, but only if you’ve properly prepared.
Consulting the Calendar
A big reason why fall is a good time to hold the public portion of your stewardship campaign is related to that school/program year idea. You want to launch a stewardship campaign when you will have the most people around to be in church and hear about it. Summer—when kids are out of school and families take vacation—is obviously not a great time for that. Winter, between the weather and the holidays, is also not necessarily a consistent high-attendance time of year. That leaves spring (February through May) and fall (September through November) as the best seasons for talking about financing and launching your stewardship campaign.
Taking the Time
It’s also important to recognize that a full stewardship campaign takes four to six months to complete. The first portion is about preparation and planning for the “big pitch.” The “public” portion—when you’re talking about it in church—is usually six to twelve weeks of that time. This is when it’s really important to have people in the pews, listening to you talk about the vision God gave you for ministry; and how the new church building or renovation project and its financing will have to happen to make that vision a reality. All that talk leads up to Pledge Day, when the people in your congregation will be asked to make their pledge toward your church vision for ministry.
Looking at the Bigger Financing Picture
When it comes to the fulfillment of those pledges, most churches choose a three-year timeframe. This means that people have three years to fulfill their pledge commitment, often giving on a regular basis—monthly, quarterly, annually—during that time. You can expect to raise about one to two times your annual operating budget over the course of a three-year capital campaign. However, that number depends upon the hiring of a professional capital stewardship campaign consultant. Churches that run a capital campaign by themselves typically bring in about 50% less money.
Bringing in the Professionals
This is why we recommend that churches bring in professional church financing consultants, the same way that we recommend you use our services for your church building project. People who do this work for a living understand how to do it effectively. These professionals also bring the most current strategies and methods with them for reaching people in the modern culture of giving. If you would like to talk directly with a capital campaign consultant that has a good track record; you can find the ones we know of by clicking here. And while you’re on our website, take a moment to sign up for our free i3 webinar series so you don’t miss any of our recommendations about church financing, church building and remodeling, and other important topics.