(Q) “Why should we use an outside Consultant for our campaign?”
(A) It has been proven many times that churches that use an outside Consultant in their campaigns raise significantly more money than those that decide to run their own campaigns. Consultant-led church fundraising in Canada has a long history, going back to 1946. We have, over the years, eliminated campaign processes that do not work which means that today campaigns, conducted by experienced Consultants, are designed on tried and proven principles of fundraising. Churches may of course already know some of these principles but generally churches do accept the option of using outside help.
Read the article, “Fund Raisers In Our Church” (Click for the article)
(Q) “What is our church’s potential for a capital project?”
(A) Whenever churches are at the point where they need to renovate, add facilities or relocate, the issue that always surfaces is, “Can we raise the money to do that?” or “Do we have any additional financial potential?” This is particularly true when churches struggle on the budget side. The truth however is that all churches have significant untapped potential.
If churches are trying to determine what their potential is, there are usually three formulas that help determine in general format what potential churches have.
The budget formula recommends that churches can raise two (2) to three (3) times budget, over and above existing giving, over a period of three years. The budget used in this formula is the operating budget. When churches have high mission giving, for instance, or are paying significant debt-servicing, those items need to be eliminated from the budget figure. If therefore a church has an operating budget at $450,000, and the project is growth-driven and involves new construction, the formula would suggest that it could raise from $900,000 (2 times) to $1,350,000 (3 times) over a period of three years.
Per-Giving Unit Formula
The other formula, perhaps the most accurate one, is related to the actual number of the church’s potential support households. The potential number is not just those who are current donors but those, donors or non-donors, who say, “This is my home church”. It is amazing how potential supporters who have not given or given very little on the budget side, give on the capital side, sometimes in major dollars.
In mainline churches, this formula suggests that a church can raise from $2,000 to $3,000 per giving unit, over and above existing giving, over a period of three years. For a church therefore with 300 potential support households, what they could raise would be in the $600,000 to $900,000 range.
This formula in most evangelical churches suggests that the church can raise from $4,000 to $5,000 per giving unit, over and above existing giving, over a period of three years. A church therefore with 300 potential support households, as to the formula, could raise in the $1,200,000 to $1,500,000 range over a period of three years.
To reach the potential indicated by these two formulas, numerous things need to happen.
The faith-giving formula is difficult to determine. When however,
congregations move to sacrificial giving, almost anything is achievable. Many campaigns that have been done where congregations have moved to faith-giving, have raised significantly more than what the above formulas would suggest.
These formulas provide general information in relation to what churches have already done. To actually determine the potential, however, of churches where capital campaigns are conducted, Harder & Associates conducts a Financial Feasibility Study. This Study does help to determine in more detail what the potential of the church is.
(Q)“Are all campaigns conducted by Harder & Associates the same?”
(A) Most companies use what is called a ‘cookie cutter’ approach for campaign design. This means that regardless as to whether churches are large or small, rural or urban, contemporary or traditional, or whatever denomination they are a part of, the campaign process is always the same.
The truth is that every church has its own DNA, its history, its tradition and set principles as to what has already been done, meaning that it is very important if maximum results are to be achieved, to customize the campaign to ‘fit’ the church.
In the first meeting therefore of campaign preparation, the Consultant needs to meet with church leaders to set the campaign design. This design needs to be based on determined tried and proven principles of fundraising.
(Q) “If we want to hire you, how do we begin?”
(A) What we recommend is that a Consultant will, first of all, come to meet with you to go over your proposed project. Prior to this meeting, the Consultant will ask churches to complete an Information Request Form which provides information re the budget, attendance, number of potential donors, proposed project, finances already available and the level of approval already received. If the Consultant then, on the basis of information received and the result of this first meeting, determines that we can help, a Formal Proposal for a Capital Campaign will be presented indicating the process, potential and time-frame of the campaign. If the church therefore decides to proceed, the Consultant will in the first campaign preparation meeting with church leaders, set the design, set the calendar, indicate who is needed on the Steering Committee. This meeting is the first step in the campaign process.
Do you have any other questions about our fundraising service? If so, please call Ben Harder, President, or one of the Consultants.