Church capital campaigns are important fundraising initiatives that any church can benefit from. Often called “church building campaigns,” these efforts are popular because they help raise funds for purchasing or renovating church facilities.
Learning how to raise church capital is important because of how it can help your church thrive! This might mean buying new properties, renovating buildings, investing in new ministries, establishing a legacy in your community, or any number of avenues for adding fuel to your mission and making more disciples.
Successfully raising church capital involves five major steps:
We’ll explore each of these and offer advice on how to execute them successfully so your church can raise the funds it needs for its future growth. But first, let’s start with the basics.
A church capital campaign is a large-scale fundraising effort that many churches undertake to raise money for specific projects. These fundraising campaigns offer significant financial benefits, usually take several months to coordinate, and often last from one to three years.
There are many church capital campaign themes, but these four are the most common:
Even if your church does not currently have a need for a capital campaign, it’s worthwhile to become familiar with how these large fundraisers work. Let’s take a deeper look at this process and what it takes to get the best results.
Whether your ministry is a new church plant raising capital to get off the ground or your aging church building just needs a facelift, here are the five steps to running a successful capital campaign fundraiser.
The first step of your capital campaign should be to establish your goals. Larger, more expensive projects will require greater contribution levels from members, as well as time commitments from leadership.
Start by recruiting a diverse team of church leaders, board members, business professionals, and financial experts. This group will serve as your planning committee to strengthen the decisions made and bring accountability for the project. Here are some action items for determining the size and scope of your fundraising project:
The insights gained here will help protect your church from walking blindly into any risky financial situations!
Your capital campaign needs plenty of time to gain momentum and reach its full potential. At this stage, you'll want to determine if the project is meeting a short-term or long-term need, as well as whether it's part of a broader plan.
Using the information learned from your planning committee, establish a capital campaign budget. Your budget should be comprehensive and include a surplus fund for any surprises or emergencies.
Both your timeline and budget should be specific enough so that you can evaluate their effectiveness. Here are a few examples:
In order to ensure your campaign stays on track, it's important to monitor your goals throughout each phase of your fundraising project’s timeline.
For example, during your planning phase, your action plan should include recruiting committee members, gathering potential donor lists, and writing up a case for support (a simple document to encourage people to support your fundraiser). Continue to monitor each of these activities to ensure that they are being accomplished on time.
Keeping track of goals is especially important during the kick-off phase of your campaign. Here are some sample questions to ask your capital campaign committee at each meeting:
With this information in hand, your committee can review and revise your timeline as you move along through each stage of your campaign.
It’s crucial that everyone in your church is supportive of the campaign. Spend time casting the vision to your board, church leaders, congregation, and community. Let them know this is an undertaking that will take time and effort from many people to get it off the ground successfully. Paint a mental picture of the amazing results that will come about as they help your church toward its financial goals.
Of course, not everyone in your congregation may be comfortable talking about money or asking for donations. To make this easier, consider creating capital campaign marketing materials to share with potential donors, sharing your vision behind the project and the case for support. Understand that some people may not be able to donate money but can certainly volunteer time or resources instead!
Make giving as easy as possible by ensuring that your church has an online giving solution. For example, Subsplash Giving allows your supporters to donate anytime from anywhere through your church’s website, mobile app, and text-to-give. You can create a specific capital campaign fund for donors to use, and your staff will save time as all donations are tracked automatically!
To see how Subsplash Giving generates real results, check out how Church of the City was able to pay off over $7 million on multiple buildings and become completely debt-free !
In order for your campaign to be successful, you'll also need to establish what type of donors are needed. The more specific you can get, the better!
This is a great time to enlist the help of individuals from your financial planning committee. Many board members, business owners, and government officials know people who are willing to make large donations to local nonprofit organizations. Ask them to share your church’s capital campaign with their network!
You can also invite other churches and businesses to participate with your church on the project, which may increase donations and provide more volunteers for construction projects. Reaching out to local media outlets will help spread the word about your organization’s mission and impact on your community, as well as how to make donations to your campaign.
Providing your growing church with the resources it needs for effective ministry doesn’t happen overnight! Planning how to get donations for church buildings takes a lot of careful coordination, networking, volunteers, and hard work. Remember that churches around the world successfully hold church building campaigns every year, and with some strategic thinking and execution, so can yours.
Online giving solutions are powerful tools your church can use to run an effective church capital fundraiser. There's no better donations solution for churches than Subsplash Giving! For example, NorthStar Church used Subsplash Giving to pay off their debt of $2.6 million. Now they give back $30,000/month to various charities in their local community!
To find out how your church can use Subsplash Giving for capital campaigns, fundraisers, and to increase your overall donations, let’s chat! If you’re already leveraging the Subsplash Platform and are looking to take your giving strategies to the next level, just reach out to your Client Success Manager.