Every year various denominational groups ask if we’d give a workshop on choosing the right capital campaign consultant for “your” church. And, it seems the focus ends up on the personality of the individual, not the firm, and I believe that is wrong. So you may wonder, in what ways do firms differ?
Making this simple, here are four ways I think consulting firms differentiate themselves.
1. Teaching abundance versus sacrifice
Does the firm preach and teach a theology of Abundance and Gratitude, or a theology of Scarcity and Self Sacrifice? My God has showered us with all that we need in every aspect of life. Just walk to the shore of an ocean beach on a clear night, look up and then look out, and tell me about the limits that God imposes on us. Watch the Dow ticker on any day of trading, convert points to billions of equivalent dollars being gained or lost and tell me that there is not enough money for my church to keep the doors open next year. And lastly, think about the love and grace we have been freely given, and try to tell me “We’re not the object of the greatest love that was, is, and ever shall be,” and then try to explain why there is not enough room in the inn. Find out more with “A Lesson in Abundance and the Joy of Generosity”
2. Recognizing major donors
Does the consultant promise to evaluate your giving and specifically all your major donors, cultivate them, and possibly even visit them during the pre-campaign or campaign phase? Or do they commit to providing a process for you to review your membership, give you a general blueprint for the church and its members to “Tell the collective story of this specific community of faith,” and coach your members on how to be good listeners, to set an example of telling their stories and being good stewards? I think the right answer is obvious, but let me remind you of an old metaphor. Do you want to be served a fish dinner tonight at the local homeless shelter, or do you think it will provide a sustainable future if you take those same homeless down to the local dock and teach them how to fish? Read more in our blog, “Are All Church Members Equal?”
3. Giving ownership of the campaign
Do they assure you that if you and your church members follow all their rules, the campaign will be wildly successful with no flaws, or do they listen to stories as well as the vision for the future? Your members should sit at a table with your consultant to decide just what the process for your church culture should be for members, to come as close as possible to a transformative experience in supporting a capital campaign. Ask yourself, whose campaign is it? Shouldn’t the experience be set up so whoever is going to be writing the checks, ought to own the campaign process as well as the result? Find out how to pass campaign ownership to the people who will fund it: “How to Create a Sense of Campaign Ownership”
4. Promoting stewardship
And lastly, after answering the first three points of differentiation, you have to ask, “Do I want to hire a Fundraiser or Stewardship Coach?” Learn more about stewardship in our post, “How Do You Show Pastoral Leadership in Stewardship?”
If you want to talk about how a stewardship campaign coach can make all the difference in your ministry for today’s campaign objectives and the future of member generosity, contact Church Campaign Services by email or call us at 888.558.6873 today. That call can make all the difference!