How Much Money Can Your Campaign Raise?

There are many factors that will contribute to the success of your church’s capital campaign. You can change or positively address some of the factors while others are out of your control.

Following are 6 primary factors that have the greatest impact on how much money you can raise and how successful your campaign will be:

1. Urgency
How immediate is your need for funds? Do you need to initiate ground breaking or want to retire debt in order to expand your opportunities for ministry? You may want to time your capital campaign plans with other goals for the year. You may feel that delaying your campaign may negatively impact your results.

2. Focus on stewardship
Giving that is spiritually rewarding to the giver is more likely to be supported by your church members. Many churches today are struggling with the concept of stewardship and generosity. So, how do you balance being sensitive to the needs of your members with the desire to live generously? Read more in our blog, “How to Create a Culture of Generosity.”

3. Compelling Vision and Case for Support
When you embark on a major capital campaign, you need both a compelling vision of what you want to accomplish and a plan for how to get there. Without a clear vision, you will struggle to capture the imagination and hearts of your donors and volunteers. In addition, your members must believe wholeheartedly that the vision can become a reality.

Your Case for Support will bring your donors and volunteers on board to support and promote the campaign. The specific objectives of the campaign need to be outlined so that everyone is on the same bus going to the same destination.

4. Inspiring Leadership
Your leaders are the backbone of your campaign. From the pastor and the campaign chairperson to the sub-committee chairs and volunteers, everyone must be working toward the same end result. Through trust and confidence, the leadership will inspire others to join in the vision and achieve your campaign goals. Strong leaders turn a vision into reality.

5. Timing/Economic Uncertainty
The timing of your campaign can have an impact on the amount of money you raise. Your campaign funds may fall during a recession when finances are strained and money can be tight. While it may affect the results of your campaign, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are doomed to have a poorly-performing campaign. If the vision and leadership are strong, you can build a successful campaign even in tough financial times.

6. Campaign Readiness
When you’re preparing to conduct a capital campaign, you need to be sure you’re asking the right questions. Use the “Are You Ready for a Capital Campaign” questionnaire to decide if your church is ready to move forward.

Keeping the factors above in mind, here are the typical Capital Campaign Financial Expectations:

Initial Campaign
New construction or an addition: 2-5 times annual contributions
Deferred maintenance: 2-3 times annual contributions
Debt retirement: 1.5-2 times annual contributions
Endowment funding: 1-2 times annual contributions

Subsequent Campaigns
Phase II – 60 to 70% of the first campaign (adjusted for potential loss of major gifts due to death, retirement, etc.)
Phase III – 50 to 60% of first campaign, adjusted.
Long Term – an amount equal to debt service on loan if the case is made.

Download a PDF version of the Capital Campaign Financial Expectations.

To talk more about planning your church’s capital campaign and how much money you can expect to raise, please email or call Church Campaign Services at 888.558.6873.