Church Capital Campaign Consulting Fees – Are They Worth It?

When considering church capital campaign consulting services, the cost often becomes a subject of debate that is usually negatively influenced by a number of factors.

          • First, the church often does not like to spend money – it is typically frugally minded, sometimes to a fault.
          • Secondly, hiring consulting services requires a change in how churches approach the problem. The church typically resists change and finds comfort in established patterns, even if they have not been the most effective in the past.
          • Thirdly, many churches must put it to a vote of the congregation – a body that is largely unequipped by experience or training to truly understand the scope of the problem or the value of the assistance.

“There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man’s lawful prey.” ~ John Ruskin.  An unhealthy focus on cost versus value is unhealthy. While stewardship demands due consideration be given to the cost of the investment, the church often does itself a disservice by unfairly focusing on the cost of the church capital campaign consulting service and not fairly counting the value gained from the engagement.

Consider the parable of the treasure hidden in the field: The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” Jesus – Matthew 13:44 NASB.  The man unearthed a treasure hidden in the field and then did what he had to do (sold all he had) to buy the field because he understood the value hidden in it. He did not say to himself, “I would like to have that treasure, but I can’t afford it.” He evaluated the find, counted the cost, and understood the value was worth the sacrifice – which he then made.

Church Capital Campaign Consulting – The Value Proposition

To help determine the value proposition on consulting, the church should objectively and honestly ask:

  • Do we have the training, experience, and objectivity to do this the best it can be done?
  • What is the value of supporting and protecting the leadership of the church?
  • What is the value of increasing unity and support for the building program in the body?
  • Why did Moses and Solomon get outside help for their building programs? (Exodus 31 and 2 Chronicles 2)
  • How much is confidence and peace of mind worth to us?
  • What is the value of a 50% or even 100% increase in fundraising worth? Said another way, what is the cost of not doing it well, both in terms of money, momentum, and ministry effectiveness?

While some of these points are essentially priceless, the church should assign some dollar value to each of these and any other questions it may ask itself – then do the math.

The Final Answer

So, are church consulting fees with it? If, at the end of the day, the engagement provides greater value than the cost of services (which it will), the difference is the cost to the church to not engage for the services. Conservatively speaking, the use of an outside professional can double the amount raised on your own.   For a simple example, if a viable goal with a consultant is $1M, the typical church will raise between $500,000 and $750,000 on their own.  In this example the potential value is between $250,000 and $500,000.

Potential dollar value

Minus

Cost of consulting and expenses

Equals

  1. EITHER the net value from hiring the church capital campaign consultant
  2. OR the net cost of not hiring the campaign consultant!

It’s your choice…

Blessing or Curse?  Just as God put the options of life and prosperity, and death and adversity before Israel (Deut. 30:15-20), you too have an option. The chances of an experience church capital campaign consultant not at least paying for themselves is almost non-existent.  Whether the return on investment is 5-fold, 20-fold, or 50-fold, you will be financially and even spiritually ahead of the game with experienced outside counsel.

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(Adapted from a previous church capital campaign blog post)