When considering church capital campaign consulting services, cost often becomes a subject of debate influenced by a number of negative factors.
First, the church often does not like to spend money – it is typically frugally minded, sometimes to a fault.
Second, 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 those processes have not been the most effective in the past.
Third, many churches put it to a vote of the congregation – a body of people that is largely unequipped by experience or training to 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.
Focusing on cost instead of 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 benefit, 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?
- What is the cost of not doing it well, both in terms of money, momentum, leadership confidence, and ministry effectiveness?
While some of these points are essentially priceless, the church might be well advised to assign some dollar value to each of these and any other questions it may ask itself – then do the math of comparing the investment cost to the return.
Investment: noun \in-ˈves(t)-mənt\ – Investment is the application of money for earning more money or value. According to economics, investment is the utilization of resources in order to increase income or production output in the future.
So, Are Church Consulting Fees Worth It? The Final Answer
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. The use of an outside professional can often double the amount raised on your own.
As a simple example, if a viable goal with a consultant is $1M, the church will typically raise between $500,000 and $750,000 on their own. In this example the potential value of hiring the consultant is between $250,000 and $500,000. If the church invested $40,000 in a 3+ year consulting engagement, it received a 5-12x return on investment.
(Potential gain) – (Cost of consulting and expenses) = Net Value from hiring the church capital campaign consultant
(Potential gain) – (Fee quoted by the consultant you did not hire) = the Net Cost to the church to do it without help.
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 experienced 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 spiritually ahead of the game with experienced outside counsel.
Related Articles & Resources:
- How to Avoid the Most Expensive Church Capital Campaigns
- Download Slideshow – Why Hire a Capital Campaign Consultant?
(Adapted from a previous church capital campaign blog post)