Most churches, at some point in their history develop a need to raise money to build or other capital expense. Whether you are trying to raise money for a building program, renovation, purchase land, or retire debt; in almost every case the church will need to execute a biblical capital campaign to help raise this money. Prior to embarking on a campaign, the church may be advised to first conduct a capital campaign feasibility study to access congregational readiness and support, identify financial goals, and begin to create support for the campaign.
Is Your Church Truly Prepared for a Capital Campaign?
Most churches do not realize the very complex and competitive fund raising environment in which they must operate. Today, the competition for a potential donors’ hearts, time, and pocketbooks is intense. Much of this competition comes from other nonprofits. Each of these other nonprofits must solicit money in order to stay in business; and to achieve their goals, the people they solicit from are often the very same people (your members) a church depends on for its support.
In order to properly prepare for a capital campaign, many churches are beginning (like their non-profit competitors) to commission a capital campaign feasibility study. A campaign feasibility study provides several very valuable benefits to the church. It helps gauge congregational support for a fundraising campaign, it helps define or validate a planned campaign goal, and perhaps most importantly, a feasibility study begins the important process of donor development.
Why Do A Capital Campaign Feasibility Study?
For years secular nonprofits (and increasingly – churches) have used Capital Campaign Feasibility and Planning Studies to:
- Determine if a capital campaign is needed and what it will cost.
- Determine realistic and obtainable goals and the potential for success.
- Determine the amount that might be raised and the time it will take to raise the funds.
- Determine campaign strategies to be used.
- Build support and confidence with potential contributors.
- Develop plans for soliciting individual prospects.
- Ascertain donor confidence in the church leadership.
- Obtain indications regarding the level of financial support from potential large givers.
- Determine how the church is viewed in the eyes of prospective donors and if the proposed project is perceived as important to prospective donors.
- Determine the church’s spiritual readiness for a campaign.
- Determine potential challenges and barriers to success.
- and much more…
Gauging Support and Goal Setting
A capital campaign feasibility study can be used to determine both the leadership’s readiness and the congregation’s receptiveness to a capital fundraising effort. It will help insure the leadership team is ready to execute a campaign and that all the leaders are on-board with the process.
Through a series of interviews, a campaign feasibility study will also help identify whether the congregation, particularly your largest potential givers, support the vision and leadership and are ready to give sacrificially to the capital campaign. These same interviews will also gauge the level of financial support which is then used as a predictor of financial results that can be used to either set a financial goal, or to validate if there is a reasonable expectation of meeting a desired goal.
Developing sacrificial donors takes vision, communication, and time. A capital campaign feasibility study will determine if the vision is widely understood and embraced, particularly by the base of potential large donors. Since these potential large donors can have such a large impact on the results of your capital campaign, it is important that we begin to communicate with them early. A feasibility study begins the process of communication with your largest donors well in advance of discussions with the typical congregant.
Does Your Church Need A Capital Campaign Feasibility Study?
The answer to this question depends on the size of your church and/or campaign goal, the experience of the church, and other factors. Please contact us for an honest evaluation of your unique situation.