18 Reasons Why People Won’t Pledge in Your Capital Campaign

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At INJOY Stewardship Solutions, we have seen several seasons of amazing generosity and capital campaigns take place. God is doing an incredible work in the hearts of people and is raising up an army of generous stewards across the country. In addition to dozens of visions being fully-funded, God is blessing countless individuals as they develop a lifestyle of generosity.

One interesting trend we are seeing is that pledged giving is decreasing on a percentage basis while non-pledged giving is growing at an exponential rate. More and more people are choosing to forego filling out a traditional pledge card route but still wholeheartedly participating in the capital campaign. Non-pledge giving now makes up over 40% of all receipts.

The reasons why people are not pledging are complex. Here are some possibilities:

  1. Leaders aren’t giving

    So goes the leaders, so goes the people. Though some people may be in a leadership position, they are not willing to sacrifice for its future.

  2. Financial leaders remember 2008

    The market crash left a lasting memory, causing financial leaders to be extremely cautious.

  3. People don’t know how long they will be at the church

    So why make a long-term commitment?

  4. Poor economy and unstable job market

    The tenuous nature of many people’s jobs makes them unwilling to pledge.

  5. People are broke

    Smart leaders should no longer say, “Well if everyone gave we wouldn’t need a capital campaign.” It is not that they do not want to give. They can’t!!! Churches must first step in and help provide their struggling families with the tools and training needed for financial stability. For this, I recommend the organization I Was Broke. Now I’m Not.

  6. People don’t like the pastor

    Therefore, they do not financially support his or her vision.

  7. The church’s vision is unclear

    It simply does not make sense. People will not sacrifice when they do not have a clear picture of where the church is going.

  8. The church’s vision isn’t compelling

    In this instance, the people know where the church is going. They are just not inspired by its direction.

  9. Another organization’s vision is more compelling

    The local animal shelter, your child’s school, your Alma mater, Franklin Graham, a missionary, or a relief organization has a more compelling vision than your church does. Thus the dollars flow there.

  10. The project is unclear

    Your people do not know exactly what they are giving to. For example, do you want them to give to debt or a new building? Make sure you are crystal clear.

  11. They don’t trust the leadership

    Your pastor and/or leadership team has had too many missteps or unfulfilled expectations. People say, “I’m done. They’ll never get it right.”

  12. Leadership dysfunction

    People sense and know when your leadership is not aligned or attuned.

  13. Previous broken promises

    Because of previous broken promises, your people will not believe it until they see it. Only then will they invest in it.

  14. Lack of unity at home

    The husband and wife cannot agree on what to give.

  15. Some people don’t like the word “pledge”

    Based upon your unique environment, use the word “commitment” or “intention” instead.

  16. The people haven’t been given enough time to fill out the pledge card

    Prayer is the most important component to a successful commitment time. Make sure you have given those in your church a long runway to wrestle with their amount in prayer. Prayer also removes the pastor as a fundraiser and positions people to better connect with the heart of God.

  17. The people weren’t properly given the opportunity to fill out the pledge card

    The commitment time was poorly executed during the service. This is a missed opportunity.

  18. Sin

    Greed, selfishness, entitlement, materialism, unresolved conflict or negligence cause some people to simply refuse to respond to God’s call for generosity in their life.

If you have a need to raise significant capital in the next year, click HERE and join us on March 28th for a special online event entitled 4 Steps To A Successful Fall Capital Campaign.

We will address the issues above as well as many others. Our purpose is to see your vision fully-funded. Sign-up today and let us help you. It would be an honor to serve your church.

Sign Up for the Online Event

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About Author

Brian is the Director of New Ministry Relationships for Injoy Stewardship Solutions who helps churches fully-fund their mission and vision. During the last 14+ years, he has spent each day having one-on-one conversations with many of the greatest church leaders in America. Brian also has 30 years of church volunteer and staff experience.

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