March 15, 2018 Joe Sangl

The Single Most Important Question in Fundraising

Raising Money in the Church Can Be Confusing

But there is one question you must be able to answer: “Pastor, why should I give to this church?”

Your church members do not have a shortage of giving opportunities in their world. So it’s up to you to cast a compelling vision for generosity, and to be extremely clear about how giving to your church makes a difference.

It’s vital to have a vision and absolutely necessary to have a clear project in need of funding.

Whether it’s a new building, renovations, multi-site, or a debt retirement issue, getting clear about where the money is going helps people connect the vision to reality. It helps them draw a line between the mission and vision of your church to the current needs.

Sure, this comes with a lot of questions:

  • Do we build a Family Life Center or expand our children’s space?
  • Do we build or pay off debt first?
  • Can we combine the two?
  • If we pursue ministry expansion, how can we sequence out which need receives primary funding?

Maybe you’re clear on the vision, the projects, and the next steps. But, how do you continue to fund the vision of the church while beginning to fund a special project?

Church vision largely centers on the what one can see, feel, and hear on a Sunday. Campaign vision says, “If we build that building, buy that land, or pay off that debt, here’s how ministry is going to change, and how our vision takes a major step in becoming a reality.”

A successful campaign vision contains at least two things:

1) A clearly defined project

This is a specific answer to the question, “What exactly do you want me to give money to?” An example is, “A Family Life Center.” The more specific the answer, the more resources will flow toward it. A more specific response would be: “A 25,000 sq. ft. Family Life Center costing $4 million which includes additional children’s facilities, a workout area for the community, gathering space for small groups, and an office space. We desire to see hundreds come to Christ each year through the ministries this building will provide.”

2) A catalyst for making the overall vision a reality

If you only focus on the project, issues can develop. Projects by their very nature are divisive. Some people might want red carpet while others prefer blue. Others may think the project is too expensive, while others want more bells and whistles. Some may want a Family Life Center, while others are ready to pay off debt. This is why it is vitally important that the success of the campaign focuses on the changed lives that will result from the accomplishment of this next step toward the church’s overall vision.

If you craft your church’s campaign vision with these points in mind, you are well on your way to a successful capital campaign.

If you’d like to learn more vital keys about how to lead successful capital campaigns at your church, download our eBook, How to Raise Big Money for Big Projects and let us know if there’s anything else we can do to serve you!

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Joe Sangl

Joe has been the President and CEO of INJOY Stewardship Solutions since August of 2011. This company was founded out of the desire to not simply help churches raise money, but rather to help churches raise more fully surrendered followers of Jesus. INJOY Stewardship has been blessed to serve over 4,000 churches by helping these churches fund the vision God has given them through customized capital campaigns. Joe is also the Founder of I Was Broke. Now I'm Not., an organization that provides financial teaching through live events, print, and web resources. He is also the Co-Founder of Fully Funded, an organization that helps churches implement systems to create a generous culture and fully fund their vision. Joe lives in Anderson, SC, with his bride, Jenn, and their three children.
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