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How to Avoid The Most Expensive Church Capital Campaigns

Church Stewardship

Avoid This Costly Mistake In YOUR Church Capital Campaign!

The church capital campaign to AVOID will:

  1. Almost certainly be the one with the highest overall net cost.

  2. Have the least spiritual impact on your church members.

  3. Be the most stressful and least effective.


Therefore, the consulting vendor to AVOID is your own church and the most expensive church capital campaign is the one done without professional assistance.


Before you dismiss the above comment and click away, allow me to explain why this is true.

Conventional wisdom, and my personal experience in church capital campaigns, indicate that all but the most experienced of churches will raise about only one-half of what they would have raised with the help of an experienced outside coach/consultant. While the discrepancy in money raised gets huge when talking about larger churches, let’s consider a small to moderate sized church with a $350,000 income from tithes and offerings. A 50% decrease in contributions to a 3-year capital campaign could easily represent unrealized giving on the order of $250,000 over a three-year period. Even a conservative 20% decrease in giving to a campaign of this size could easily reduce giving $125,000 or more.

For the sake of argument, let’s be conservative and say that the results of the do-it-yourself church capital campaign in this example was reduced by a relatively small percentage of only around 10%, resulting in a net negative impact of just $70,000. If the campaign consultant was going to cost $35,000, it’s plain to see that running a do-it-yourself campaign was very expensive.

You did not save $35,000 by not hiring a consultant; it COST you at least $70,000! And if your campaign results were more in line with the industry average (these are very conservative numbers), it probably cost you far more.

In this example, we used very conservative numbers, the net cost to the church could easily have been $200,000 over the life of the campaign!  

This lost opportunity amount is many times what a consultant would have charged to help with the campaign. In all likelihood, the church could have invested $35,000 or even $55,000 in a consultant and increased giving by hundreds of thousand dollars. Now, increase the size of the church and its budget, and the results are even more extraordinary.

Here’s the bottom line: It will cost you more NOT to hire a consultant than it will to get their help. Regardless of the size of the church, it is reasonable to expect that for every dollar invested in a good consultant you will see a multi-fold return on your investment.  

The only real question left for the church would be to ask, “How often can we do this?”

“There is nothing in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and he who considers price only is that man’s lawful prey.” - John Ruskin


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