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37 Ways to Hinder Your Church Capital Campaign

church offerings

Over the months of preparation and execution of a church capital campaign, there are many things churches do to hinder the spiritual and financial results of their campaigns.  This list is not exhaustive, as churches can be very creative in sidestepping best practices, but presented here for your edification is a list of 40 common ways to hinder your church’s capital campaign. 


  1. Asking for too little

  2. Asking for too much

  3. Asking the wrong questions or the wrong people

  4. Assuming going cheap is good stewardship

  5. Assuming social media alone can raise significant revenue for your organization

  6. Assuming that your organization deserves support just because you are doing good things

  7. Assuming you communicate with all age demographics the same way

  8. Assuming you know what your donors think, what they want, or what they believe is important

  9. Avoiding preaching and teaching clearly, compellingly, and unapologetically on stewardship

  10. Believing your members truly understand biblical stewardship

  11. Focusing on the goals of the church instead of the benefits to your donors

  12. Converting all direct mail communications to digital or social media

  13. Expecting your committee to effectively lead the church without formal training or support

  14. Failing to prioritize the campaign from the standpoint of your time, effort, and focus

  15. Focusing too much on the tactical process and not enough on goals & outcomes

  16. Having a poorly designed or nonexistent web page for donations

  17. Having a poorly developed case for support

  18. Including too few facts and figures in making the case for support

  19. Including too many facts and figures and not enough emotion to sell your vision and mission

  20. Ineffective use of personal testimonies

  21. Making campaign decisions based on feelings instead of objective information

  22. Making the capital campaign about money rather than ministry

  23. Not being serious about your website and overall digital communication strategy

  24. Not having a strategic plan that spans pre-campaign preparation through post-campaign follow-up

  25. Not investing in staff training and development on stewardship

  26. Not tracking the proper metrics

  27. Not paying attention to long-term planned giving opportunities

  28. Not praying effectually about the campaign

  29. Not pursuing major donors strategically

  30. Not seeking outside professional counsel or ignoring that counsel

  31. Not talking one-on-one to your members frequently enough

  32. Not using personalization in your written communications

  33. Mentally prioritizing financial results over spiritual results

  34. Refusing to use a proven fundraising tactic because you don’t personally like it

  35. Running the campaign at the wrong time

  36. Rushing the campaign and not giving adequate time to prepare tactically or spiritually

  37. Thinking you have communicated often enough and well enough


Our church capital campaign services help you avoid these and other stumbling blocks to a spiritually and financially successful capital campaign. If you would like a complimentary copy of our report on the 10 quality factors that distinguish successful church capital campaigns from the other kind, contact us here to request one.

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