As we continue working through the church building process step by step, it’s time to talk funding. You should now have a good sense of how much money will be required to complete the church building process from the budget developed in the last step. Now it’s time to figure out where that money will come from.
Preparing a Church Building Stewardship Campaign
Obviously, you will need to ask for the funds required to fulfill your ministry vision of a new or remodeled church facility. The funds will come from three basic sources: gifts, pledges, and financing. In order to raise funds in a responsible manner, you will need to plan your stewardship campaign in a wise and thoughtful way. Whether you have knowledgeable attendees in your church who can conduct this campaign or if you hire a consultant (recommended in most cases) to guide and support your efforts, there are some basic elements that will need your attention up front.
Timing Your Church Building Stewardship Campaign
There are certain key elements to a successful stewardship campaign, and one of them is good timing. You don’t want to raise money in winter because between the holidays and winter vacations, people are distracted by everything else going on — and are likely spending more money than usual, which could make them feel they don’t have funds available to support your church building project.
Summer is also not a good time for a stewardship campaign because many people are away on vacation. Therefore, the consensus of opinion is that the best times to ask for gifts and pledges for your new church design and building project are in the spring or the fall.
Preparing the Way for the New Church Design with Lending Institutions
Financing is an integral element of almost every church building project as raising enough money through gifts and pledges isn’t always possible. It’s important to begin thinking about the financing early, as there will be much financial information you need to gather in preparation for making the loan request. Here is a handy checklist of the different types of materials that you will need to have available when you begin conversations with lenders.
You’ll also want to find a lending institution that has worked with churches before. There are some elements to financing that are specific to churches. Lenders who are not familiar with the differences between thriving and struggling churches, for example, might tend to bundle all types of churches together. This can lead them to offer you either too much or not enough financing than your church’s financial health can truly support.
Much of this funding work can — and should — begin concurrently with the earlier, church design phase. It’s never too early to get a sense of what you can afford and how you will make that church design into a reality.
Stay tuned for more, as the next step in our start-to-finish series will address construction documentation.
It’s also never too early to tell us what else you’d like us to cover in our free i3 webinars. Our 2019 webinar series topics is almost done, so please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know what topics and questions you would like us to discuss.