If you’re considering a church renovation or new building project, chances are you’re also worrying about the financing. Since the economic downturn in 2008, loans aren’t as easy to come by as they used to be. This is where the perfect loan request package comes in. It’s not just a request for money; it’s also a sales pitch to get the bank or other financing organization on board with your vision. Here are some tips to make sure you get the loan you want.
You want to begin your pitch by telling your prospective financers about your church. Fill them in on your church’s background (when it was organized? What denomination is it?), as well as its history. When discussing history, concentrate on the numbers. For example, how many members do you have? How has that grown over the past three to five years?
Also, how many people show up each Sunday, and how has that grown over the same period of time? That’s actually more important, because not everyone who supports the church’s ministry and finances is a member. You should also describe the geographic area represented by the people who attend your church.
Show off Your Church’s Strength
Obviously an important piece of information is your church’s finances. Give your prospective lender income statements and balance sheets covering the past three years, and if you’re submitting an application after April, include interim financial statements for the current year.
Your church’s strength is also shown through its leadership. The business world understands that an organization rises and falls based, to a large extent, upon the quality of its leaders. Include a resume that outlines your pastor’s history and experience.
And be sure to explain your vision of your church to the bank. Share how what you are doing is going to help people and help your community. This also demonstrates the drive behind your leadership.
Share the Plan for Your Church Design Project
Naturally, telling a lender what you plan to do with their money is key to getting a loan. When we begin working with clients, we give them schematic designs and a three-dimensional perspective. This helps the church design project come alive for everyone.
We also create a comprehensive budget estimate that includes all the project costs—not just construction, but also permit fees, furnishings, etc. This information shows that you have really taken the time to consider all the costs.
Another important part of your church design pitch will be the funding plan. This involves a number of things, including cash on hand, your capital campaign plans, and the loan that you’re asking for. If you’ve been involved with any capital campaigns in the past, you will want to include detailed information about these, because it helps demonstrate to the loan officers that you understand how to run a successful campaign.
Not Ready? Begin Now Anyway!
Even if you’re not ready to arrange financing, it’s still the perfect time to make sure you’re carefully keeping all the records you’ll need—about membership, attendance, leadership, finances, pledging, etc. You’ll also want to make sure your church is operating within its giving limits, as that will prove to loan officers down the road that you know how to manage your church’s money.
Want to learn more useful information about church building projects? All this information came from one of our free i3 webinars—visit our website to sign up for the series today!