Many of us regard summer as a time to relax, take vacation, and generally ease up on the pace of life. However, if you’re thinking about conducting a church building stewardship campaign in the next six months, you can’t afford to take a summer break. Why? Let us explain.
Timing Is Everything
Don’t misunderstand, summer is a bad time to conduct a stewardship campaign—we’re not suggesting doing that. As you might imagine, with all those summer vacations people take, a lot of your congregation would likely miss out on the campaign if you held it over the summer months. (December is also a bad time for stewardship campaigns, as people’s Christmas and holiday travel plans create too many distractions.)
But a stewardship campaign involves more than what most attenders see. If you want to conduct a fundraising campaign in the fall, you need to spend the summer planning it, and that’s why you can’t afford to take the summer off. The best times to conduct the public portion of your stewardship campaign is either September through November or February through May.
Understanding the Stewardship Campaign Timeline
When it comes to planning a fundraising campaign for your church building, you need to set aside four to six months for the entire process. The first half is for your behind-the-scenes work, setting up the process, working with a consultant (which we highly recommend), and making decisions about how to move forward.
Once the groundwork is in place, you then spend a number of weeks in the actual public campaign itself, culminating in Pledge Day, when you ask everyone to officially make a financial commitment to your church building or renovation project.
After those pledges are made, the traditional timeframe is three years for people to fulfill their pledge commitment. They might make contributions toward their total on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis.
However, we are also finding that younger churches in locations with more transient populations are now launching one- or two-year stewardship campaigns to ensure pledge commitments are fulfilled before church members move on.
Bringing in the Professionals for Your Church Building Funding Campaign
So how do you know what length of campaign is best for you? This is one of the many reasons why we believe a professional stewardship campaign consultant can be an important investment in the success of your church funding project. Consultants can help you determine the best timing and length of your campaign.
Studies show that using a consultant also increases the total amount of pledges you will collect in your stewardship campaign. Consultants bring in an average of 50 percent more in total pledge dollars than churches that run their fundraising campaigns “in house.”
Another reason to use a professional consultant is that lenders view stewardship campaigns more favorably when they have professional leadership. This means lenders are likely to give you more credit against outstanding pledges than if you did your fundraising in-house.
More Resources to Assist with Your Stewardship Campaign
You can learn more about the impact of professional assistance in our previous post on the subject. To view a list of stewardship campaign professionals we recommend, visit our website. While you’re there, sign up for our free i3 webinars to keep up with the latest church building insights.