Thursday, July 28, 2011

Those wonderful church capital fundraising campaigns

I’ve done a few church capital fundraising (CCF) campaigns over the years. It is just a part of pastoral ministry that we have with us always. Some of the brethren thrive on doing these things, not so much the case for me. I don't care if I ever do another one.

There's not nearly as much happening in church capital fundraising these days (unless you're building a sparkling crystal campus, see FBC Dallas) but before the recession I'd regularly, incessantly, get cold sales calls at the church from CCF people wanting to 'help' us.

Plodder had to draw upon his vast reserves of patience and Christian courtesy to handle these calls but was up to the task.

I don't know a lot but here’s what I have learned about CCF and I’m trying to be nice about it. These aren’t in any special order:

1. CCF is a wonderful cash cow, especially for the consultants and capital fundraising industry.

2. CCF consultants fundraisers who deal with churches aren't all that different than those whose clients are mainly non-profits and charitable organizations. The CCF crowd does tack on a lot of prayer and other spiritual stuff but the bottom line is money.

3. You should take the CCF consultant’s figures, estimates of amounts you can raise, with a grain, or a wheelbarrow load, of salt. I was told by one, “You’ll never raise enough to do this program.” We did, but not because of the CCF guy.

4. Some CCF people are denominational employees moonlighting a few times a year with churches, the same churches that pay their salary. Help me understand: We pay them. We pay to train them in CCF. They take the training and charge us handsomely for it. There must be an explanation somewhere.

5. CCF consultants can be slick, too slick for micropastors and churches like me and mine.

6. Laypeople who have gone through one CCF campaign might have a surfeit of the thing and become highly cynical about doing it again. Talk to your laypeople.

7. How did churches ever accomplish any capital projects before the age of high powered CCF consultants? God? The Holy Spirit?

8. If you get a CCF manual and read it, you might find that you can do without the high dollar consultant.

9. If you follow the program you might end up manipulating your congregation into giving. That is brutally honest and is a thought relayed to me by laypeople.

10. If you do it, be straightforward about the thing. I always thought honesty and transparency was good for the Christian ministry.

Plodder admits to his usual modicum of cynicism here. And sure, there are many very fine brethren who are CF consultants.

Have any CCF stories?


Anonymous said...

Years ago we wanted to do a building campaign and of course they found out and called us. They said they could "help" us raise the money for a mere $100,000. I told them thanks but no thanks, and then we used their $100,000 to make the building better and bigger.

If God directs you to build, then He will provide the resources and doesn't need the help of a company that pressures members.

Tim G said...

That is why I partnered with Eklund Stewardship - they are totally different. That is why I am now President of Eklund Stewardship! No high fees. No human pressure. Simple Biblical approach that results in salvations and life change. There has been a better option for years and there stil is. In our organization, not even a mega church would be charged $30,000.

I hear what you are saying but I also know as a Pastor I found a better option and am now making sure that option still exists for years to come.

Bob has been doing it right and he and we are still doing it right!