Some companies and consultants propose two and three-year campaigns. A longer campaign duration allows members both to give more and to leverage their gifts over a longer time period. A disadvantage is that many people find it difficult to anticipate expected income and financial liabilities beyond a few months into the future. Future economic uncertainty or current anxieties may limit participation in longer term campaigns.
Some churches have adopted an annual or semiannual emphasis on stewardship and giving. This could take the form of an annual one fund emphasis or a capital campaign to fund facility improvements. Churches without indebtedness sometimes use annual stewardship emphases to promote an annual love offering (e.g. “I Love My Church! Offering”) to fund important needs, ministry expansion, missions projects or facility upgrades.
Church campaign consultants and companies exist to make the tasks of capital stewardship campaigns easier for pastors and their churches. While this arrangement works well for many churches, the cost can be high. Consider whether you can do the job with teams and volunteers that already exist in your church.
You know your congregation and local context better than anyone. You may need the benefit of a consultant’s experience to ensure a campaign’s success, but you may already have everything you need for a successful stewardship campaign. Consider the existing knowledge base that may already be present in your church:
- Business People – Your church already contains men and women who work in the banking, financial services and financial planning sectors.
- Managers – Experienced managers can assist with logistics and project details.
- Marketers – Church members or staff with some marketing experience can help identify the best ways to communicate the church’s capital needs and tell member stewardship stories.
- Graphic Designers – You can use volunteers to assist with graphic design and campaign presentation or you can easily hire local designers.
- Church Staff & Leaders – Church staff members can help manage a campaign. Church leaders can be a useful sounding board to identify church member questions and concerns about a stewardship campaign.
- Online Resources – Affordable resources from Stewardship Direct or Rick Warren’s Daring Faith can help your church customize and craft an effective stewardship campaign.