By Joel Mikell & Derek Hazelet
A new day demands a new way to fully-fund your church’s vision
The capital campaign has always been a powerful way for church leaders to focus attention and resources toward reaching a God-inspired vision for your ministry. And while the timeless principles will never change, the best approach to funding your vision has always — and will always — evolve as the landscape of ministry evolves.
In fact, we’re living through one of those evolutions right now.
Church leaders recognize the new challenges of funding their God-given vision in today’s complex world of ministry. Pastors who’ve led multiple capital campaigns are wrestling with uncertainty of being able to fully fund the vision in light of today’s ministry landscape. Churches in campaigns are noticing that keeping momentum going after Commitment Sunday seems harder today than it used to be.
At RSI, we’ve dedicated everything we have to helping church leaders overcome these challenges.
3 prevailing keys to fully fund your vision
If you’re considering a capital campaign in the near future, here are three essential ways to approach your campaign to gain greater clarity and confidence in order to fully fund the vision God has given you.
#1: Eliminate the guesswork with actionable insights & predictive modeling. While capital campaigns might be familiar, many pastors are leading their church to places they’ve never been before. Report-writing tools have become a popular way to use data to make decisions about how to move forward. And while report writers are helpful for analyzing past giving history, looking back doesn’t provide a complete picture. It’s like trying to drive a car by just looking out the rearview mirror.
Our team has adapted to this need, helping church leaders gain actionable insights from predictive modeling tools used by some of the world’s leading nonprofits. This enables you to validate your campaign goals by digging beyond top-level giving trends and quantifying the future impact of your decisions with real-time predictive modeling tools that show you exactly what could happen, based on specific variables. This level of understanding provides a clear line of sight for the key moves that will help you fully fund your campaign based on the unique characteristics of your specific ministry.
#2: Create a multi-channel communications strategy to engage and inspire people in personal and relevant ways. Funding God-inspired vision is always spiritual before it is financial. But, to inspire people in today’s increasingly noisy world, you need to engage them in ways that are personal and relevant to them. This includes communicating through the channel that’s most relevant to them. It also means creating a multi-channel experience that tells the same story through every communication channel.
At RSI, we’re helping pastors engage church members in a way that’s relevant, based on their interests and commitment level. By combining the power of online communications (such as email and microsites) with traditional forms of communication, we’re helping church leaders create a multi-channel experience that’s personal and relevant for every person in the pew.
#3: Bridge the gap between Commitment Sunday and fulfillment with automated communication. Intentional follow-up has always been an important part of a successful campaign. However, every church leader knows that realization is the most difficult part of a campaign. It can be difficult to keep everyone engaged during the campaign by relying on what is said from the platform. No church leader wants to deal with the awkwardness of reminding people about the campaign and their pledge commitment. Ministry in a decentralized world requires a new set of tools.
RSI is working with church leaders to leverage technology to bridge the gap in a way that wasn’t possible before. By enhancing the proven principles of campaign fulfillment with automated communication tools that deliver relevant, timely and action-driven messages, we’re helping church leaders ensure every person is engaged in personal and relevant ways throughout the campaign.
In essence, we’re working to remove the burden of manually managing the process of campaign fulfillment that the traditional campaign would require the church to do.
Gone are the days of “going with your gut” and hoping for the best
The good news is that these three ideas help overcome the biggest known gaps for capital campaigns: validating your ideas and assumptions with objective information and having a way to follow up with people in a way that is personal and scalable during campaign fulfillment.
Your God-given vision for ministry is too valuable to guess what you should do or hope you can do to fully fund it. You deserved to be empowered with actionable insights for funding your ministry in order make the best decisions. You deserve to be equipped with a support system that helps you optimize fulfillment without adding more work to your plate.
Joel Mikell is president at RSI Stewardship. Follow him on Twitter or find him on Facebook.
Derek Hazelet is senior vice president at RSI Stewardship. Find him on Twitter or LinkedIn.