You launched your capital campaign and contributions are falling well short of commitments, what went wrong? According to Rusty Lewis, senior generosity strategist at Atlanta-based Generis, most churches that conduct their own campaigns receive only 70%-80% of what was committed. Some come in as low as 50%. Your members want to be faithful, yet it is sometimes easy for them to get off-track, and missed contributions are sometimes overlooked.
Lewis believes it is important to provide a convenient online giving system that allows givers to easily make campaign donations and set up recurrent contributions. Online giving is also a powerful tool to reach younger givers—the group most likely to miss a contribution. Jay West, campus pastor of Fellowship of the Parks in Keller, Texas, says, “Online giving is a significant, growing element of our capital campaign. It helps our members and attendees stay faithful to their commitments.” In fact, since January, 43% of Fellowship of the Parks’ capital campaign contributions were made online. Automatic recurring contributions have grown each month, as well, reaching 75% of all online contributions in June .
Some churches are concerned with the cost of online giving or are not comfortable with their members giving using a credit card. A solution to both of these concerns is debit card-only giving. With some providers, debit cards cost about 1/3 as much as many credit cards to process, and the system simply will not accept a credit card. Having the choice to accept debit and/or credit cards inexpensively can remove the obstacle of accepting online gifts.
Consistent communication connecting generosity to ministry impact is also a critical component to a successful campaign. As Lewis states, “When those updates are shared electronically, via website, email blasts and video blogs, the church can place an immediate call to action in the body of that communication with a link to the online giving portal. With a click, the reader can be on the online giving page entering their next gift. That’s a huge win for the church and the giver.”
By effectively communicating the purpose for your capital campaign, providing a convenient way that allows your members to give faithfully, and keeping members informed, you can more successfully reach your goals.