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Real Talk About Church Capital Campaigns: Wisdom from the Trenches

Katie Allred

Real Talk About Church Capital Campaigns: Wisdom from the Trenches

Katie Allred

So, your church is gearing up for a capital campaign? Exciting stuff, but I also know firsthand that it can feel like stepping onto a rollercoaster blindfolded. Since church comms folks are basically a family, I’m sharing three truths (and a bonus secret weapon) I’ve gathered from my own capital campaign adventures and the wisdom of some amazing colleagues from the group:

1. Math for Realists: Plan for Imperfect Participation

Sandra Raisch Potts knows a thing or two about this! She wisely pointed out, “Estimate any ‘if every household contributed’ figures on what it would take if fewer than your regular givers actually participated.” Truth bomb! Not everyone will give at the levels you hope for—some might give once, some might not at all. Factoring this into your projections from the get-go makes for less stressful surprises later.

Speaking of detective work, here’s your secret weapon: your church data! It’s like having a treasure map to understanding your congregation’s giving patterns and communication styles. Dive deep into those numbers and gear up for some strategic outreach! 😉

2. Vision is Vital, But Make it Tangible

Lauren Burgess, who’s shepherded her church through a building campaign, reminds us, “Casting vision is paramount — but how are you inviting people in to participate in the vision?” How can you turn those big, exciting goals into concrete, relatable experiences? Prayer walks on the future building site? Small gifts tied to progress milestones? Get creative!

3. Communication is a Team Sport (Don’t Go It Alone!)

Sandra (you’re a rockstar, Sandra!) nailed this one too: “Even the best campaign teams will brainstorm a million things you should do as the comms person – and not so much what they can do.” PREACH. Communication can’t happen in a silo. Get leadership on board with active participation, story sharing, and setting realistic expectations for your role.

Bonus Tip from Your Cynical-But-Hopeful Friend: It’s easy to get swept up in the “rah-rah” of a campaign, but remember to pace yourself. This is a marathon, not a sprint! Be kind to yourself, prioritize self-care, and remember that you’ve got an amazing community to lean on.

Now go forth and campaign like the comms champion you are!

P.S. Huge shoutout to all the amazing folks who chimed in with their wisdom on this thread—you’re the real MVPs! 🙏

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