Finance Friday: Capital Campaign Aha Moments

For the past twelve years Alan Wildes has helped equip church leaders to develop a culture of generosity within their congregations.  Currently serving churches as a Generosity Coach at Generis, Alan leverages his years as a baseball coach and teacher to help churches reach their full potential.  I am excited to have him share his wisdom with us in the weeks to come.

I have been guiding churches through capital campaigns for over 12 years.  The process has certainly evolved over the years, but many things remain consistent.  At the end of the process there are always “Aha!” moments.

Once a campaign is over I always ask the leaders of the church what they thought of the process: what went well, what could have been done better (or differently), and “What were the ‘AHA!’ moments?”

Here are the five most common Aha! moments:

  • Aha! moment #1: “This is a lot of work!”
  • Aha! moment #2: “Leadership should have asked more questions before launching the campaign.”
  • Aha! moment #3: “We should have done more pre-campaign work to obtain more buy-in of the vision from our staff, leaders and our people.”  (The same questions in #2 should also be asked to the general congregation before launching a campaign.)
  • Aha! moment #4: “I had no idea we would have to communicate as much as we did; and some people still didn’t get the message!”
  • Aha! moment #5: “We should have taken the major gift portion of the process more seriously.”

Over the next several weeks I plan to unpack each of these “Aha” moments.  In the meantime, have you recently finished a campaign?  I’d love to hear your thoughts about my list or if you think the list should be altered or added to.  Let me hear from you.  I’d love to include some of your thoughts in the unpack.

What were YOUR capital campaign Aha moments?


About the Author: Alan Wildes

Guiding a church from vision to implementation takes patience, objectivity and experience. Alan has 12 years with Generis and has worked with over 90 churches. Alan’s experience with local churches has reinforced his passion and ability to build relationships. Regular on site attention allows him to personally get to know each church and its’ people in order to create a generosity game plan unique to them. A social studies teacher and baseball coach for eight years prior to becoming a generosity coach, Alan earned his Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and his Master of Science in Education from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro.