Could a Capital Campaign Be Right For Your Church?

A new study shows that one in four congregations has conducted a capital campaign in the past year.

Researchers with Indiana University and the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving shared a sneak peek of the results of the National Study of Congregations’ Economic Practices at a recent conference attended by Deborah Rexrode, associate for stewardship with Presbytery of the James.

The study indicates churches feel able to sustain the stress and impact of capital improvements and capital fundraising. Churches often postpone and delay these kinds of projects because they take lots of energy and resources from the pastor, staff, session, and congregation.

Seven congregations in Presbytery of the James have recently concluded or are in the process of conducting capital campaigns. The smallest has a membership of just 60, while the largest has more than 1,000 members.

The projects funded by these campaigns vary, from establishing a legacy fund to renovations to debt reduction. Many of the projects involved deferred maintenance, updating dated parts of facilities such as mechanical systems and restrooms – not always the most motivating kind of project for congregations. While we all benefit from those, they are less exciting than a new sanctuary or fellowship hall.

Over the coming weeks, Presbytery of the James will share the stories of these seven churches. We hope they inspire your church to undertake a capital campaign to fund needed initiatives.

financial charts, calculator, and piggy bank

Churches Recently Conducting Capital Campaigns in Presbytery of the James

Bon Air
Janet Winslow, pastor

Chester
Gordon Mapes, pastor

First, Charlottesville
David Forney, pastor

Ginter Park
Carla Pratt Keyes, pastor

Providence, Gum Spring
Karen Witt, pastor

Westminster, Richmond
Joel Morgan, pastor

Second, Richmond
Alex Evans, pastor

Coordinating a Capital Campaign at Your Church

Presbytery of the James is unique in having a full-time associate for Stewardship to work with congregations of any size, serve as a resource, and provide suggestions for steps in the process. To explore a capital campaign at your church, contact Deborah Rexrode by email or by calling 804-262-2074.

Deborah Rexrode

This article was originally published in the Summer 2019 issue of the Vine. Find this issue and others online.