The 36 month giving phase is over for your current capital campaign and there is not a pressing need for another campaign. The giving during the 36 months paid for the project. Maybe you just completed a second campaign which was for debt retirement and the debt is now retired. The church knows it will need another building campaign in the near future but not right now. Is your church in one of these positions, been in one of these positions or approaching one of these positions in the near future? If yes, then a question you may have asked is what should our people do with the resources they have been giving over and above for the previous 36 or 72 months(or longer)?
When working in campaigns, especially debt retirement campaigns, we often say something like this: “Paying interest is not good stewardship. Think of all the money we will save by paying off the debt sooner. The sooner we pay off the current debt the sooner that money can go toward ministry and mission.” All of this comment is true, but how many churches encourage their people to redirect their current over and above giving in some other way once the giving phase is over? Does the over and above money actually go toward minsitry and mission? How many churches have a strategy in place when the giving phase is over which offers their people an option to keep on giving over and above?
My ten years of working in campaigns and the stewardship field have proven that if people who are currently giving over and above are given a clear vision as to why they should continue to give over and above; they will. However, if they are not encouraged to continue giving over and above most will not and getting them to do so at a later date can prove to be very challenging. The people of your church will find some other place to put the money they have been faithfully giving over and above whether it is to another ministry, their retirement fund, or their vacation fund. People will reallocate resources especially during a recession.
So, what do we do when the over and above phase ends with no subsequent campaign to follow? We need to be prepared to offer our people some options to consider redirecting their over and above gifts toward. Remember that people like to know where the money they give is going. People (especially younger people 40 & under) like to give to specific causes; not operating budgets.
1. Think short term projects (3 -6 months)
2. Think mission projects – locally, nationally, or globally
3. Think about projects which will directly change other’s lives
4. Think about funding a part of your operating budget
There are countless ideas of how to redirect over and above giving. Do you have the strategy in place for your church?