Dissecting a $3 Million Fundraising Campaign with Rock Church Pastor Chuck Leslie

Dissecting a $3 Million Fundraising Campaign with Rock Church Pastor Chuck Leslie

This week on TV, Dean Sweetman and Frank Barry are joined by Chuck Leslie, Pastor of Stewardship at the Rock Church in San Diego, CA. Pastor Leslie gives a behind the scenes look at what it takes to run a $3 million fundraising campaign.

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Modern Church leader
Publish date
December 12, 2018

This week on TV, Dean Sweetman and Frank Barry are joined by Chuck Leslie, Pastor of Stewardship at the Rock Church in San Diego, CA. Pastor Leslie gives a behind the scenes look at what it takes to run a $3 million fundraising campaign.

During their conversation, they talk about:

  • How to run a successful fundraising campaign
  • 2 ways to use stories to raise more money
  • The steps you must take to get started with your campaign
  • How to encourage people to give
  • Why running short-term campaigns increase overall giving


Here’s a list of resources mentioned during the show:


This week on TV, Dean Sweetman and Frank Barry are joined by Chuck Leslie, Pastor of Stewardship at the Rock Church in San Diego, CA. Pastor Leslie gives a behind the scenes look at what it takes to run a $3 million fundraising campaign.

During their conversation, they talk about:

  • How to run a successful fundraising campaign
  • 2 ways to use stories to raise more money
  • The steps you must take to get started with your campaign
  • How to encourage people to give
  • Why running short-term campaigns increase overall giving


Here’s a list of resources mentioned during the show:

podcast transcript

(Scroll for more)

This week on TV, Dean Sweetman and Frank Barry are joined by Chuck Leslie, Pastor of Stewardship at the Rock Church in San Diego, CA. Pastor Leslie gives a behind the scenes look at what it takes to run a $3 million fundraising campaign.

During their conversation, they talk about:

  • How to run a successful fundraising campaign
  • 2 ways to use stories to raise more money
  • The steps you must take to get started with your campaign
  • How to encourage people to give
  • Why running short-term campaigns increase overall giving


Here’s a list of resources mentioned during the show:

VIDEO transcript

(Scroll for more)

Dean Sweetman:  Good day guys, Dean Sweetman here along with Frank Berry hello mate how you are?

Frank Barry:  Hey doing well, how you doing Dean?

Dean Sweetman:  I'm awesome man, I'm really really good. We got a fantastic episode today.

Frank Barry:  I'm pumped, super excited about this show, it's gonna be great.

Dean Sweetman:  Yeah. Before we get to that, it is, man we're in the middle of December, which is a massive time for churches, getting ready for Christmas services, staying focused on that. We've been doing some stuff on year end giving, hope people are taking advantage of that, that's also really important this time of year. But I love this time of year, it's the moment where you get to really shine as a church, and hopefully you're gonna get hundreds and hundreds of visitors over the next couple of three weeks, and be able to preach the gospel to them.

Frank Barry:  Yeah. It's a fantastic time. The house is decorated, Christmas services and festivities are all happening, Christmas parties, we just had the half team party I guess for the west coast crew. Yeah it's just a blast, and super excited to see what churches I guess all over the world from our perspective that we work with, kinda what they're doing for Christmas, and how they're spreading the gospel and putting on great Christmas services.

Dean Sweetman:  Absolutely. So we've got a guest today that we'll introduce here in a moment, and from a large church, The Rock Church in San Diego, and we're gonna talk about, kinda campaigns designed to raise funds, and I think this is gonna be really really great for pastors and leaders listening, and or watching. How to raise funds for specific campaigns, and The Rock Church does is as good or better than anyone I've ever seen it. So I'm excited for this.

Frank Barry:  Yeah. Super super excited. So I guess without further ado-

Dean Sweetman:  Let's do it.

Frank Barry:  We should just bring in Chuck, Chuck how you doing?

Chuck Leslie:  I'm doing well, how you guys doing today?

Frank Barry:  Doing awesome.

Dean Sweetman:  Great, welcome Chuck. This is Chuck Leslie everybody, he's the pastor of Stewardship at the Rock Church in San Diego, California. And if you're wondering how big a church needs to be to have its own pastor of Stewardship, I'm not sure but The Rock qualifies, you guys are making a massive impact in San Diego Chuck. Tell us a little bit about the church and what you do there as the pastor of Stewardship.

Chuck Leslie:  Yeah it is a unique, it's becoming more and more frequent in churches I guess probably bigger churches. There's two sides of the stewardship equation, one is the more traditional of walking people through financial stewardship and planning, having the Dave Ramsey sort of side of it and teaching biblical Stewardship and giving people tools. I do that to a degree, more of my job at The Rock is fundraising. Stewardship I say in colleges they it an advancement, in churches they call it Stewardship, it's fundraising, it's raising money. So I kind of oversee campaigns and special projects we do, and as well as help shape the weekly tithing moment and stuff like that for the church.

Frank Barry:  Just a quick question. Do you think many churches kind of have the concept, even if they don't have a full time person, but someone who's thinking about fundraising, do you think that's common or is that pretty unique to a subset of churches based on size or something else?

Chuck Leslie:  Mostly the necessities the mother in entrance, so it probably depends on their financial status, how we're still thinking about fundraising. But all churches do right, there's always the need to fund always, always the desire to do more ministry. I think where churches are learning is how to talk to their supporters in good ways, how to cultivate large donors and large donations, and to embrace that as opposed to shun it or be ashamed of it. And so this idea of having ministries that are kind of driven towards helping the effluents find their purpose in Christ and the purpose in their influence is the important thing for churches to do, and to not be afraid of it.

Dean Sweetman:  So good.

Frank Barry:  That could be a whole nother show to talk about ministries to the affluent and things like that, yeah very interesting.

Dean Sweetman:  You said one thing though, and I've gotta bring it up. But you said even that you are involved in shaping the giving moment on a Sunday, just spend one minute on that.

Chuck Leslie:  Yeah. We're always kind of mixing it up of how you do that, how you inspire, how you teach. And it kinda goes back and forth from, we'll have videos of a donor explaining the joy of learning how to be generous, and we'll have a video of kids that were helping the orphanage in Haiti, and those are different kind of messages, but they're both important I think of seeing how your giving makes a difference, and also teaching and encourage you by example of the people sharing how they've grown in their generosity. And of course services are tight and the offering moments just share moment of it, and so figure out how to try to do that well and then change it up each week, and it happens 52 times a year, so.

Frank Barry:  That's a whole nother episode.

Dean Sweetman:  Never be afraid to script and produce really key moments in church life, I think that's the takeaway there. Awesome. So we're gonna talk about a particular campaign Frank that Chuck has been leading for The Rock, and I'm excited to hear about this.

Frank Barry:  Well and maybe before we would jump into that, Chuck you've been doing fundraising of some sort in the school, college, university kinda world, maybe K-12, and obviously in the church world now for a while. So I think for over 20 years, what got you into that line of work, and what inspired you to do that kind of work?

Chuck Leslie:  I actually got recruited out of helping politicians raise money, and just kind of having an act for that, and then being called into help do it from the church I grew up in. It's interesting I would have a hard time asking to borrow your old used truck to use it to run something to the dump, I would wash it thoroughly before returning it, and feel a little bit bad that I put you out. But I'll ask you for a million dollars to support a Christian ministry without thinking about it. It's really not for me, it's for what it's done. And what drives me is seeing funds come together and then awesome things be accomplished as a result. And so to that driven thing to see something happen, and things need money to happen, and I tell you, I have a joke about my job 'cause I take people out to lunch. It's usually a decently nice place. They usually pay for it, even though I try to.

Chuck Leslie:  They write me a large check, and I made them happy. And I get paid to do it, so really it's kind of a scam. But the truth in that is that the giver is just as blessed as the receiver, when they feel like they're a part of something bigger than themselves, they're seeing God's work happen because of something they were able to do and support. And really you gotta think about fundraising, you're adding significance to people's life, giving them the opportunity to do something bigger than themselves, join other people, put together their giving and see something happen that wouldn't happen alone, and that only God could see happen, but he uses us. So it's just fun, it's fun, it's fun to talk about projects with people who are interested in supporting it.

Frank Barry:  Yeah that's so good. I mean I feel like Dean we could, like everything Chuck is saying is what we've said on almost every show right? You gotta have a conviction about what you're doing, you gotta believe that asking for money to fund the greatest mission on the planet is, it should be easy and every pastor should feel so excited and bold about doing that, but often times they're not. So Chuck it's like a breath of fresh air, hear you share even briefly about those things.

Chuck Leslie:  I tell you what I've learned is you talk to someone about money, but you're always depending on the Lord not the person, and it takes the pressure off. You're sharing the need to see if this resinates with their heart and they wanna get involved. If it doesn't, it doesn't matter, that's my plan for it. In every meeting with a person trying to get something from them, you're trying to see if it's gonna be a partnership. And God just aligns things, as every pastor knows from how God just brings the right person at the right time and joyously supports. And there's no need to shy away from that.

Frank Barry:  Yeah, amen. Well yeah, the thing that kicked off this whole interview was at some point I was browsing on your website, and I saw the All In campaign, and I remember from being at the church that you had the signs up on the walls for the All In campaign and different things like that, so it was on my mind. And then I saw the webpage and I was just really impressed with all the things that you hit. So without getting into the webpage specifically right now, if love to just learn more about the All In campaign. What is it? Why do you guys do it? What's it for? Maybe how it got started? Just unpack the All In campaign for us a little bit.

Chuck Leslie:  What the All In campaign has become to us, this is now our second year in a row, which kind of our annual special offering for above and beyond projects at the church. Not just outside the church, although most of it is outside the church, but even fixing up things within the church that are expensive that are above and beyond kinda the regular tithes that would fund the normal church. Some places call it the heart for the house offering and things like that, so it's kinda that model where we have a date, middle of November typically where for four weeks leading up to it on the Sunday services we're talking about come this Sunday prepared to make a special gift in order for us to accomplish XYZ.

Chuck Leslie:  And so that's sort of the pace of it. We've done bigger campaign that take longer times to set up and therefore major projects, but this is sort of the annual special gift campaign for The Rock. And some of the projects, stuff that would maybe covered under journal giving, but the special campaign allows it to happen, so it takes pressure off general giving, and some it is just stuff way outside the church, like supporting our orphanage in Haiti which has nothing to do with the general fund of San Diego Rock Church.

Frank Barry:  Right. And is it something that, does it go on all year long, or does it end in December generally speaking?

Chuck Leslie:  Yes.

Frank Barry:  All of it. Okay 'cause I've seen the signs and things up during the year, so I was like, well maybe this goes on all year, but it sounds like it also has an end.

Chuck Leslie:  We've kind of honed it down to, it is kind of a special offering, but with will happen, they'll be an opportunity during the year that's also kind of above and beyond, and we'll kind of go, “Hey we have another All In project God's called us to do.” So that's why. And what happened when we did our first big All In campaign, we put those really expensive murals up, and they look good so we haven't replaced them yet.

Frank Barry:  Well how do you go about creating this campaign? What were the blocking and tackling when you first dreamed it up or your team there dreamed it up? How did you put it together? What were some of the steps? Was there a checklist of things that you need to do that you executed in the church?

Chuck Leslie:  The first part of course is holding onto the vision you believe God's given your church and that what God's called the pastor as the leader of their church to lead their church in. So kind of nailing that down, what's God called, what do we believe we're hearing God calling us to do in this case in 2019 that we need funds for? So determining that of course is the first part. And then the fundraising side, there's a couple key components, one is engagement with your larger donors ahead of time, and strategies to get them involved and even making first fruit gifts or first gifts to the campaign, so you go into the offering Sunday with already a chunk of money raised.

Chuck Leslie:  And then the most critical part I found throughout the years is the series and the offering, and our church is unique, it's such a big church that we can't talk one-on-one ahead of time to everyone at all. And this happened beautifully this year is that our Pastor Miles McPherson of our church completely owned av about the message, about how he's gonna preach and talk about it. The series was called, "Thanks and Giving," that lead up to the All In offering. And I say that 'cause there's been years where kind of the stewardship department had said, "We need to do this, and here's how you should talk about it."

Chuck Leslie:  And those went okay, but when the pastor just owned it, he felt God was calling him at this time to call the people the greater generosity, and for them to understand the joy of giving and to get their wallets saved, that's what energized it was the pastor's passion that this is a message for you today no matter where you're at, and this is something that you need to participate in not because the church needs it, it wasn't so much the thing but because of what God's called us to do.

Chuck Leslie:  So that was the key thing with that. Some of the structural things with the campaign, it's a fairly common model in churches, we had a big dinner the Thursday before with our bigger donors, and they already been hearing about the campaign, 'cause it was in the third week of it. But there was a chance just kinda some personal time, some testimonies some things, and then we took an offering there, which then provided even some enthusiasm for the offering with the main congregation as you talked about what's already been raised and what we believe God's called us to do. Those are some of the pieces.

Frank Barry:  Yeah, really. Dean you've got a bunch of experience in doing this too, it seems to side with a bunch of the stories I've heard you tell as well.

Dean Sweetman:  Yeah absolutely. You know what I love, and maybe just talk to this a little bit, the power of leading from the top, having the senior pastor own this, from your experience Chuck how critical is that?

Chuck Leslie:  100%. There's been something campaigns where the senior pastor knew the need, and obviously was behind it, but it wasn't, this has been in various [inaudible 00:16:06], but it just wasn't flowing like this is the message God had for us today. And when that is the thing that supposed to do I have to do, I guess we gotta talk about giving this week, that changes everything. We had 800 first time givers in the month of November to The Rock Church.

Frank Barry:  This year?

Chuck Leslie:  This year, this November. We'll actually it's interesting, a little more at half of that which were the campaign, and the other half was just to the general fund.

Dean Sweetman:  So that brings up a phenomenal point about specific campaigns, not only do they raise money for a specific campaign goal, but the whole conversation about generosity stirs people up to give to the general fund, just to start becoming tithers perhaps. You see it every time.

Chuck Leslie:  Absolutely. And what's interesting is we didn't overemphasis your tithe versus your offering, 'cause we know people who grew up in a church understand that, we're kind of a secret friendly church. So that language was there a little bit for those who understood it, but more was learn how to be a first fruit giver, learn how your life changes when you're taking your firs and giving it to the Lord, and that will change your life. So really that person should be giving to the general fund as opposed to special offering. If they don't understand that we know they care.

Dean Sweetman:  Exactly, let them work it out.

Chuck Leslie:  Again they all work out being somehow.

Frank Barry:  How do you kick off the campaign Chuck? Did it come from Miles campaign kick off on a Sunday morning, that was the start of it, or did you do email communication or phone calls or, how does it all start and then flow from there?

Chuck Leslie:  I'll give, let me just first give a pitch that getting consultant help of doing something like this is a good thing, there's a lot of different pieces of it, so we've used various consultants over the years, even though I've done a lot having someone from the outside help you think through it is a smart thing. Again with a big church, we're thinking about what the mass is here and then what, maybe a smaller group of peers. So on a Sunday, even leading up to the first Sunday, so it was four week series, the fourth week, actually it ended up being five weeks, but week four was the offering. Week five was the make up offering because a lot of people don't make it to church every Sunday. And actually Pastor Miles was just so enthused that I, 'cause I wanted to go one more week talking about-

Frank Barry:  Week six is coming.

Chuck Leslie:  Week six we had a guest speaker, so we had to stop. So leading up to that first week all the announcement that go out about the new series were in the mix. And what we did this year we just owned it. Hey this is a thanks and giving series, we're gonna talk about the benefits, even scientifically proven benefits of being thankful and being generous. Change your life if you learn those two things, and God talked about it a long time ago. And so from the beginning, we're gonna have this offering on this date, and I want you to start praying about it. So that first week in the bulletin was a brochure that looked very similar, almost exactly similar to the website your representing ... what's the word I'm looking for?

Frank Barry:  Referencing. Yeah yeah talked about.

Chuck Leslie:  That had the goal and the breakdown on how things were used. Each Sunday, the pastor would say, "Everybody grab this out, wave it, I wanna highlight a little part of it, and I want you to start praying about what God will have you do when we do our special offering in three weeks from now, in two weeks from now, next week." And so continual just sort of push. And then we have ways we communicate to people through email about the campaign. Every week there was a special video, an impact video so then we'll also talk about givers and their giving, that was emailed out on Monday with if you miss it this Sunday, watch this great video where we recap, all that sort of stuff. And so just making it so, you didn't know about the campaign 'cause you didn't go to church in November. If you went to church from the last week of October through when we did it at the end of November, you knew this was happening.

Frank Barry:  Or opened an email, you're either at church or you saw an email.

Dean Sweetman:  I love the structure, so you came at it from many angles, obviously end servers, emails probably within your social media stuff, you just came at it from every angle, and I think launching a campaign like this is once you jump off, once you launch this thing you can't back off. And sometimes I see pastors get the courage up to talk about something, but then they don't have the conviction to drive that thing home to the gull, and I think having that date is always fantastic, 'cause it's a finished point to where you can get to, I love the extra week though because the reality of everyone not in church every week is so true. But driving to that goal from using every means possible is certainly part of the success for sure.

Frank Barry:  And on that note, I'd love to unpack. So again the inspiration for this show was me somehow getting on your website and seeing the All In campaign page. Can you unpack that page a little bit, 'cause it sounds like those elements that are on the page were all part of the larger campaign, they just ended up packaged nicely on that page. So you had four or five things on there that I think are super important for every campaign, so I'd love to just hear your thoughts about how you guys put that together and what went into it.

Chuck Leslie:  Yeah and we did it a little different this time, and I think it was an impactful way to do it. Let me go with what you saw last and then come back to what you saw first is really what you're talking about Frank. There was a summary of the three million dollar goal, and the four or five categories that supported that. And so on that page, each category is a big number. Half a million dollars for this 750 for that, that sort of thing. And you add it up to the three million total.

Chuck Leslie:  But the first thing you say when you opened it up was I think the first one was $21 allows us to buy three toys at our special whole sale distributor to provide Christmas for our major Christmas outreach that we do. So $21 made a difference. And we had examples, not sure that we the brochure right here with me, from $21 up to I think the highest one was maybe 1,000. So they were smaller increments to kind of encourage that every gift makes a difference. And I like having examples of $10,000 gifts and stuff like that as well, but this was more just a lot of small things, I think it was $15 provides meals for five women at the overnight shelter that we offer that just serves women and children who are having a housing crisis.

Chuck Leslie:  So lots of just practical examples of dollars at work, so you know how it's making a difference. And it was work to kinda go get them, let's break this down and figure out how it works, and be honest to the dollars, and some of the things if you read close it said, "Help support" as opposed to "Fully funds," getting the integrity right with all that. But it's just a way for people to see that we're making a difference. Plenty of times, we have to do campaigns to turn the lights on, and that's just not as exciting as talking about feeding people in Haiti or helping women on the street or what not, and that's hard. But we had enough exciting things to kind of highlight ways that your gift can make a difference. It wasn't that you restricted your gift to any one of those things, it was just examples of how [inaudible 00:24:33].

Frank Barry:  Right. So on the page you had the goal, so you actually stated your goal, we're trying to raise three million dollars. I love that 'cause it's clear, it's transparent, everyone knows where you're headed and what you're trying to achieve, and you had how the funds are gonna be used, all the way down to, hey your $15 gift is gonna X. I thought that was awesome. At the top of the page, you had a video from Miles, and I think maybe that goes back to your point before where Miles was all in himself on this whole thing, so I'd love to hear about creating the video and kinda what went into that.

Chuck Leslie:  Right. Well Pastor Miles first of all is just an incredible communicator. So I can write five bullet points for him and he just reads it once and nails it. So I have a little bit of an advantage with just who he is. But he was speaking from his heart, and so that's what made it work. We actually every week with that video we sent out that we showed in church keyed a little intro to it. And right after the second service, we just filmed him what I felt ... actually I lied we had real cameras for that one. We do Iphone stuff all the time, it's just off the nick it works as well.

Chuck Leslie:  He just gave a recap and an encouragement, so he had a fresh 30 second video or so every week that went out with the email, and then he introduced whatever the other kind of cool impact video we were showing. So yeah that's just hearing from your pastor. The pastor talking about it is way more powerful than a video of me talking about it. He's our spiritual leader, we're looking for him on guidance, he's given them some biblical truth along with the encouragement to jump. And like always, we're less asking people to give as we're more asking people to go to the Lord and see what he'd have you do here. That still is a direct ask, it's not asking.

Dean Sweetman:  Just the power of the senior minister having that courage then conviction, and having that passion I think. The pastors and leaders who listen to this sometimes they struggle with having that conviction to really go for it. And I always see a direct correlation between churches of size, both in people, but also in budget is directly connected to the ability of the senior pastor to do the ask.

Chuck Leslie:  Yeah I'll tell you encouragement, any pastors listening to this. If you go to, find the thanks and giving series, listen to week three. We actually had our Dave Ramsey type of guy at the church there for the series. Pastor Miles started with it, because I wanted before we come into it I wanna make a concession that most of my career I didn't talk well about this subject, and I shy away from it. I didn't wanna be that guy, and I wanna make a confession to you, that's just not right, it is robbing you of things you didn't know from God's word. So he had this really authentic sort of I apologize way and talked about it.

Chuck Leslie:  And it was funny, it was the thanks and giving series a pursue ones were more about thanksgiving and how that benefits you, a little bit of giving. He made that confession and he added a whole nother sermon to it, 'cause he just got so into the conviction to talk about giving in a gracious way, it's not an arm twisting way, it's a biblical way.

Dean Sweetman:  But the biblical way is never arm twisting. If you stay scriptural about the whole thing, it's edifying, it's uplifting, it's so positive not the other way around.

Frank Barry:  And I love that you pointed out it was his personal authentic real story, like hearing that from anybody is powerful, but it being your senior pastor whose up there all the time caries even more weight. So yeah super cool. And you've mentioned the stories of impact, I think that on the webpage that was the last thing I noticed at least on the version I was looking at, they were down towards the bottom, there was six or eight of them there. How did you guys get those stories, and why did you make them part of this campaign?

Chuck Leslie:  Yeah we're blessed that we have a big church with a video department. But if you got your ground to the ear to the ground, God's doing things. And capturing those on film, and the key thing is taking someone's massive story and making it work in three minutes always requires a good editor and a good interviewer just to kinda get it down. But they're powerful, when someone just sharing how God has changed their life speaks to all of us when we're listening to it. So those video assets are pretty critical, when we play them on Sunday, the crowd goes crazy as they finish 'cause just the celebration of something good that God's doing.

Dean Sweetman:  I think just a point to that, some people think, "Wow The Rock's such a big church, and you got this big budget, and you got a video department. If you were a 200 member church out there, there's a young person in that church that knows how to use an Iphone and even edit within the Iphone now-

Frank Barry:  Yeah, right they could just walk around and do it all right here.

Dean Sweetman:  There's no excuse.

Chuck Leslie:  We're sending a video out to all our first time donors later today probably, which Miles is gonna do, actually I have a Samsung I apologize.

Dean Sweetman:  We gotta shut the show down now.

Chuck Leslie:  He's just gonna do it in his office like that. And concise message and we'll send it out, and we're actually doing something different, we're texting it out with a link, 'cause people open text more than emails. I'll tell you one other thing we do in this campaign that we change that was dramatic in the success rate. In years past, the first thing on that card was my faith commitment, and then it would say, "I'd like to give this monthly, I'd like to make a one time gift, please send me a reminder." We did not do that this year. It started out with my monthly gift that you fill in, or my one time gift, use my credit, my check's enclosed, here's my credit card number. You had no choice for faith commitment bill me later.

Frank Barry:  Whoa that was a big step right there. There was a lot of internal debate that happened over that one I'm sure.

Chuck Leslie:  It did. And of course, plenty of people weren't ready to give there and they just didn't put anything. But our cash received, first of all the campaign over last year beat it by about 600000, but our cash in was a half a million more than last year as opposed to just commitments. So it was an offering not a commitment Sunday. That was radical, I do a lot of commitment Sundays, and I learn that people in church have great faith, and they get home and look at budget, and their faith [inaudible 00:32:06].

Chuck Leslie:  So that was a big change. And of course we have, I'm trying to think of the numbers, we had about a little under 2800 participants, 1600 were straight gifts, actual gifts that day, the rest were monthly's, but a whole bunch of those already gave their first monthly gift. And then the number of just paper pledges may have been about 800 or something like that. So most everyone else had already participated some, and a whole bunch of them already had their credit card number down, and a locked in to be recurring givers. So it's a guarantee, and we didn't say it was a 12 month commitment.

Dean Sweetman:  You just let them fill it in and let it go.

Chuck Leslie:  It's til you die brother.

Dean Sweetman:  Yep I love it. I love it. So good man. There's so much goal there for people, if you're listening to this, and this is the kind of episode you might have to listen to it two or three times.

Frank Barry:  I think we gotta write it up, I think we have Jesse on our team that take it and just kinda write up the episode in a digestible kind of format, 'cause there's just so much good stuff here.

Dean Sweetman:  Yeah. Kinda thinking about wrapping up here a little bit. Maybe couple things Chuck. One of the big challenges, and we talked in and around, and putting your hat on for a minute as kind of a known voice in this whole area. If you could talk to pastors of 1, 2, 3, 400 member church, these challenges might just be in their head, right? But just maybe talk to some of those challenges as a way of talking about this kinda thing today, and how they overcome them.

Chuck Leslie:  Yeah we talked a bit about the first thing that you see is having the courage to speak into it. There's a rule of thumb that 10% of any group of people are very affluent. 10% of the people in your church have money, and there might not even be people you know, some you know some you don't know. And God has a purpose for them in what they made. So engaging those people, letting them be involved, involvement leads to investment, so they kind of spend time with a pastor, understand division more, not shape it, pastors shapes division they drive it. So that's one. There's a quote I hear, "No one wants to part with their but everyone wants to change the world." Leaders wanna change it.

Chuck Leslie:  So you're providing the opportunity to change the world more than to ... it's never about the lights or the building or whatever, it's about the changed lives that are gonna result from those things. It's just challenging in general. But the health of your church will lead the health of the giving as well. So leaning into what you need to have a healthy church is probably the most important thing in what God's called you to do. And then just embracing the generosity thing without fear, and knowing it's part of .. every pastor is hurting, I forget all the exacts quotes I have at times, money is mentioned compared to prayer and scripture or whatever now that you wanna use. It's in there so we should preach about it.

Dean Sweetman:  100%

Frank Barry:  So good. I mean that's kinda like the biggest challenge and the biggest tip or the key to it all is having the courage having the faith in the senior leadership being behind the whole thing, being able to either overcome their lack of courage or faith in that area, or just get up and be bold about it.

Chuck Leslie:  It's fun when someone becomes an enthused fundraiser, 'cause they've gone from I feel like I'm twisting people's arms doing something dirty and not quite right to seeing God's kingdom change and the giver/change, and it's just fun to do. And so knowing that there is another side to the, I don't wanna be that guy, to know I'm that guy who blesses people and also sees things happen.

Dean Sweetman:  Amen, phenomenal.

Frank Barry:  This is so good. And the webpage, just for everyone 'cause we've been talking about it, it's

Chuck Leslie:  Correct.

Frank Barry:  Is that right?

Chuck Leslie:  Correct, then again run to the page you've been talking about.

Frank Barry:  Yeah that way they can check it out, maybe put some context around all the things we've been discussing. And yeah, Dean we wanna ask anything else?

Dean Sweetman:  Man this is so much in here, I almost don't wanna have anymore because there's just so much to chew on. Chuck it's just been, we talked to a lot of people about these subjects, and hearing from someone like you that is living this and doing it on such a scale, that you can just tell you're a real pro. And it's been a blessing just to listen to another voice around this kinda whole area of generosity and how guys have specifically been so successful with this All In campaign. I think it's a model, and I know that Pastor Miles he's like, anything that can come out of the rock and bless other churches, he's up for giving it away. Just encourage everyone to go to that URL, see about what the All In campaign is all about, just yeah copy everything you can and implement it right?

Chuck Leslie:  That's right. I always say plagiarism's the highest form of flattery, so everything on that page I stole from someone else.

Frank Barry:  So here's my last question. Your goal is three million, where are you at now? How far along?

Chuck Leslie:  We're actually at 2.8, we have a dinner tomorrow night, which I think will put us over it. With some folks there particularly interested in area of the campaign, hopefully we'll able to celebrate that we exceeded the goal.

Frank Barry:  That's awesome. Congrats on the success.

Dean Sweetman:  Congratulations.

Chuck Leslie:  And it's up from the last year we did it, it was 2.1 so we're thrilled about it.

Dean Sweetman:  Oh my gosh so good.

Frank Barry:  Thanks for joining us Chuck, this was awesome.

Chuck Leslie:  My pleasure guys.

Dean Sweetman:  Appreciate it mate, we'll see you soon.

Chuck Leslie:  Alright.

Dean Sweetman:  Alrighty. Wow man what a great episode, and Frank we've got next week before we wrap up, we've got a phenomenal guest next week.

Frank Barry:  Oh it's gonna be good, Rick Dunham, founder CEO of Dunham and Company. They do a ton of stuff as it relates to church fundraising, and they produce a bunch of reports and they study the industry, and so it's gonna be fun to unpack all the data with Chuck, not with Chuck, with Rick sorry, Rick Dunham and just get his perspective leading into 2019.

Dean Sweetman:  Yeah Dunham and Co are probably the premiere data collectors when it comes to generosity in the church, so that's gonna be power packed, and lots of great take away. Wanna say thanks everybody for tuning in, it was great hanging out with Chuck Leslie. Make sure you go to that URL, and see how they did the All In campaign. And we will see you next time here on the podcast. God bless you guys, we'll see you soon.

Frank Barry:  Thanks guys, see yeah.

This week on TV, Dean Sweetman and Frank Barry are joined by Chuck Leslie, Pastor of Stewardship at the Rock Church in San Diego, CA. Pastor Leslie gives a behind the scenes look at what it takes to run a $3 million fundraising campaign.

During their conversation, they talk about:

  • How to run a successful fundraising campaign
  • 2 ways to use stories to raise more money
  • The steps you must take to get started with your campaign
  • How to encourage people to give
  • Why running short-term campaigns increase overall giving


Here’s a list of resources mentioned during the show:


Dissecting a $3 Million Fundraising Campaign with Rock Church Pastor Chuck Leslie

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