Church Growth

Raising Funds for a New Church Building? Try This Strategy

If God has given you a promise or a dream of owning your church building, there are ways to pursue that goal–including strategic fundraising. In the following article, we’ll talk about one overlooked strategy that can help you generate funds for a building…and see your dream of having your own church home become a reality.

H1 What’s a Rich Text element?

H2 What’s a Rich Text element?

H3 What’s a Rich Text element?

H4 What’s a Rich Text element?

H5 What’s a Rich Text element?
H6 What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

H4 Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

H4 How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • List Item 1
  • List Item 2
  • List Item 3

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Not all churches are called to own a building. 

Churches that meet in rented facilities, schools, theaters, parks, and even laundromats can be just as effective as good old-fashioned brick-and-mortar churches. In fact, one in five new churches meets in a non-traditional location. 

That being said, there are plenty of good reasons to buy a church building. Owning a facility means that you can meet more frequently, potentially host more programming, and better serve your community. 

If God has given you a promise or a dream of owning your church building, there are ways to pursue that goal–including strategic fundraising. 

How to Raise Money for a Building Project 

In the following article, we’ll talk about one overlooked strategy that can help you generate funds for a building…and see your dream of having your own church home become a reality.

But first, we’ll take a look at some of the most common mistakes that church leaders make when fundraising.

3 Common Fundraising Mistakes That Churches Make 

Fundraising is no easy task. 

Especially when you’re competing with a number of other charitable causes–not to mention, economic stressors like inflation. 

The good news? People continue to give more and more, despite economic setbacks. 

Still, it’s up to church leaders to do fundraising well. While a few generous donors may give with very little prompting, most people will need a compelling vision to give beyond their regular tithes and offerings. 

Here’s where many church leaders go wrong when it comes to fundraising. 

1. No pledge campaign. 

When running a special giving campaign, many nonprofits and churches may think of making one big “push” to ask potential donors for large gifts. 

Instead of asking a donor for $1,000 as one large donation, what if you asked for $100 every month for 10 months?

For most people, that’s a much easier “yes.” Most Americans have a median balance of $5,300 in their bank account; that doesn’t leave much wiggle room to give a large portion at one time to your church. 

A pledge campaign is a much better way to raise a large amount of money for an initiative such as a new church building.  

Here’s how Tithe.ly can help you run a pledge campaign

2. Poor messaging. 

If you’re running a special giving campaign, chances are that you’re writing letters, social media posts, sermon slides, and website banners promoting your new building.

Don’t overlook how important messaging is to your campaign. The right–or wrong–words can make or break its success.

When you’re raising funds for a church building, remember to:

  • Emphasize the benefits–why should your donors be interested in your new building? What’s in it for them?
  • Use “you.” You’re not the hero of your campaign–your church members are! Emphasize that the new building is ultimately an act of service to the community. 
  • Be clear. Shy away from overly complex language and lengthy paragraphs. Present your giving campaign in a way that’s short and sweet. 

Finally, proofread your marketing assets! Nothing looks less professional than a typo.

3. Sticking to one channel. 

Your building fundraising campaign needs a lot more promotion than a handful of Facebook posts, or a single email campaign. 

Your messaging should be everywhere your church members are: your website, your Instagram account, their email inboxes, and your church app

Here’s the good news. It’s easier than ever to promote a campaign across multiple channels–if you’re using the right technology.

Tithe.ly makes it simple to promote the same message across your website, social media channels, email marketing, and church app. That’s because Tithe.ly offers a comprehensive suite of church technology on the same platform. 

Instead of cobbling together different platforms (and paying multiple fees), you can access your Tithe.ly tools from a single dashboard, making it simple to create the same messaging on each platform. 

Tithe.ly even comes with a free social media scheduler so that you can schedule social media posts for promoting your building campaign in advance. 

How to Get Donations for a Building: Tell Your Story 

If you feel like you’ve tried everything and you still haven’t seen the traction you’d like with your church building campaign, you might be missing one key strategy. 

Tell your story. 

That’s it?

That’s it. 

Telling your story is one of the most powerful tools you can use to promote your building campaign. That’s because more than clever messaging, a beautiful landing page, a flashy spokesperson or even an awesome mockup of your new building, a story can move people to respond. 

What Makes a Good Story Powerful 

Think of your favorite movie. 

A film like Just Mercy may leave you feeling a sense of indignation, and a desire for justice. A movie like Lord of the Rings may leave you feeling victorious and triumphant. A classic like Titanic may make you feel deeply moved and sorrowful. 

Good stories pull on our emotions. We don’t necessarily focus on how the film was shot, or how the screenplay was written. We ask ourselves two questions: How do I feel? And, how do I respond?

The best stories leave us feeling like heroes ourselves. They make us feel like better versions of ourselves–whether that’s rational or not. 

What does all of this have to do with raising funds for a new church building?

Your donors want to be heroes. They want to give–but they also want to buy into a story that feels exciting and impactful. 

While you’re most likely not going to film a feature-length movie to promote your new church building, you will be telling your story to potential donors. 

Here’s how to craft a story around your new building campaign. 

5 Steps to Telling a Great Story

1. Tell a story about identity. 

Stories of identity—narratives that help individuals think about and feel who they are, where they come from, and where they are headed—constitute the single most powerful weapon in the leader's literary arsenal,” says Dr. Howard Gardner, Professor of Cognition and Education at Harvard. 

A story of identity helps position your church–and more importantly, your church members–in the greater narrative of God’s redemptive plan for humanity. 

Your story should emphasize the glorious, God-given identity bestowed on followers of Christ (1 Peter 2:9). It should inspire church members to take action, to dream bigger, and to hope for a better future for themselves and for others. 

Reminding church members that they are deeply loved and have a part to play in God’s redemptive plan will propel them to action far more than any list of building specs. 

2. Every story has a hero–and a villain. 

While you don’t want to manipulate your story to include a villain, the reality is that there are plenty of forces that don’t want your church to succeed. 

Be transparent about the struggles you’ve faced as a church, especially when it comes to finding a permanent home. Whether you’ve faced financial difficulties, legal hurdles, or spiritual battles, don’t be afraid to be raw about the challenges. Then, invite your church members to partner with you in overcoming those challenges, whether through prayer or finances (or both!)

3. Show, don’t tell. 

Showing, rather than telling, brings your audience into an emotional experience that’s far more compelling than a list of facts. 

Rather than telling your audience about your church’s needs, help them to see those needs in action. For example, if one of your dreams with your new church building is to serve single moms in your community, don’t just provide a statistic on single motherhood. Instead, tell a story about helping a single mom–better yet, film the story and show it visually. 

4. Get creative about the medium. 

It’s easier than ever to create high-quality content at a minimal cost. Your church may not have its own video production team, but you can still put together a simple film on your laptop or iPhone. Or, consider:

  • Publishing a series of blog posts that tell the story of your dream to have a church building
  • Using social media to publish posts, stories, videos, and reels that talk about the journey of fundraising
  • Creating a live performance that explains your church history–and ends with an “ask” for church donations for a new building 

Tithe.ly makes it easier to tell your story at a low cost with tools like Tithe.ly Media (free church graphics), Tithe.ly Sites (for publishing blog posts), and Tithe.ly Messaging (getting the word out about your story). 

5. Make it personal. 

If you’re purchasing a new church building, your story is about more than a handful of people. Chances are, you’re looking to serve hundreds (or thousands) of people with your new facility.

Still, a good story has a “face.” Whether you choose your lead pastor or a community member to be the face of your campaign, you’ll want to highlight just a small handful of people when telling your story. That helps people to connect more personally with the story of your giving campaign. 

Tell Your Story with Tithe.ly

As mentioned above, Tithe.ly can help you raise funds for your campaign with tools like Pledge Campaign, Tithe.ly Giving, and more. It will also help equip you with administrative tools you need to spread the word about your building campaign–including tools for communicating with your staff, sending out emails to church members, and scheduling social media posts. 

To learn more about Tithe.ly, click here

podcast transcript

(Scroll for more)

H1 What’s a Rich Text element?

H2 What’s a Rich Text element?

H3 What’s a Rich Text element?

H4 What’s a Rich Text element?

H5 What’s a Rich Text element?
H6 What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

H4 Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

H4 How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • List Item 1
  • List Item 2
  • List Item 3

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

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Raising Funds for a New Church Building? Try This Strategy

Raising Funds for a New Church Building? Try This Strategy

If God has given you a promise or a dream of owning your church building, there are ways to pursue that goal–including strategic fundraising. In the following article, we’ll talk about one overlooked strategy that can help you generate funds for a building…and see your dream of having your own church home become a reality.

Show notes

Not all churches are called to own a building. 

Churches that meet in rented facilities, schools, theaters, parks, and even laundromats can be just as effective as good old-fashioned brick-and-mortar churches. In fact, one in five new churches meets in a non-traditional location. 

That being said, there are plenty of good reasons to buy a church building. Owning a facility means that you can meet more frequently, potentially host more programming, and better serve your community. 

If God has given you a promise or a dream of owning your church building, there are ways to pursue that goal–including strategic fundraising. 

How to Raise Money for a Building Project 

In the following article, we’ll talk about one overlooked strategy that can help you generate funds for a building…and see your dream of having your own church home become a reality.

But first, we’ll take a look at some of the most common mistakes that church leaders make when fundraising.

3 Common Fundraising Mistakes That Churches Make 

Fundraising is no easy task. 

Especially when you’re competing with a number of other charitable causes–not to mention, economic stressors like inflation. 

The good news? People continue to give more and more, despite economic setbacks. 

Still, it’s up to church leaders to do fundraising well. While a few generous donors may give with very little prompting, most people will need a compelling vision to give beyond their regular tithes and offerings. 

Here’s where many church leaders go wrong when it comes to fundraising. 

1. No pledge campaign. 

When running a special giving campaign, many nonprofits and churches may think of making one big “push” to ask potential donors for large gifts. 

Instead of asking a donor for $1,000 as one large donation, what if you asked for $100 every month for 10 months?

For most people, that’s a much easier “yes.” Most Americans have a median balance of $5,300 in their bank account; that doesn’t leave much wiggle room to give a large portion at one time to your church. 

A pledge campaign is a much better way to raise a large amount of money for an initiative such as a new church building.  

Here’s how Tithe.ly can help you run a pledge campaign

2. Poor messaging. 

If you’re running a special giving campaign, chances are that you’re writing letters, social media posts, sermon slides, and website banners promoting your new building.

Don’t overlook how important messaging is to your campaign. The right–or wrong–words can make or break its success.

When you’re raising funds for a church building, remember to:

  • Emphasize the benefits–why should your donors be interested in your new building? What’s in it for them?
  • Use “you.” You’re not the hero of your campaign–your church members are! Emphasize that the new building is ultimately an act of service to the community. 
  • Be clear. Shy away from overly complex language and lengthy paragraphs. Present your giving campaign in a way that’s short and sweet. 

Finally, proofread your marketing assets! Nothing looks less professional than a typo.

3. Sticking to one channel. 

Your building fundraising campaign needs a lot more promotion than a handful of Facebook posts, or a single email campaign. 

Your messaging should be everywhere your church members are: your website, your Instagram account, their email inboxes, and your church app

Here’s the good news. It’s easier than ever to promote a campaign across multiple channels–if you’re using the right technology.

Tithe.ly makes it simple to promote the same message across your website, social media channels, email marketing, and church app. That’s because Tithe.ly offers a comprehensive suite of church technology on the same platform. 

Instead of cobbling together different platforms (and paying multiple fees), you can access your Tithe.ly tools from a single dashboard, making it simple to create the same messaging on each platform. 

Tithe.ly even comes with a free social media scheduler so that you can schedule social media posts for promoting your building campaign in advance. 

How to Get Donations for a Building: Tell Your Story 

If you feel like you’ve tried everything and you still haven’t seen the traction you’d like with your church building campaign, you might be missing one key strategy. 

Tell your story. 

That’s it?

That’s it. 

Telling your story is one of the most powerful tools you can use to promote your building campaign. That’s because more than clever messaging, a beautiful landing page, a flashy spokesperson or even an awesome mockup of your new building, a story can move people to respond. 

What Makes a Good Story Powerful 

Think of your favorite movie. 

A film like Just Mercy may leave you feeling a sense of indignation, and a desire for justice. A movie like Lord of the Rings may leave you feeling victorious and triumphant. A classic like Titanic may make you feel deeply moved and sorrowful. 

Good stories pull on our emotions. We don’t necessarily focus on how the film was shot, or how the screenplay was written. We ask ourselves two questions: How do I feel? And, how do I respond?

The best stories leave us feeling like heroes ourselves. They make us feel like better versions of ourselves–whether that’s rational or not. 

What does all of this have to do with raising funds for a new church building?

Your donors want to be heroes. They want to give–but they also want to buy into a story that feels exciting and impactful. 

While you’re most likely not going to film a feature-length movie to promote your new church building, you will be telling your story to potential donors. 

Here’s how to craft a story around your new building campaign. 

5 Steps to Telling a Great Story

1. Tell a story about identity. 

Stories of identity—narratives that help individuals think about and feel who they are, where they come from, and where they are headed—constitute the single most powerful weapon in the leader's literary arsenal,” says Dr. Howard Gardner, Professor of Cognition and Education at Harvard. 

A story of identity helps position your church–and more importantly, your church members–in the greater narrative of God’s redemptive plan for humanity. 

Your story should emphasize the glorious, God-given identity bestowed on followers of Christ (1 Peter 2:9). It should inspire church members to take action, to dream bigger, and to hope for a better future for themselves and for others. 

Reminding church members that they are deeply loved and have a part to play in God’s redemptive plan will propel them to action far more than any list of building specs. 

2. Every story has a hero–and a villain. 

While you don’t want to manipulate your story to include a villain, the reality is that there are plenty of forces that don’t want your church to succeed. 

Be transparent about the struggles you’ve faced as a church, especially when it comes to finding a permanent home. Whether you’ve faced financial difficulties, legal hurdles, or spiritual battles, don’t be afraid to be raw about the challenges. Then, invite your church members to partner with you in overcoming those challenges, whether through prayer or finances (or both!)

3. Show, don’t tell. 

Showing, rather than telling, brings your audience into an emotional experience that’s far more compelling than a list of facts. 

Rather than telling your audience about your church’s needs, help them to see those needs in action. For example, if one of your dreams with your new church building is to serve single moms in your community, don’t just provide a statistic on single motherhood. Instead, tell a story about helping a single mom–better yet, film the story and show it visually. 

4. Get creative about the medium. 

It’s easier than ever to create high-quality content at a minimal cost. Your church may not have its own video production team, but you can still put together a simple film on your laptop or iPhone. Or, consider:

  • Publishing a series of blog posts that tell the story of your dream to have a church building
  • Using social media to publish posts, stories, videos, and reels that talk about the journey of fundraising
  • Creating a live performance that explains your church history–and ends with an “ask” for church donations for a new building 

Tithe.ly makes it easier to tell your story at a low cost with tools like Tithe.ly Media (free church graphics), Tithe.ly Sites (for publishing blog posts), and Tithe.ly Messaging (getting the word out about your story). 

5. Make it personal. 

If you’re purchasing a new church building, your story is about more than a handful of people. Chances are, you’re looking to serve hundreds (or thousands) of people with your new facility.

Still, a good story has a “face.” Whether you choose your lead pastor or a community member to be the face of your campaign, you’ll want to highlight just a small handful of people when telling your story. That helps people to connect more personally with the story of your giving campaign. 

Tell Your Story with Tithe.ly

As mentioned above, Tithe.ly can help you raise funds for your campaign with tools like Pledge Campaign, Tithe.ly Giving, and more. It will also help equip you with administrative tools you need to spread the word about your building campaign–including tools for communicating with your staff, sending out emails to church members, and scheduling social media posts. 

To learn more about Tithe.ly, click here

video transcript

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