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The Fundraising Committee and the Pastor
By Valerie Johnson
It seems like churches are always in the middle of a fundraising venture: The church needs to be remodeled. The Pathfinders need to get to Oshkosh. The spring tour for the academy choir is on the horizon. There will always be something that will require funding beyond the capacity of the church budget. Therefore local congregations will from time to time need to form a fundraising committee and raise additional monies for local projects and ministries.
As church leaders prepare the way for a fund raising campaign, they will want to prayerfully discuss campaign goals, priorities, strategies, and essential delivery tactics. They will also want to identify the best people to serve on the committee – people who are organized, visionary, passionate, and influential.
The pastor must provide essential support for the fund raising campaign, share the vision, and inspire the entire congregation to partner together to fulfill campaign objectives. The pastor must be an active participant and set a positive example. The people will take notice. Right or wrong, the people are going to follow their pastor’s example. If the pastor fails to support the campaign, the people can hardly be expected to get very excited about an already doomed venture.
The pastor’s leadership in the fund raising campaign must never be a top-down, fall in line, do it because I told you so kind of operation. The process must always be done in a democratic kind of way, with a great deal of discussion, broad input, and decisions made with majority agreement. While there may be some disagreement, resolution must be found through consensus. Even if the final package is not totally what the pastor originally envisioned, the pastor must be supportive of the final corporate decisions.
The pastor plays an essential role in sharing their knowledge, direction, and vision with the fund raising committee. The pastor helps the committee to tie their plans together. The pastor is an essential point person for inspiring the total participation of the church in the campaign.
Valerie Johnson is a member of the Capital City Church in Sacramento, California. She is an IT professional for the State of California and has been involved in church treasury/financial services for many years.