Sanford Levings

"Hi, I’m Sanford Levings, President of MinistryCFO and author of this blog. The purpose of our blog is to share with you information and insights that we gather from working with and listening to our clients and partners, located throughout the country." read more

Capital Campaigns vs Annual Giving Campaigns

In general, capital campaigns are more easily understood and identifiable. For instance, most of us know that:

  • A capital campaign is a time-limited effort by a church to raise significant dollars for a specific project. As such, capital campaigns have a beginning and an end, but often span several years.

  • Often the money raised is to fund the acquisition, construction, or renovation of a building or to fund an extraordinary expenditure such as an expensive piece of equipment.

  • The capital campaigns employs all the usual means of raising funds such as direct mail and direct solicitation.

  • Capital campaigns require extraordinary preparation  an skillful execution.

On the other hand, annual giving campaigns tend to be more of an ambiguous concept. Consider the following regarding annual giving campaigns:

  • An annual giving campaign is best described as a campaign conducted each year for the purpose of raising money to sustain a church’s regular, ongoing expenses.

  • Other names for an annual giving campaign include the following:

    • Annual stewardship

    • Generosity campaign

    • Giving increase campaign

  • An annual giving campaign really isn’t a campaign. Rather, an annual giving campaign involves developing new strategies and tactics to increase giving awareness and making giving a regular conversation within you church.

  • As such, new strategies and tactics are not cyclical in nature. In other words, you don’t have to re-visit these strategies and tactics each year. Rather, you will simply refine them as time progresses.


Where is your church today with regard to both the capital and annual campaign?