Commonly Asked Questions
1. Does Stewardship Key Leader work with congregations of all sizes?
Stewardship Key Leader (SKL) serves all ELCA congregations, including congregations ranging from 50 members to over 5,000 members.
2. How much does Stewardship Key Leader cost?
Since SKL is a ministry of the ELCA, it costs much less than other consulting firms. Cost varies based on the size of the congregation, but almost all congregations experience a savings of many thousands of dollars compared to other consulting firms.
3. How much can a congregation typically raise in a three-year capital campaign?
A church's results depend on the present level of giving, the type of project proposed and the degree of congregational ownership and enthusiasm for the project. Typically, a congregation can raise two to two-and-one-half times annual regular giving.
4. Our project will cost more than we can raise in our campaign. What should we do?
Many congregations undertake projects that cost more than can be raised in a single program. It is very common for congregations to finance the balance. The ELCA's Mission Investment Fund is an excellent source for such funding. Often congregations undertake one or two subsequent debt reduction campaigns, with any remaining balance then included in the operating budget.
5. Will having a capital campaign impact regular giving to the congregation?
Stewardship Key Leader always emphasizes that members’ first priority is regular giving to the congregation. Giving to capital or debt reduction programs must be over and above regular giving. Most congregations find that capital campaigns do not negatively impact regular giving, and, in fact, often enhance it.
6. We want to do an in-depth annual stewardship response program. Can Stewardship Key Leader help us?
Yes. Stewardship Key Leader is often used for improving the general stewardship ministry of a congregation through an annual stewardship program.
7. We think there will be some resistance to hiring professional fund raisers. Why should we use “outsiders” to help us?
Stewardship Key Leader is a ministry of our Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. SKL consultants expand the partnership that already exists between the congregation and the churchwide organization. Countless congregations have discovered that professional assistance makes the difference between a very well-run, successful campaign and one that falls considerably short of its goals.
8. We are planning a new building. How much work should we do with an architect before we conduct the campaign?
If you have not already done so, your first step should be to contact your ELCA Building Consultant
. Prior to conducting a capital campaign it is not necessary to have complete building plans. It is very important to have schematic drawings and elevations. Reasonable estimates of building costs are also very important.
9. What vote should be taken to approve a campaign?
It is vital that the congregation feel ownership of the plans. Normally, a congregation will have several meetings and at least one vote to approve plans before campaign planning begins. Often, the vote to secure outside assistance with the appeal is taken at this time as well.
10. How long does a campaign last?
A period of at least four months is required from the point a congregation begins working with Stewardship Key Leader until the campaign, including follow-up, is concluded.
11. How many people should be on the Leadership Team?
The Leadership Team consists of the pastor and seven other committee chairpersons. These people recruit as many people as necessary to complete the various components of the program. In large congregations co-chairs are often advisable.
12. What time of year is best for a capital campaign?
Successful Stewardship Key Leader programs have been conducted in every season of the year. It is important for the congregation to consider its own schedule and attendance patterns so that the program can be conducted when there is maximum attendance and minimum conflict with other activities.
13. Can a capital campaign be conducted at the same time as our annual stewardship response program?
Many congregations have successfully combined programs. However, it is often the case that both programs will be more successful if they are conducted at different times.
14. Can we interview our Stewardship Key Leader consultant?
Absolutely. A telephone interview is encouraged. If your congregation prefers a face-to-face interview, the congregation will need to reimburse the consultant for travel and lodging costs.
15. Does Stewardship Key Leader have a web site?
Yes. Much more information can be found at www.elca.org/skl
16. We are interested. What is our next step?
Contact the Director for Stewardship Key Leader, who will then assign a consultant to work with you. Consultants are assigned on the basis of suitability, geography, and the availability of consultants. The Director is Pastor Kathy Haueisen, who can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
1-800-638-3522, ext. 2606, or 773.706.3855.