Jeff Newlin's Assumptions & Convictions About Giving and Fundraising

1. A capital campaign offers an extraordinary stewardship education and spiritual renewal opportunity.  Just as people often learn more in a weekend retreat, where they can intensely focus on a subject, than in a year-long class that meets only once a week, church members can learn more about giving in a two-month long capital campaign than they can learn in a decade of sporadic sermons on giving.

2. Churches can raise more money in a spiritual way than in a worldly way. But even if the spiritual approach wasn’t the best financial approach, the church would be obligated to raise money spiritually, since its ultimate purpose is to raise up people in the faith, not raise money. 

3. There is a direct connection between people’s hearts and their wallets.

4. We are doing Christians a great favor to invite them to contribute meaningfully to the church’s work in general, and a church’s capital campaign in particular. 

5. Inviting people to give a meaningful amount of money to the Lord’s work invites them to grow in faith and commitment

6. It’s impossible to raise a large amount of money over and above what people are already giving to a church with leftover pocket change.  We must ask people to make a sacrifice, “to give up something important for something more important.”

7. The amount that we give doesn’t matter to the Lord.  What matters is that we give a sacrifice that is meaningful to us.  “Not equal gifts, equal sacrifice.”

8. No person values a gift given out of guilt, pressure, and manipulation.  Nor does God.  True giving springs freely from the heart as a gift of love, not as payment of a tax.  Therefore, no one can tell us what we ought to give.  Rather, we are invited to determine for ourselves through prayer what we may give:  “Dear Lord, What would you do through me to accomplish your vision for our church?  Help me discern a sacrifice for our campaign that is meaningful and joyful.”

9. The primary characteristic of the three great capital campaigns in the Bible is joy.  “God loves a cheerful giver.”  Abundant joy should be the chief criterion for determining the success of a church’s capital campaign.  It’s also one of the best indicators to help individuals determine what to give to a capital campaign.  

10. Church leaders should not be afraid to share the total cost of what they believe God is calling the church to do.  This is the church’s “need.” But they shouldn’t identify this cost/need as the “goal” of the campaign.  The campaign’s goal needs to be primarily spiritual. The goal of the campaign is to raise as much of a church’s need as possible through a process of prayer and sacrifice.