7 of the Worst Themes Ever for a Capital Campaign

Everyone knows that fundraising success in a church capital campaign is not dependent on the theme.

A vision campaign can succeed apart from its name or visual communication. However, a bad theme will severely limit the effectiveness of visionary communication during a campaign. Any time spent reiterating or otherwise explaining a theme -beyond the initial introduction- distracts from conversations elevating discipleship and expends energy apart from accomplishing the mission.

Church vision campaign themes function best when they inspire hearts and mark a season of God-revealed possibility. The Resourcing Team at Auxano uses these three axioms to weigh the impact and effectiveness of capital campaign themes:

  1. Don’t be cute, be clear. Direct marketing should never overshadow disciple making, and campaign themes or taglines that “try too hard” end up making clarity of what you are trying to accomplish harder to understand.
  1. Speak to Impact, not Project. Project goals should never be the communicated “ends” of a Biblical season of campaigning. Whatever you are trying to raise funds for – be it a new building, debt retirement, or outreach initiative – is not the vision, but a God-directed tool used to accomplish the vision. Communicating success in terms of dollars raised breeds a culture in which the vision must be another new facility, program, or personality rather than Great-Commission engagement.
  1. Invite to Live Big, not just Give Big. We are close to the heart of Jesus when our motivation for calling people to Biblical stewardship and lives of generosity grows from a heart of what we want for them, not from them. The Biblical and eternal success of a vision campaign emerges months later through increased participation in groups, greater numbers of volunteers engaged, and congregants walking deeper in relationship with Christ… not meeting the stated financial goal.

Here are seven *completely satirical* examples of Biblical, yet wholly inappropriate, capital campaign themes for seasons of church fundraising:


This is the right idea, maybe just the wrong words…



Some Old Testament narrative may have unintended implications and needs be avoided…



To really lose credibility with the millennial crowd…



This one is perfect for a fast food, consumer-driven church culture…



There is the carrot approach to motivating people, but this takes the stick approach a bit too far…



Because nothings says “Jesus Loves You” like an “us vs. them” approach…



And sometimes, you just have to straight up threaten generosity out of folks.

1 Comment


Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s