What’s the Difference Between a Capital and Annual Stewardship Campaign?
Posted 10/01/2023 by Pam O'Halloran
For the past two months, we have focused much of our parish communications on the Walking in Love capital campaign. The capital campaign is in its concluding phase and it is time to turn our attention to our annual stewardship campaign as we do each fall. With the two campaigns falling so closely together, we recognize that it might feel like the church is overly focused on the raising of money. Yet the purposes and frequency of the two campaign types (capital vs. annual fund) are quite different, and it’s essential to understand the distinctions.
The goal of the stewardship (or annual fund) campaign is to support the annual operating needs of the parish. This fund is the financial foundation that supports the day-to-day operations of St. Paul’s, ensuring that essential programs and services can continue and the buildings and grounds are maintained. Parish members must raise money through the annual campaign to sustain the church, meet our operational needs, and fulfill our mission.
A capital campaign supports more significant expenses like major infrastructure needs that come around once every 20, 50, or even 100 years. Examples of these expenses in the Walking in Love campaign are the Holtkamp organ renovation, the tower’s masonry repair, and the elevators overhaul. These are significant one-time expenses that we are not able to cover within the annual budget, and that will not occur again for the foreseeable future.
The strengthened endowment portion of the capital campaign, along with the infrastructure investment, focuses on the future, seeking to ensure the long-term health of the parish just as generations have before us. While the annual fund supports the essential operational needs of the church for the coming year, the capital campaign focuses on the longer-term needs of the church and investments in the future.