This is our third fundraising campaign. We are trying to retire a $3.6 million debt. Mt. Zion Church is 166 years old. Three years ago, we relocated to 26 acres of land from a 3 acre site which had been our home for 163 years. During our first two campaigns, we worked with two firms where the consultants were onsite seven to ten days during the course of a five month campaign. They served as advisors and coached our campaign teams as to what to do. Unfortunately because we did not have the daily onsite expertise that we have with the Klote campaign, we were trying to do too many things at the same time. Our staff did not have the time to work on the campaign, design and build our new building, manage the relocation, and carry on the ministry of the church at the same time. Because we were trying to do too much, too many balls were dropped. As a result, we fell far short of our financial goals.
The benefit of having our consultant from James D. Klote & Associates onsite was that he became part of our staff. He worshiped on Sunday, came to our staff meetings, sung in the choir, played volleyball with our young people, came to our Consistory meeting, and became a part of our church family. Like a missionary who lives among the people, he was able to Mount Zionize the campaign and together we adapted Klote’s approach to Mt. Zion Church in Beavercreek, Ohio. He both drove and administrated the campaign, taking a huge burden off our church administrator. He trained our visitors and went on their visits with them until they were confident enough to make the visits themselves. But most of all, he won our hearts and we grew to love him.
What I like about James D. Klote & Associates is that I had more contact with our consultant in the first week than I did with the consultants with the other firms during the entire course of the campaign. More than that, Jim Klote personally stopped in to meet with us on three separate occasions and called me on the phone to touch base during the campaign. What I like most is the personal attention. A recent survey of church consulting firms placed James D. Klote & Associates #1 because on average their firm helped churches raise four times their budget. Why do they do that? Because their firm is about personal relationships!
The campaign sought to personally visit with the leaders of the church first. The Klote consultant visited my wife and I first, and we made our commitment. Then he went with me to the chairman of the campaign committee and I made the presentation, and he and his wife made their commitment. Then we began visiting members of our church board, our finance committee, and the other leaders of our church. Along the way, we enlisted some of them to visit our congregation. The Klote Campaign is about integrity and authenticity. You cannot ask people to give if you have not given yourself. Leaders lead by example. They just don’t talk. This is what the leadership phase is all about. We were not yet ready to go public until the leaders made their pledge first. When we finally held our campaign kickoff banquet at the Presidential Dining Center, 33/260 families of our church pledged $1.1 million dollars to lead the way.
I would recommend James D. Klote & Associates because they seek to visit every family of the church in the campaign. Though not everyone will accept a visit, they attempt to reach out to each one. The “campaign ask” is made during the visit after each family has heard a presentation that is tailored to their needs and their questions have been answered. Some families were reluctant at first, but the personal visit gave us a chance to work through their questions and objections.
What I like about the campaign was that many of our families grew spiritually. In fact, some made some real financial sacrifices because they love Mt. Zion and they know that Jesus said, “If you give, it will be given to you, a good measure, pressed down, shaken together. For with the measure you use it will be measured to you,” (Luke 6:38).
Mt. Zion Church