Capital Campaign FAQs

FAQ #1:Capital Campaign

I know the congregation voted to have a capital campaign but what is the time frame for related activities? 

Yes, at a Special Meeting of members of First Church held on May 19, 2013, the congregation voted to move forward with a capital campaign to raise $1.8 million to support capital improvement projects to sustain the mission, music and ministry here at FirstChurch.  Over the summer committee chairs were appointed whose work it will be to carry out activities necessary for a successful campaign.  The theme of the campaign, DREAM – GIVE – GROW, was chosen to represent the vision we have as a congregation for enhancing our mission, music and ministry and the spiritual growth within the church and the broader community that will be realized by giving generously of our financial resources.  Throughout the coming months will be opportunities to engage in fun activities, get involved by helping with the work of the campaign and attend a pre-decision party at a host home to learn more about the capital campaign needs.   The campaign will culminate with Decision Sunday, January 26, 2014 when all members will be visited in their homes and given the opportunity to influence the future with a prayerful gift to the capital campaign.

FAQ #2:

What is the giving period for gifts to the Capital Campaign?

The capital campaign itself will culminate with Decision Sunday, January 26, 2014 when all members will be visited in their homes and given the opportunity to influence the future with a prayerful gift to the capital campaign.  The official giving period will be over a three year period beginning February 1, 2014 through January 31, 2017, which encompasses four tax years. Individuals who make Leadership Gifts may start giving this year, and consequently they may have 5 tax years to make their gifts.  Since Capital Campaigns are rare occasions in member’s lives, many give from assets –stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, etc. to make leadership gifts for these special purposes. For more information on making a Leadership gift to the campaign, please contact either Steve or Judy Brown who are chairing the Lead Gifts Committee.  They may be reached at 888-8215.  During September and October, Steve and Judy and the members of this Committee will be contacting some members to invite them to join them in making inspiring, sacrificial Leadership Gifts.

DID YOU KNOW…Those who are 70 1/2 or older can have the minimum required distributions (up to $100,000) from their IRA’s made directly to church and not have to pay income tax on the distribution.  This provision is only available through the end of 2013.  Call Lori Lambert at 821-1924 for more information.

FAQ #3: 

What are Pre-Decision parties?  Will I be invited to one?

Pre-Decision parties are informal gatherings hosted in members’ homes to provide detailed information about the campaign and answer individual questions.  All members of the congregation will be invited to attend a party.  The parties will be held at multiple times throughout the month of January.  No one will be asked for any financial commitment at these parties.  They are a time of fellowship and it is our hope that every member will make it a priority to attend one of the parties.  They are called parties because they will be fun!  Refreshments will be served and the campaign video, currently in production, will be shown.  The party you are invited to will be the only place to see the video.  Will you be captured in the video?  You’ll have to come to a party to find out!

DID YOU KNOW…Over fifty First Church members are involved with the Capital Campaign!  Committees such as Lead Gifts, Publicity, Printed Materials, Correspondence, Caring Callers, Continuity and Pre-Decision Parties are being formed, some meeting weekly, to organize activities related to the campaign.   Much help will be needed and committee chairs are reaching out to members of the congregation so please consider getting involved.

FAQ #4: 

Why do you think the $1.8 million goal is achievable?  It’s a lot of money.

Our church has had great success in the past with two previous capital campaigns.  We raised over $1.3 million dollars during each of our 1994 and 2002 campaigns.  Our congregation is stronger now than ever before and our annual giving, $750,000, is greater now than it was during the previous two campaigns. Given that most capital campaigns raise between three and five times the amount of annual giving, the target amount of $1.8 million seems very achievable.  We have a dedicated and dynamic team working on the campaign along with our consultant Rev. VanderWyden who worked with us during our 1994 campaign.  We are a generous and compassionate people and with the help of God, all things are possible.

FAQ #5:

How did we come up with the projects on which the campaign is focused?

In 2012, the Prudential Committee nominated a five-person committee known as the “Dream Team.”  The “Dream Team” was chartered to:  (1) Develop an understanding of the current state of the church and the future directions and desires of the various church committees; (2) Develop an overall vision for the capital campaign and (3) Determine the fundraising (monetary) needs for the capital campaign.  The “Dream Team” asked the following questions of the people it met with, both inside the church and in the greater Nashua community: If First Church were the ideal church with no limitations of any kind, what would we see happening related to the work of boards or committees, in general and in the wider community through the church’s ministry?  The “Dream Team” concluded that the areas with the most critical needs were addressing infrastructure needs to preserve our Ministry, investing in our Music through organ restoration and furthering our Mission through significant outreach.  Consequently, that is why the Capital Campaign is focused on these areas.  On May 19, 2013, the congregation voted overwhelmingly to adopt these focus areas and move forward with the present Capital Campaign.

DID YOU KNOW… A special display board has been set up near the coat racks to publicize capital campaign happenings.  Find the latest information about activities, answers to frequently asked questions, photographs highlighting areas of need and an overview of the campaign schedule.  Members of the Capital Campaign Committee will also be present to answer questions.  Please stop by to visit!

FAQ #6: 

There seems to be a lot of enthusiasm building for the Dream, Give, Grow Capital Campaign.  What if we raise more than our goal of $1.8 million? 

When we exceed our goal of 1.8 million dollars, the congregation as a whole will help determine where the additional income will be used. We would seek ideas for the best use of the additional income from the members of our church and from our different boards and committees. Based on that information, we would vote as a church where that additional money would best be put to use.

DID YOU KNOW… In order to encourage reflection during the Dream, Give, Grow Capital Campaign, a special devotional prayer booklet is being put together for all members of the congregation.  It will be available in January.  The booklet will be a collection of readings that start or end our day in a reflective manner, quietly focusing on God’s presence within each us.  It will encourage us to be quiet, and in our personal time, communicate with God.  It will be a path for us to consider, a way to examine ourselves and the importance of First Church in our lives today, yesterday, and more importantly tomorrow.  All members of the congregation, young and not so youngsters, are asked to consider the campaign theme of Dream, Give, Grow, and then submit something for inclusion in the booklet.  Inspirational poems, readings, and quotes from others, or more importantly, your own thoughts and words are being sought.  Simple is perfect. Submissions may be short, or up to 25 lines long with a deadline of NOVEMBER 10.  Paper copies may be dropped off at the church office or digitally submitted to [email protected] 

FAQ #7:  Are there any opportunities to memorialize a loved one through a gift to the Dream, Give, Grow Capital Campaign? 

Yes!  There are several giving levels that provide for an opportunity to recognize a gift in memory or honor of someone.  Some examples include major gifts to the kitchen, rose windows and organ projects.  For more information, please seek out Steve and Judy Brown, Lead Gifts Co-Chairs at 888-8215. 

FAQ #8:  How should I think about my annual Stewardship pledge in relation to the capital campaign?

Your annual pledge is used to meet the operating expenses of the church on an annual basis.  As always, maintaining or increasing your annual giving is important to enable the church to meet its on-going expenses. 

Capital Campaigns on the other hand are rare occasions in member’s lives and many give from assets –stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, etc. to make leadership gifts for these special purposes. Many members also choose to increase their weekly or monthly pledged giving. The period for giving also differs in that gifts are given over a period of 3 years (4 tax years).

DID YOU KNOW… Lurch, the beloved butler and servant of the Addams Family cartoon and TV series has come alive at First Church!  We have our own very happy First Church Lurch who will be making appearances throughout the remainder of the Dream, Give, Grow Capital Campaign.  First Church Lurch, like us, is devoted to taking care of this church, serving others and living faithfully.  So when we see First Church Lurch around the church we should be reminded of our own pride in the church, our commitment and faithfulness and our call to be good stewards by giving generously to the campaign. 

FAQ #9:  It’s been promoted that Pre-Decision home parties will be a source of additional information about the campaign.  When are these parties being held and how will I be invited to one?

Pre-Decision parties are informal gatherings at host homes throughout the month of January to provide detailed information about the capital campaign and answer individual questions. It will be your opportunity to see the campaign video that is nearing completion.  No one will be asked for any financial commitment at these gatherings.  Invitations will be mailed later this month with information on how to reply.  We hope to see you there!

FAQ #10:  I’ve been hearing about the need for “Caring Callers”.  What are caring callers and where can I find out more information?

A team of Caring Callers is being recruited among members of the congregation.  These individuals will visit other members in their homes on the afternoon of Decision Sunday, January 26, 2014.  The home visits are enjoyable times of sharing among members and will not entail a pressure to give.  Serving in this capacity only requires a short training session and one afternoon of visiting but can change the course of history for the church and are a wondering blessing for people as they grow in faith together.  If you are interested in learning more please contact Matt Van Wagner, Chair of the Caring Callers committee at 888-8252 or email [email protected] 

FAQ #11:  I had my picture taken for part of the Capital Campaign answering the question “What does First Church mean to you?”  How can I see the finished product?

One hundred people responded to our call to be photographed!  The pictures have been compiled into a photo montage set to music and will be available to view at the Pre-Decision home parties throughout January.  It is a very uplifting and motivating tribute to the importance of the church in the lives of our members.  Come to a home party to see for yourself!

DID YOU KNOW… Invitations to the Pre-Decision Parties are being mailed!  These home parties will be held throughout the month of January and are your opportunity to find out more detail about the capital campaign needs and view the Capital Campaign Video where First Church is featured on “World News”!  Please RSVP soon to the phone number provided on your invitation so that the hosts can plan accordingly.  These informal gatherings will be a fun time of fellowship and faith-raising!

FAQ #12:  Can you please tell me more about Decision Sunday?

Decision Sunday is January 26, 2014.  There will be a special commissioning of the Caring Callers at worship services.  Please set aside that afternoon to be home to welcome a Caring Caller for a no-pressure, pleasant visit to answer last minute questions and bring your personalized letter of intent regarding your gift to the campaign.  When your letter of intent is filled out you will return it to them in the sealed envelope which they will provide.  This is your chance to influence the future of First Church by making a sacrificial gift to the capital campaign.  The Caring Caller will return your letter to the church that afternoon so that it can be included in the amount that we will announce that evening during our Thanksgiving Service and Celebration Party at the church at 7:00 p.m. All are invited!  

Have you heard?  Here’s what people are saying about the Pre-Decision Parties: 

  •       “The video was fun to watch, informative and includes a lot of people from First Church!” 
  •       “All giving is significant. It does not matter whether someone is able to give $10,000 or $50.00. The act of giving is significant, and it is important that we all have the opportunity to feel the optimism and the joy of giving to the campaign.” 
  •        “There was a lot of enthusiasm about the campaign and energy in the room.  It felt like a gathering of a loving church family, with a lot of common goals.” 
  •        “It made me feel connected to something bigger, something important, something where I feel I can and should make a difference.”

 Giving to grow our ministry, music and mission


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