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Choosing the right capital campaign partner: Onsite, full-service campaign management vs. consultancy model

Conducting a capital campaign is a major endeavor that can significantly impact the spiritual and material life of your organization and the people you serve. Therefore, it is essential to seek and find a capital campaign firm that aligns with your unique organization.

Capital campaign firms are diverse, just like the clients and communities they serve. It is crucial to differentiate between two primary and distinct models of conducting campaigns:

  • onsite, full-service campaign management
  • consultancy model

Fellowship Development is a Christian, onsite, full-service capital campaign management firm. We combine expert and experienced fundraising counsel with hands-on, campaign management customized to your unique needs, values and goals.

As you continue reading, you will discover how our approach differs from a consultancy model, and why our clients have chosen to partner with us over the past 26 years, successfully raising $2.8 billion to build the kingdom of God and enliven the faith of its members.

Onsite, personalized partnership

At Fellowship Development, we firmly believe that you deserve a campaign partner who is not just a distant consultant but someone who truly immerses themselves in your mission. Our incarnational-partnership approach, ensures that a faith-filled, full-time campaign manager will be by your side, working at your location alongside you, your staff and your community three days a week throughout the entire duration of your capital campaign.

Why it Matters

In-person interactions, especially in the areas of faith and fundraising, are invaluable. Being present onsite enables us to:

  • Build genuine relationships with you and your community.
  • Gain deep insights into your organization’s unique culture.
  • Customize your campaign strategy and produce tailored campaign material that captures the essence of your mission and vision in a way that cannot be achieved through mere phone calls or occasional onsite visits, as often seen in the consultancy model of fundraising.

What this looks like

In 2021 and 2022, Christ Lutheran School and Lutheran High Northeast partnered with our firm for nearly simultaneous campaigns. Both schools were located in Norfolk, Nebraska – a town of 24,000 people. Despite a similar pool to draw support from, our firm navigated this complexity, building support for both campaigns and leading to successful efforts for both schools.

Having multiple campaign managers onsite in Norfolk helped us strategize how best to appeal to overlapping but different audiences. Our ability to customize our capital campaigns to fit the needs of the community sets us apart from other firms.

Exclusive commitment to your success

To ensure the utmost focus on your campaign’s success, your dedicated campaign manager at Fellowship Development will not juggle multiple projects simultaneously. Instead, they will be wholly committed to serving you and your community. It’s important to be mindful that some capital campaign firms opt for outside contractors, rather than dedicated employees, who may manage numerous projects concurrently. With us, you can rest assured that our commitment remains exclusively devoted to your campaign, ensuring you receive the undivided attention and expertise you deserve.

Why it Matters

  • “No man can serve two masters” (6:24).
  • Capital campaigns are more successful when they are given the full attention and dedication of your leadership, community and campaign manager.

What this looks like

“Most importantly, and distinct from the other firms we considered, the Steier representative was in town, onsite, and personally available for weeks, not one or two, as the campaign was developed and begun. As the campaign went on, our Steier representative came back for visits as well as other personnel from their home base. The services they provided were personally delivered. Phone access was readily available when the representative was not onsite. Their representatives were experts at solving problems and adjusting.” – Pastor Brad Stoltenow, Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Centennial, Colorado

A full-service, team approach

Recognizing this challenge, Fellowship Development offers a full-service, team-oriented approach to ensure your campaign’s success. Unlike campaign consultants who merely provide advice and leave much of the work to the client’s staff or external contractors, we go above and beyond. With a deep understanding that the Holy Spirit has bestowed unique gifts upon each of us, our team operates cohesively, as one Body in Christ (Cf. 1 Cor. 12:14). From expert counsel to hands-on implementation, Fellowship Development equips you with everything necessary for a successful campaign.

Your campaign team includes:

  • A dedicated, faith-filled campaign manager: At Fellowship Development, we provide you with a faith-filled campaign manager who will be fully dedicated to your project. This onsite, full-time partner will work tirelessly alongside your team, immersing themselves in your mission to ensure your campaign’s success.
  • Active supervision from our expert management team: Rest assured that your campaign will receive constant oversight and support from our experienced management team. Their proactive involvement ensures that every aspect of your campaign is carefully guided and implemented.
  • Creative excellence with our award-winning graphic design team: Captivating visuals and compelling designs are crucial in conveying your message effectively. Our award-winning graphic design team will create campaign material that will inform and inspire your community.
  • Experienced grant writing department: Securing necessary funding can be challenging, but our dedicated foundation research and grant writing department is equipped with the expertise to identify and secure potential funding for your campaign.
  • Seamless communication with our specialized team: Effective communication is the cornerstone of successful campaigns. Our communications team excels in developing clear and engaging messaging, ensuring that your campaign’s story is shared with passion and purpose.

Why it Matters

  • Choosing to partner with a full-service campaign management firm, like Fellowship Development, brings invaluable benefits, saving you precious time and resources. With all campaign elements handled in-house, you can focus on your organization’s mission, knowing that your campaign is in capable hands.
  • With Fellowship Development’s comprehensive approach, you can expect consistency across all aspects of your campaign. From strategy to implementation and communication, our dedicated team ensures that every component aligns cohesively, presenting a united front in pursuit of your campaign’s objectives.
  • Clear accountability is crucial in the success of any campaign. At Fellowship Development, we take pride in providing transparent and accountable services. Your campaign’s progress and performance are tracked and communicated, keeping you informed every step of the way toward achieving your fundraising goals.

What this looks like

“In addition to our onsite campaign manager, the support we got from the entire Steier Group team was outstanding. The graphic artist did a beautiful job of designing our campaign materials, including our signature piece, the campaign case statement. A grant writer identified multiple foundations and helped us approach them for support.” – Drew Urban, Principal, Christ Lutheran School

Long-term commitment

Our passion for capital campaign management runs deep, fueled by an authentic commitment to our clients’ missions. Even after your campaign officially concludes, our support continues throughout the entire campaign pledge period, typically spanning three years. We cherish the connections formed during our onsite work alongside your organization. These valuable relationships have stood the test of time, some dating back to when our company was founded 26 years ago.

Our Christian, onsite full-service model thrives on cultivating long-term partnerships, setting us apart from consultancy approaches that may not prioritize sustained commitment. Choosing Fellowship Development means choosing a dedicated partner for the journey ahead. We remain by your side, providing ongoing resources and support to help your organization beyond the campaign’s conclusion.

Why it Matters

  • A successful capital campaign requires ongoing attention and maintenance throughout the pledge period. This includes communications, pledge-redemption, and updating campaign materials. At Fellowship Development, we ensure the continued success of your campaign.

What this looks like

Our former clients consistently hire our firm when it is time to run their next campaign. Between the long-lasting connections made during our time on site to the success of our fundraising efforts, it is an easy choice to make.

“If I were to be a part of another capital campaign, there is only one phone call I would make to procure a firm to assist in the effort,” Stoltenow said. “That would be the Steier Group.”

Capital campaigns are our only focus

For some firms, capital campaigns are a secondary service. Fellowship Development stands apart with our exclusive dedication to providing the highest quality Christian, onsite, full-service capital campaign management. Our unwavering focus ensures that your campaign receives the utmost attention and expertise, resulting in a successful capital campaign.

Why it Matters

  • Your capital campaign will thrive with a firm singularly dedicated to and experienced in capital campaign management.
Checklist: Is Fellowship Development the right fit for your capital campaign?

Personalized support: Do you value face-to-face interactions and appreciate the benefits of having an onsite campaign manager working alongside your team and community?

Embrace faith and values: Does your organization have a strong faith-based mission, and do you seek a campaign partner that incorporates faith and spirituality into the capital campaign management process?

Comprehensive assistance: Are you looking for a one-stop-shop for all your capital campaign needs, including strategy, graphic design, foundation research, grant writing and communications?

Prioritize long-term relationships: Do you value long-lasting relationships and ongoing support beyond the campaign period, and are you seeking a partner who remains available as a resource even after your campaign ends?

Desire customization: Does your organization have a unique culture, resources and goals, and do you want a campaign strategy that is customized based on insights gained from onsite presence and immersion in your community?

Seek a successful campaign: Are you committed to achieving a successful campaign and maximizing your fundraising potential, and do you appreciate a campaign partner’s undivided attention and dedication to your project?

If you answered “Yes” to most or all of the above questions, Fellowship Development’s full-service approach is likely the right fit for your capital campaign. For more information, please contact Brendan Manson, President of Fellowship Development, now at or 657-353-0360.