When you announce your proposed church facility expansion project, all sorts of people will want to get involved. Some will want to perform work and get paid for it, and some may donate services or materials (“in-kind”) with no strings attached. This can be a good thing, but you should beware of some common potential pitfalls.
Insulating Staff. When staff is approached by an attender offering services or a product, you’ll need to investigate further. You should have a person in place to hand them off to; someone who can vet the offer. This way, staff is insulated from the outcome—favorable or less favorable. Every inquiry is important and every type of contribution should be graciously considered, but be careful of in-kind contribution offers. While well intended, many offers for products or services will not measure up to the quality needed to create an excellent church facility. The last thing a church pastor wants to do is to tell a well-intentioned attender that his product or service doesn’t measure up. When you work with a third party project manager, you can refer them outside of the church. This takes away any future awkwardness and preserves the relationship.
In-Kind Program. Create a program that manages inquiries and participation by an attender as a consultant, vendor, or supplier for the new building project. This honors and protects relationships within the church. Here is how it should work. Require that every in-kind donor candidate meet the required qualifications that any other subcontractor being considered for the project must meet. This requires determining whether the attender’s offering, experience, capability, quality, and cost competes with the other offers, and if so, the attender may be awarded the work. Whatever you do, find a way to remove the responsibility of church staff or the building committee to handle any interaction with these candidates both during selection and execution.
CFS is a full-service commercial real estate development organization committed to serving churches. This vision aligns with our principals’ personal values as followers of Jesus Christ. CFS provides A to Z services including strategic planning, financial feasibility, site or building selection, capital campaign, financing (as owner’s representative), project team selection, project and construction management (also as owner’s representative), furniture, fixtures, equipment, audio, visual, light procurement, and relocation coordination.